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Defending the Throw In

Defending the Throw In. On the weekend, the opposition had a set play (on some occasions but not all the time). GK was throwing in. The GD, WD & C all gathered between the centre and the 1/3rd line, closer to the 1/3rd line. Each of them broke at different times. 1st GD leading left, then WD leding right and C down the middle. This week if they do that again, I think I will not have my GA/WA/C next to the girls, but 4-6 ft in front of them waiting for the leads on the angle to watch the leads and the throw in. Any other suggestions? we play that team again this week!!   

Dear Phil I am playing around with our new soon to launch Sportplan animator and I thought I would try to clarify the question you have posted by adding an animation. Let me know what you think and I hope that you get the answers your looking for in time for your match. kind regards sportplan


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Coaching Points: $customPractice.coachingPoints.replaceAll("\"", "'")

And is this what you intend to do this week


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Coaching Points: $customPractice.coachingPoints.replaceAll("\"", "'")

What is the best position for the black GS in the drill?

Hi Phil, the above will work fine, or you can try a zone defence. In my team, when the opposition GK throws it in, we let them do as they wish from there but zone out the entire centre 3rd, the opposition get confused and 90% of the time, throw the ball out of court or directly to one of my girls, so far we have only come across one team who it doesnt seem to work on, happy to email you a diagram if you wish...

Dear Karen Would you be able to email the diagram to and we will add it to the answer with Chalk board or an animation. Kind regards Sportplan

Thanks Sportplan & Karen. Karen, please email me the diagram to [email removed to avoid spam]

done :)

Karen, thank you for your email, I hope we have done your diagram justice. regards Sportplan

Attached Plan: Zones for opposition throw in
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FEEDBACK - after loosing to that team twice before by 10 goals, we actually beat them this time by 17 goals - extraordinary turn around. We had no practice of the zone defence and I just showed the girls a diagram. It worked 5 out 8 times. The girls thought it was great. Training will be consolidating the tactic this week. Thanks Karen.

Here is that diagram again, if you can't open the link above.



Opposition throw in

Responsibilities of the players in defence.

  • GS covering the line and defending with arms right up in the air
  • C Moves back as the ball comes down
  • The coloured areas refer to area the players is responsible for.
  • GK stays close to GS at all time.

This would be the most common play in my team that always works for my girls. Not many teams ever train on how to get past a zone, so most teams will fall into the trap and you should see so many balls come back your way if this is done properly. Also, I have never seen another team we have played in the past 2 years set up a zone against us. So it should definitely work.

Coaching Points:
  1. Your girls need to make sure that they only cover their areas of thecourt, if they go too far into someone else's area, the court suddenly opens up and the other team will get the ball out of it and to their end. You should see the other team taking too long to get it down the court and passing the ball back to players behind them, not progressing up the court, once they start passing around that zone area, they are very likely to mess it up and your girls need to be quick to go in for the ball.
  2. They also need to make sure that every time the opposition team has a throw in, they get in their positions quickly, I use a ?code name? for my zone that I yell out as soon as I see they can set it up, if they haven?t already done so, they need to be ready to move so make sure they are lightly jumping up and down in their areas and have their arms up in the air, like you would in a star jump for instance. Every player needs to keep their arms up so to the other team, it looks like there is no more room to get the ball through.
  3. If you are going to give this a shot, keep the diagram with you at a game and every time you change a girls position on the court, let them see the diagram and so they know where their spot for the zone is that quarter.

If you want to see just how much of a difference it makes on the court, at practice one night, you stand on the baseline where the opposition GK would normally be, put your players in the sections in the zone defence with their arms at their side, and then ask them all at once to put their arms up, and their feet moving slowly in side to side, you will notice how much of a difference it makes it makes to the court.

Hi Phil, I have read your feedback on the zone defence recommended and was wondering what is the age of your players?

Hi Anne, My girls are 14 & 13 years old playing 15s and under but division 4. This week we tried it again. It didnt work as well because some girls were not quick enough to get into position. Plus the opposition were taller, faster cleaner with delivery - thus a score of 47 to 23. Girls also became lazy and didnt put their arms in the air. The girls have a lot to think about - 1. reacting to the call "ZONE" , 2. Getting to areas of the court, 3. Forgeting about their player to protect their area (this is hard for defenders). 4.Arms up and move side to side. 5. If any player is in your area be prepared to intercept, not just arm waving. 6. If they get it in the centre 3rd then BANG! its find your opposing player to defend one on one. It does need practise and quick thinking. Success this week was 1 out of 6. more pratice at training, but I feel a little negative reaction from the girls. Its a lot to take in

Is Red GS left end of court supposed to be red GK ?

Good get Debbie. You picked the error. Sportplan to correct

Hey Sportplan, I am unable to view all of the attacking zone defence diagram in your answer. Is there somewhere else i am able to view it?



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  • search our library of 700+ netball drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans