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Coming forward and getting free?

I have a player who tends to hang back behind her partner in games, and then tries to move into position to receive a pass. She signals that she is free but doesn't move quickly enough into position so often loses the ball.No matter how many times we work on this at training, when it comes to the actual games she reverts to her standard play but then gets upset when nobody passes to her. She is fast losing confidence as the other players on the team are all moving beyond her level and she is aware of this. Any ideas?

What age group are you coaching Nina?  If player is relatively new to netball breaking down the types of leads into timing sequences may help her understand how & when to get in front.  There are many drills available to help practice movements but they need to be transferred to the game in a sequential pattern as the ball is moving towards the player's area so the preliminary moves to get in front are performed at the right time(e.g. too early defender in front again, too late and passer has given up and used another option).  I am having this issue to a lesser degree with a couple of players in my team of seniors and keep at them to watch the ball coming, work out their spacing, keep mobile in their area (even if just a few steps side to side), preliminary move and drive into space to receive pass.  Some players just don't focus on the game until it reaches their area and then they are already behind the ball so to speak.  If player has a lot of season's experience it is probably a habit that is hard to change without a determined effort by a motivated player.  I find that player's that don't like to play close on the body tend to watch & move away from the defending player prior to attempting to lead which can be counterproductive in getting free - seem to be running away from ball & player rather than contesting the space towards the ball.  Encouraging a close stance prior to preliminary moves can address this issue.

The age I am coaching is 11 - 12 year olds. All have been playing for 3 years with me as their coach the entire time. It is hard to explain what this player does exactly but I'll try. Generally she hangs back behind her partner and when she wants the balls she sticks her arm out and jogs sideways calling for the ball. Of course her partner sees what she is doing and naturally marks her so she is unable to receive the pass. We've done som many drills to try and get her to drive forward or to teache her to duck and dodge and she seems to be getting it by the end of training but when the game rolls around she just reverts back to her original style and no amount of calling to her to get in front or dodge around seems to help.

Sounds like you have certainly tried hard and player may just be timid and polite and may take some time to develop further.  My youngest daughter now aged 14 started out like this but has learnt to enjoy the contest (after about 6 seasons coached by someone else) and although still a polite player, wants the ball a lot more and feels good when she gets it.

my daughters team (who is a 14-15yr) has 1 12yr in it.  she did exactly what you have described nina.  held back, basically stood still and called for the ball and wondered why no one woudl pass to her.  i took her aside for a couple of weeks and did some one on one training with her.  now she too is a very polite sweet girl, but very motivated to change her playing and very keen to learn (is your player keen to correct her and improve her skill?) and so i did a lot of preliminary moves with her to teach her to get away from her players (which are much taller, faster, and more skilled than she is), and it is helping.  the biggest one was to try and get her footwork stronger and more definite in sudden direction changes.  do you have anyone who can take over your team for part of your training session and get her one on one to do some real work on this?  or maybe ask another coach to take her to get another opinoin and maybe a different approach?

the other option is to play half court games that every pass must contain a preliminary move and drive or the pass will be turned over to the other side.  makes the girls think a lot more about having to do it every time.  

good luck.

ps, this player i took to the side is now moving a lot more and receiving the ball a lot more without interception.  but she WANTED to learn and is obviously a fast learner.

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  • or access our tried and tested plans