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Starting strong in a game

I am coaching a team of teenagers, who have lost the majority of their games. They are improving and still in good spirits. However I find they start the game really rough, sometimes it continues to go down hill, but often they have a really good second half. How can I get them to start strong? Do I need to look at my warm up???

Hi Rachel, 

Before games, it's important to keep your players quite relaxed. Perhaps your slow starts are down to your team being a bit nervous and it takes some time to loosen up and switch on. 

Your warm up is important to getting them relaxed and their mind on the game, rather than the other stresses that could be making them nervous. 

You said they're in good spirits which is great, so get them playing a fun warm up game to get them focussed on their skills but is also a bit of fun!

This Anywhere's drill is perfect for this, it gets their blood pumping and is a good chance to have a laugh and relax a bit before the game with teammates to not get nervous about the game.

I hope this helps!

10 Balls Anywhere

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Have the players get into pairs.

One player starts with the ball and drops, places or throws the ball in random places around a semi circular area.

The other player in the pair stands around a metre opposite keeping a close eye on the ball. They need to react as quickly as possible to gather the ball either before it bounces or after only 1 bounce.

After 10, have the players swap over so that the passer is now reacting to the ball.

Coaching Points:

The aim of this drill is to get the players alert and reacting quickly to the ball and for moving in a small space.

Thanks Tom. I'm not sure its nerves or a lack of focus as there is alot of fun & chatter through the warmup. Almost like they dont have their head in the game til mid way through. Thanks for the drill I'll give it a go 😀
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Rachel, I had the same issue with my U12's at their last carnival. After the second game I made sure their heart rate was right up before the game to the point that I wouldn't let them stand still waiting for the first whistle, they had to keep their feet moving. They didn't lose a game after that and it showed them the importance of a good warm up and getting their heads in the game before the whistle.

Great idea! Thanks Nicole
Answered using Sportplan on Mobile

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