New to Netball Coaching - Team Management

New to Netball Coaching – Team Management

Congratulations on becoming a new coach!

At first it can feel overwhelming. You may feel like you’re in over your head. It’s normal to be nervous or worried that you won’t be good enough, that you might not be able to do the job well. If any of these feelings sound familiar, don’t worry – they’re completely normal!

Our New to Netball Coaching blog includes a series of articles that will walk through some key areas of coaching and provide tips to help you get off to a good start.

 

Team Management

For any netball coach, understanding the process of team management is an essential part of success.

Team management is a key part of netball coaching which involves developing strong relationships with players, making sure they are motivated and organised on game days, setting up training sessions to help them reach their full potential as well as ensuring all equipment is in good condition.

This can be quite daunting for new coaches but it doesn’t have to be! Having a plan in place makes the process much easier. Here are some tips to help…

Once your team has been announced, introduce yourself to the players, parents and carers. You can do this via email or in a group chat.

Make sure to:

  • Outline important information such as training venue, game day and times.
  • Set expectations e.g. game day, team commitment, arrival times.
  • Establish how it may be best to make contact with you outside training or game day.
  • Ask for volunteers, this may include asking for a team manager or scorer.
  • Share a little about yourself.

On your first training session, start the season with a team huddle!

This is a great opportunity to:

  • Get to know your players and focus on building positive relationships.
  • Establish an environment of trust and respect. By encouraging communication and open dialogue between players and coaches.
  • Set clear expectations and goals for the team and each player. Making sure they know what their roles are and how they are expected to contribute.
  • Encourage players to be good teammates. To help others get better, to cheer for each other and to encourage others in the right direction.

Throughout the season, it is good practice to continue to make time for a regular team huddle. These can be short, or more formal, or to address key points in the season.

This will help to:

  • Communicate regularly with your players, making sure everyone is on the same page and striving for the same objectives.
  • Review goals and achievements. Celebrate wins, share disappointments or review performances.
  • Discuss strengths and weaknesses. Allowing you to tailor your coaching methods to the needs of both the team and individual players .
  • Keep the team focused and cohesive.
  • Create opportunities for your team to bond off-court, plan team dinners or pre-game rituals.

Team Organisation

It is important for you to stay organised throughout the season by creating systems that work best for you and your team’s needs.

Some helpful ways to stay organised, may include:

  • Create a schedule of your training, games times and important season dates,
  • Record player, parent or carer contact details,
  • Mark out any scheduled player absences,
  • Use training session plans or templates,
  • Create game day playing rosters,
  • Collect game day scores or statistics,
  • Tracking player goals, performances and development.
  • Save your favourite training drills and activities,
  • Ask for help from parents or volunteers to set a roster for managing items that pull you away from coaching, these may include scoring, washing bibs, bringing fruit/snacks etc.

Each coach will usually have their own preference on how they like to manage this. Whether you use a paper notebook or planner, Mobile App or even a Netball Diaries – Coaching Diary. Having a process or system to help you organise your season, will ensure efficiency in all areas of running a team and allow you to focus on the bigger picture of coaching.

Team Bonding

Team bonding is an essential part of any successful sports team, and netball teams are no exception. It helps to create a sense of camaraderie among teammates and encourages them to work together as one cohesive unit.

The coach’s role in fostering team bonding is an important one. Team bonding activities can range from fun physical activities, such as obstacle courses or team trust activities, to more relaxed get-togethers or team get to know you games and activities.

Take some time during practice sessions to play games that allow players to interact on a deeper level with each other, such as truth or dare or creating fun challenges for the whole group. These will help players learn about each other’s interests and strengths which can be beneficial when it comes to game strategy.

Player Diaries can also be a great team bonding tool. They’ve not only been designed to teach goal setting, embed discipline and encourage positive self-reflection but include some team bonding activities, such as team awards and also allow space for player messages.

Netball Diaries Team Awards

Hopefully, some of these tips will be helpful in your first season coaching netball. Most importantly…

Have fun!

Remember, sports should be enjoyable for everyone involved. Celebrate successes, but don’t dwell on mistakes.

Wishing you all the best!