Bullying tactics on court.

Bullying tactics on court.

I coach a group of girls aged 14-16 in an intermediate division. i try and coach them so it will be their skills that will win them the game, and to play fair and skilfully. unfortunately this doesnt seem the norm. i am disappointed in the number of coaches today teaching kids to push, trip, elbow, lean, and without any regard to the fact that this is being done to children, who could get injured by their tactics. i understand, playing hard but fair, and contact is part of the game, as it is a physical game, but these a tactics that are being taught. has anyone come across this, and what is the right way to handle it, as the umpires dont seem too keen to put an end to it. (even when asked to). looking for all sides of this discussion.

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia
Janet Coach, Australia

I agree that it appears some coaches encourage what I would call poor playing skills but others may call winning tactics.  I hate to see players resorting to unsportsmanlike and dangerous behaviour in games which puts themselves and others at risk.  I think we coaches who have a "duty of care" should teach a good solid skill base and tactical repertoire to our players or we are not doing our job properly.  Don't we all like to watch our teams develop and practice the excellent skills we all strive for and I am sure our players would appreciate being able to play hard but fair to earn their successes.   

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

one of my shooters was playing against a player who likes to play mind games, so my other coach asked her (while she was on court) to move away from her and not to talk to her.  the GK then went to the umpire and complained! and the umpire came and gave that coach a warning.  honestly.  what is this world coming to?

Netball CoachCoach

I would have to say that if a team is taught the skills at a high level without the unsportsmanlike tactics they will always be winners in their own rite.  This will eventually win out as they become stronger and with good umpires they will win keep the game honest

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

the ironic part is that the girl who complained is an umpire herself!  i really hate seeing the way some girls and their coaches are butchering such an amazing game into these types of mind games and bullying tatics.  but as pointed out in another thread, this is what is happening at the elite levels, so maybe it is just being filtered down.  it just makes me sad.

and yes Julie, i completely agree with you.  which is what happened yesterday on court when my team beat the team they lost to last year in the semi.  they are rough, were rude to umpires, and when asked to stand out of play, would put their shoulders and elbows in the way of the person taking the shot. and the umpires said nothing.  incredible.  but we beat them by 20 goals, so we showed them what skill can do.

Janet Coach, Australia

Even at elite level with all the contest/contact etc you generally see good sportsmanship between teams - helping players up, apologies, hand shaking, back patting etc.  They are all extremely fit, have physios, trainers as support and expect to knocked about and take a week to recover.  Club competitions are clearly not the place for this physicality and all clubs and their personnel are required to exercise "Duty of Care".  Unfortunately it is easy to blame the umpires. They are hard to find in our competition and we may not always get good ones and sometimes the good ones may have an off day.  Our young ones have a great deal of difficulty dealing with older players, coaches and parents.  Most teams appreciate a good clean contest with bad behaviour nipped in the bud as soon as it appears by our umpires.  My own umpiring has changed over the years to keep up with the game in that I allow much more contest these days and frequently use the quiet chat approach to players during the game if I notice a bit of attitude creeping in.  This mostly works and keeps things controlled and I rarely have to warn/send off players.  Coaches that encourage bad attitude and rough play are the hardest thing to deal with but our association has a good exclusion policy for repeat offenders. 

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

want to come and umpire our associate Janet?...lol  yes and i agree with the umpires cop it the most.  i would not ever want to be one!!!   and i put the blame of the way the change at club level firmly on the shoulders of the coaches, for they are the ones that are supporting it the most.  if i ever witnessed what i see on court by some teams by ANY of my players id remove them until they appologised for their behaviour.  there really is no need for it at club level.  but is awesome to watch at an elite level! 

Allie CollyerCoach, Australia

I totally agree with you Lee-Anne. I have been coaching U13's the past few years and have been amazed at some very talented players being coached to be dirty. Fortunately most of these girls have then played rep netball and they have been umpired out of the game at times so they have had to change. We have also seen teams that are undefeated up until finals have very high standard umpires in finals where the players have been pulled up every time. Certainly not worth it when not coaching it out of the players (or putting it there in the first place) costs you finals. 

I am the same as you - I let my players know at the beginning of the season that I will not tolerate bad sportsmanship of any kind and that they will be pulled from the court if I see any of it. I have only had to do it once and boy it got the message across!

I'm coaching U17 (div 2) this year and although the girls can be a bit frustrating at times as their skills and aggression at the ball aren't top notch, gosh they are lovely and are such a pleasure to coach. Who said all teens are hard work LOL, I am loving them. I just want them to love their netball and do the best they can :)

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

thats all you can ask of them Allie...to love the game, which doesnt always mean they will be assertive on court, but as long as they are loving playing then thats all you can ask.  some people are just born to be nice. (think id prefer that to the bully any time).

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