Photo: uScore Netball
1. What is the best way to teach netta juniors how to shoot?
A fun netball drill to teach young ones how to shoot, involves using the popular B.E.E.F. acronym. Start by teaching the actions first without the ball and then, once they have mastered the steps add the ball.
B is for balance
Feet are shoulder width apart. You might like to use a visual aid on the ground to encourage players to spread their feet should width apart. And always ensure that the feet are pointing to the post – many will have pigeon toes pointing in or out.
E is for eyes
They should imagine there is a witches hat sitting above the ring and aim for the point of the hat so the ball DROPS through the ring.
E is for elbow
Ensure that the arm is extended close to the ear with the elbow facing the ring. When the ball is taken back before releasing the ball, the elbow must remain facing the ring and not move out to the side. This ensures accuracy of the shot always. You can use the analogy that the straight arm holding the ball is up against the ear to block out all the yelling.
F is for follow through
Encourage a small flick of the wrist to “say goodbye” to the ball or “knock the fairy.”
2. How to teach netball positions to players who have never played before
Play a game that involves players running to different positions on the court when you call them out. After that, play a game that is “Find Your Position.” Games like these will help them to learn the positions and areas of the court.
3. How to teach young players not to step
If you find that there are players who constantly step during a game, check their balance. It might be a sign that they haven’t properly learnt how to ground their landing foot. Netball drills which involve learning to catch the ball in the air, land, rebalance and then pass are worth doing and should be done slowly and methodically at first until the technique is firmly entrenched in their minds.
For younger players, the ICE-CREAM technique is fun and effective but first, start without the ball and get the kids to practice their feet.
Get your players to line up along the base line and ask them to run and when you blow the whistle, they have to give a low leaping jump (just as if they’re leaping over a puddle) and land on one foot with knees slightly bent. The players must call out “ICE” when they land the grounded foot. Then, the kids must pivot on the grounded foot “ICE” and say “CREAM.” This will help to reinforce that the first foot is the one to stay on the ground.
Do this a few times, then once this has been mastered, give the players a ball to practice with – have them gently throw it into the air and catch it – concentrating on what their feet were doing and saying “ICE CREAM” to match their feet.
4. How to teach basic pass and catch skills
Begin with small bean bags. Stand the players in a circle and pass a small bean bag to the player on their right hand side. Once that is done change directions, all the while encourage them to throw at chest height. Once they have mastered that introduce the ball and make sure the distance between the players when they pass isn’t too big, get them to learn accuracy first to give them time to develop strength in their passing.
5. How to teach basic movement
Have all players stand on the base line. As coach, stand in the middle of the court facing the team. Call out instructions for what movement you want the players to do (e.g. run left, right, jump, forward, back or down – touch the ground).
6. How to stop over crowding
Young players like to run for the ball like sea gulls to hot chips so to avoid over crowding teach the team a “clear out” drill. When this is called, players need to look around and spread out (find their own space). Once they have space between them and the one with the ball, they need to take run in for the pass when their name is called by the one with the ball.
7. How to help prevent players passing to the other team
Young players have a lot to remember in their first few games of netball so be patient and encouraging.
For the Netta juniors, at training put half the team in bibs & other half not. One at a time get a team member to stand about 5 metres away from the team. They must be holding the ball ready to pass with their back to the rest of the team. Mean while the rest of the team is moving back and forth (left & right) about 5 metres away. The person with the ball turns (on a signal) to pass the ball to someone in a bib (or without, your call). This is repeated 5 times for each team member or those with the problem. Please note, no effort should be made by others to block the ball at this stage. Doing this at practice and then shortly before the game can help them remember.
You should also encourage some communication on court – ask that the players call each others names out before they pass.
8. How to teach netta players how to defend
Try the “shadow defending drill.” This is where 2 players stand together facing each other, one player is to make the moves while the other player is to copy the movement. Once they have gotten used to this, change it up and have both players face the same direction.
The one in front will remain as the shadow while the one behind will be the mover. This builds defending skills for following their opposition players on court and to stay in a front as a defending position using their peripheral vision to follow opposition player.
We hope you find these 8 netball drills useful. Feel free to sign up for our newsletter below for more great tips!