Can I get some strategies for my U10s to handle physical opponents?

Can I get some strategies for my U10s to handle physical opponents?

Hello can I please gets some ideas for what strategies to tell my 10 year olds to use when their opponent is getting rough or pushy. Especially in and around the circle and at the centre pass

Jodie PowerCoach, New Zealand
Coach Coach, Australia

hi maybe discuss with the team. What they could do to?

 i would also sugggest that you tell the  players to stand off the line and move away from the player and change position around the circle  and on different sides.  Also maybe defending  their opponents on the side of the player so their  bib is near the opponents arm. and stay  with them like glue ..As for the centre passes maybe suggest to  you that they defend their opponent and make a clean break to recieve the pass from the centre.  Or  plan a team strategy  so the team can see whats happening  and take turns on who recieves the ball from the centre  on a centre pass using  the WA , GA and WD, GD at different times  on the centre pass.

i hope that helps

Janet Coach, Australia

Hi Jodie! I don't like to see rough and pushy in this age group and would not encourage it as a coach  If you would like to encourage your players to be able to contest more strongly, nothing replaces good basic skills and the confidence to use them so I would be encouraging development of fitness, throwing, catching and footwork skills to use within the rules of the game.  As Coach above suggests, it may be a good idea to discuss the situation with your players and find out objectively how they feel as a team, if you haven't already (want to retaliate?, feel unsafe?, frustrated?, want to improve?).  This should give you an idea of how to approach improving the situation at training with targeted skill sets.  Some children are naturally more aggressive than others which carries over into their chosen sport but if you feel that the rough and pushy is not within the rules or spirit of the game, approaching the umpires would be advisable as they have a duty of care to facilitate the game within the rules as does anyone that coaches junior sport.

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

i completely agree with Janet.  there is no need for this age group to be rough.  being able to stand your ground, and fair contest of the ball is one thing, but they should not have to put up with rough or intimidating play.  if you see this, or the girls are complaining about it, and you believe it is excessive, you need to get your captain of the team to go and speak to the umpire on the first break she can, and you can go and see the umpires conveyor to get them to watch, and help the umpires to control the game better, and speak to the clubs officials.

but if you want to get them use to not being intimidated by what is considered fair contest, then get them use to contest the ball between 2 players.  line them up on the line in pairs side by side, and blow your whistle, and have them run straight for you.  first to get in front gets the pass.  you can also do this with a high toss, or a grubber ball on the ground.  all have them having to focus on the ball to get to it, and not worry about their opponents close proximity.  

you can also get them use to close defence.  ie zoning/blocking.  that way you can teach good defence techniques, ie using outside arm, correct defence stance, and how to get around players using their footwork and not brute force.  all of these will make them better players, and shut down their opponents attempts.  but you do need to let them know that they need to not let their opponents cheap skilless tactics get into their head.  this happened to one of my girls on the weekend and she was in tears that i had to take her off.  she had let her opponent get into her head and she couldnt shoot.  the best payback is to beat them with skill, not payback.

hope that helps.

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