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From the ground up: how to get fit for netball
The Physical Demands of Netball
England have completed a series whitewash against World Champions Australia, England netball ‘s “Back to Netball” scheme is trying to get more women playing. but are they fit enough to play?
This article will look at the fitness requirements of netball, its various positions and then part 2 will look at how to get fit to play netball.
Netball is a classic example of a sport that expresses physical capabilities, rather than developing them. Lack of training prior to playing could lead to injury.
Netball is played by 7 players with up to 5 substitutes. Where a player can go on the court is determined by their position. The match is split into 4 quarters of 15 minutes, between quarters 1/2 & 3/4 there is a 3 minute break and half time is 5 minutes.
It requires short repeated bouts of mixed intensities to change direction, make evasive maneuvers and track players.
During a game players will work intermittently in random patterns, which differ depending on position. You are allowed unlimited substitutions but these must only be made between quarters or if a player is injured. A study (1)was conducted looking at players movements, for the study shuffling is considered as sideways movements.
Table refers to distance (m) travelled during a match at different speeds with the variance in brackets.
This shows that a centre can travel twice the distance of a goal keeper/shooter with jogging and running being the 2 areas of difference, this is due to the rules that limit the movement of different positions.
They then looked at the relative time spent at the different speeds:
Looking at relative times we can see that centres spend significantly less time standing, equal time walking and shuffling and a greater time at higher speeds.
Another aspect to look at is movement frequency, how many times each movement was done.
The last table shows that centres change their movement considerably more than the other positions.
What does this mean for training?
We can start to see how different positions require a different emphasis in training.
The more static positions of goal keeper/shooter will require greater agility and explosiveness whereas centres will need a greater endurance as well as agility.
The rules of netball dictate that players must come to a stop one and a half steps after receiving the ball, this means that every player is required to brake suddenly from different speeds.
To be able to efficiently & effectively brake we need to have a level of physical competency. Kelvin Giles describes physical competency as:
“The ability of the body to ‘read’ all aspects of the physical environment, anticipating movement needs or possibilities and responding appropriately to these, with efficiency, intelligence and imagination.”
Part 2 of this article will look at how to develop this.
1 Understanding the Physiological Demands of Netball: a time-motion investigation, Anna Davidson and Grant Trewartha, University of Bath
For the past 2 years, as Head of Athletic Development, James has made a significant contribution to the development and understanding of athletic development among our sports programmes. With knowledge and passion, he has continually championed best practise in relation to the athletic development of young athletes, and been unstinting in the rigour of its delivery. As a coach, James has made a direct contribution to the development of several prominent individuals, as well as more broadly to our squads.
20 Feb 2019
Athletic Development Coach Venue: WILLAND Date: Wednesday 20th February. Time 0900-1630. Booking deadline Friday 8 February Is the ‘Athletic Development Coach’ course for me? This particular course is for our junior members to attend. If you are interested in attending please contact Carly. What will I learn? Course Goals and Objectives Candidates will be expected […]