What does a coach talk about at first training?

What does a coach talk about at first training?

I have my first training session with 14yr old girls as their coach coming up. I've never coached anything before but know the game of Netball really well and love it, and, if someone doesn't coach them, they won't be able to play. My biggest concern is relating to these girls - it'll drive me crazy if they don't take it seriously and try their best. Does anyone have any advice on what I should (or shouldn't) say to them on the first night? I don't want them mucking around, but I want them to enjoy the season too! H

Netball CoachCoach
Netball CoachCoach

Hey there! I'm in my second year of coaching U15's girls,it is a challenging but rewarding gig,if you can control your own blood pressure!!!

At the start of my first year,I sent a letter home to players and their parents about my expectations: including things like attendance, attitude (respecting) each other and me as their coach. This was this was great as an intro,but being 13 at the time,in one ear and out the other (but at least the parents knew what I was on about, I think this helped them take it seriously,as I would always get a text or phone call if one of the girls couldn't make training). When the girls started talking and treating training like it was another great social catch up,which inevitably happens,I address those responsible in a pleasant way,then made them work so hard that they couldn't breathe let alone talk. With all of them realising that this is the consequence for taking training seriously.They all came back this season! And 2nd training session was like they were at BBQ,talking,giggling amongst themselves,driving me nuts: so we had a very intense discussion about respecting each other, and pointing out that what we do at training has to translate to game day,how important it is to be committed to that.They blitzed it in the next game!!

It's a constant work in progress, praising good team work and reminding them why we are all here,being positive,but firm,so they know whats expected and set some boundaries,being consistent.If they love netball,they will have fun,perhaps more so,if you start off talking to them about your expectations. It is at times REALLY frustrating, but it's also a fantastic thing to be a part of!!

Good luck to you,hope this helps in some way! Look forward to hearing how you get on!


Sportplan TeamAdministrator, United Kingdom

Hello Heather, We really liked this question so we made it the question of the week on our Facebook page. To add to Lisa's excellent answer here are the responses from our Facebook friends:

Facebook answers

All the best,
The Sportplan Team

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

i really like Lisas answer.  and its awesome advise.  my other idea is to ask the girls what THEY want to get out of the season.  if their honest answer is just fun and exercise, then they will never appreciate all the effort and time you are putting into.  at 14 it is always tough to get them to come to training, so i use the rule, those who come to training will be the ones that will get court time on game day.  then if they all turn up and dont train hard, then i add turn up to training AND train hard.  you can also have incentives like, train the coach day, parents vs kids game, take them to a silver ferns game, whatever you decide is a fair thing to get them working hard.  

remember you dont have to be liked by your kids.  i have found that anyone trying to insist on respect, and making them work hard, is not normally liked at first.  if you want to be liked then youd have to forget about getting them to do anything other than social fun, for that is what will be the popular choice.  but with time they will see the results of their hard work start paying off.  the kids i coach, just beat the team they lost against in the semi finals last year by 20 goals.  they are a mean and tough team, and in the 2 months we have been training has been a huge change in them.  we are planning to have a fun day at my place, and a trip to the Firebirds game to show appreciation for their hard work.  

so you can be a tough coach, and it will be a tough gig at first, but as long as you are fair, and give them goals, they will see that you are being tough for their best interests.  good luck, and never let them know if they get to you.  remember they are just kids, and they are looking to manipulate you into doing very little....lol

Netball CoachCoach

That's so awesome everyone - thanks for your input.  I do feel a bit more confident about my own style (which is probably on the firmer side).  I've been told that parents can be the ones to be concerned about - but honestly, if they don't like it then they should have put their hand up I reckon!  I'm sure these girls and I are going to have a great season, and we'll ALL learn alot.  Thanks again.  I appreciate your advice.  I'll come back with the results of our first training session.

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.