How do I motivate my u/9?

How do I motivate my u/9?

How do I motivate my u/9 girls to continue practicing and playing netball? They are playing for a 2nd season and have not won a game yet. They only starting playing netball last year for the 1st time.

Netball CoachCoach
Allie CollyerCoach, Australia

At this age I think it is all about learning the skills but also having fun. If it all becomes too serious and hard then a lot of girls will drop out. I would make sure that you are teaching them the basics at training but in a way that they can enjoy too. Look at the basic skills on Sportsplan and also google "fun drills for kids" etc. I have found some great games this way that my girls love but they are practising skills at the same time.

It can also be a bit overwhelming working out what you are going to focus on because you can't possibly teach everything in the time you have at training each week. One week concentrate on footwork - landing, pivoting, not stepping etc, then ask them to really think about that during their next game. The following week do a little bit of footwork at the start to remind them but then concentrate on another skill. Sometimes it can be such a lot for little ones to take in if you are trying to teach them everything at once.

Good luck, coaching beginners is really hard but very rewarding.

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

Hi Erika

i agree with Allie.  start with the basics, and concentrate on getting the ball down the court, get the to spread out, and run forward.  Footwork, ball skills, and opening up space by not everyone running towards the ball will help them improve.  

if they arent winning games, keep them motivated with achievable goals that you set.  and if they achieve that then reward them with a fun activity.  (coach the coach for 20 mins, or a parents vs kids match at the end of the season).

once you teach them a skill, put it into a game where that is the goal of your game.  no stepping, or spreading out, or running onto the ball.  everytime they break the rule then the ball gets turned over to the other side.  each team gets a point for everytime they perform the skill correctly.

keep it fun and challenging and they will stay focussed and enjoy it.

Netball CoachCoach

Thanks Allie and Lee-Anne,

They do enjoy playing netball very much and also the practising sessions. We do play alot of fun games where I work in all the ball skills etc, but since last year, they have not won a match or even scored more than 2 goals per match. I havent set a goal for the matches yet then just to encourage them to play there hearts out and to have fun. Before every game I tell them not to worry about the score and that for this year still, the score is not important.

The problem that I have is that all the other teams that we play against, have been playing netball since Grade 0 (R) and my girls only started last year in grade 2.

Please dont get me wrong, they already play beautiful netball, but still lack the experience and flowing of the game.

Login or Join Now for FREE to post your answer


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


Use our expert plans or build your own using our library of over 700+ drills, and easy-to-use tools.



See the whole archive of questions.



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

Sportplan App

Give it a try - it's better in the app

YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the worlds largest netball coaching resource for 700+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.