Passing Problems !!!!

Passing Problems !!!!

Hi I am a first year coach of a 9 and under team.My girls are struggling with the concept of running to space and receiving a pass on the move while advancing the ball to our attacking third.It seems no matter how hard i try to implement drills for passing at practice, come game day the girls still group together and call for the ball standing still. Any ideas/drills anyone could suggest would be greatly appreciated. Regards Mark

mark robertsCoach, Australia
Allie CollyerCoach, Australia

I feel your pain! I coach U13's and they are the same. I have a very challenging group this year that just don't seem to get the concept of space and keeping moving until they get the ball. I have been pulling my hair out in frustration LOL - maybe I have been spoilt in the past with girls of this age that were just more switched on re the game etc?

Anyway, what I have found has worked for me is to demonstrate why they need to do it. I do some of the movements in slow motion and make it a bit comical and overact it but show what happens if you crowd together or don't meet the ball.

Meeting the ball rather than catching it is standing still - tell them it is a million dollars and they need to get to it before someone else does. Get them to pass in a half court as they normally would and run through and intercept. Show them they lose the ball if they don't drive to it.

Have a look at some of the drills on here and modify them for your players. U9's is still very young and they all want the ball so all run to it rather than move to space. I use a whiteboard to demo what happens when they bunch together which has been quite useful.

Good luck!

Netball CoachCoach

hate to the bearer of bad news but my team r 15 and under and they still dont get that lol

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia


this is not an easy skill for them to remember.  just look at any sport where young kids are involved, they are all only interested in getting the ball themselves.  teamwork is something that is taught, so dont be disgruntled.  you can teach this, it will just take time.  and there isnt a single coach out there who hasnt faced this problem, so you should get lots of good ideas.  some will work for you and some wont.  just keep trying til you find something that works for you and your team.

this is what i have done in the past. (read speak VERY loudly) during the game.  the words SPREAD OUT is one of my most commonly used phrases during the game.  you are allowed to coach during games, so dont be scared about reminding your girls what to do.  spacial awareness, and opening up space isnt something they will just do.  so keep reminding them.

drills during training.  break the court up using markers or cones into 12 areas (ie each third into quarters).  then tell every girl in your team that only one person is allowed in a square at any one time.  they must then get the ball from one end of the court to the other moving through these squares keeping to this rule.  everyone is allowed everywhere, and they are allowed to run through sections to get to another, but they are not allowed to catch a ball that is already occupied by another player.  then tell them they are not allowed to pass to someone who isnt running towards them.  you can come up with a points system, or a punishment system to encourage running onto a ball and keeping to the one person per box rule.  once they are getting the ball up and down the court by staying spread out, introdue defence so that now only one attack and defence pair are allowed in a box at anyone time to catch a pass.  if there is an intercept then the defence team becomes the attack and maybe count the number of passes each team can execute before breaking the rule or being intercepted.

there are a number of drills on here and other sites that are good for teaching running onto the ball.  but the easiest thing most of my girls have found is to jump or hop to catch the pass rather than stop and catch.  just look for the error of piking at the hips to catch. this promotes poor balance is another form of stopping before catching the pass.  make sure they lift up with strong square hips and are still travelling forward with chest up and their ankles under their hips while catching.  

a way to exagerate the effect of having so many players in a small space tell them all to go into one of your boxes and using attack and defence try and get the attack players to pass 10 passes while still driving forward onto the ball.  if it gets intercepted then the defence becomes attack and the game continues.  

just dont forget to constantly remind them to spread out, and move forward for the pass and you will have a much better team sooner than you think.

Netball CoachCoach

Hi Mark

I am coaching 8 year olds and am trying the drill posted recently on this site%3A "How to convert your team into a smooth flowing dream". Once they have got the idea at training about where they should be on the court standing still I am going to get them running into space as the drill suggests. Haven't had a game yet to determine whether it has worked but could be worth a try for you!


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