I think that my coaching went well, but if I were to do the coaching again with this team, I would do more activities on defending as they showed in the last 2 sessions that this was a weakness of theirs. I had to explain the reverse pivot activity in session 2 twice, so that the girls could understand properly what they had to do. The girls found it difficult at first but by helping them and practise I did manage to get them doing it well. I would still include the same skill in this session if I did it again because it is very good to know how to fo this well in the game situation.
In session 3 I could talk more about contact at a centre pass along the lines, this would have helped the players know what they are allowed to do when someone contacts them. I think that I should have done only 1 warm up the whole way through on each session as it would have been easier to analyse the player’s fitness. And by doing two warms ups, it made it more difficult for me to determine their fitness in each session as the effort and exercise varied in the two separate ones. Alternatively I could have included a fitness test like the multi stage fitness test at the start and at the end, to see how their fitness improved over the weeks.
I would definitely spend more time on the reverse pivot as this is a really good way of getting free and if it is learnt correctly it will be very beneficial in a game situation. I think I needed to explain certain bits of my sessions more clearly and do more examples at the start so they could understand better. For example show the girls where I wanted them to run to in session 3, and run through it, showing them the speed I wanted them to come away from the line at and where I wanted them to receive the centre pass. Something I think I should have done, would have been to watch more than one of the teams competitive games before planning my sessions, this would have given me a wider range of information to work with and may have changed some of my session plans if I had seen more problems within their game.
I watched the girls after the sessions had finished in a competitive match with Keswick School. I saw good improvements in their overall game in the attacking end. They were moving a lot more and I saw Lianne changing her speed to get away from a defender, also Aimee changing direction quickly. They were all much better at getting free and all used the court much more. I did notice that although nearly all of their centre passes were successful, they were marked heavily towards the end of the game when the opposing team realised the centre was only passing to the attackers. If I had more sessions with the girls I would involve more, if not all of the team and coach the defence, the same centre pass tactics. This would mean more options and a more successful game. This would improve their game and would give Kim more options of who to pass to. I feel that she would be capable of making the right decisions of who to pass to or who is the strongest or less likely to be intercepted.
One thing that I wanted to coach from the beginning after watching them play was backline passes as I felt it was a weak part of their game and they lost possession a lot in this area. Now that the girls have improved their main problems of centre passes and getting free, it was apparent that is was a main problem in the Keswick match I observed. If I was to do the sessions again I would work on this, even if it was just for one session, I feel they could improve this and make their game even better.
I was disappointed to see that none of the girls regularly shouted for the ball or signalled with their hands to where they wanted to receive the ball, this may have been because they didn’t know how to signal or some don’t fully understand. I think their mini match and regular matches in general would benefit from them learning this and also using their voice more to shout for the ball. If I was to do the course work all over again I would do some things differently, and coach the girls more skills, to get the best outcome from them for their game.
I think that my planning went well. Watching the girls really helped me to determine what I was going to put into my sessions and what I was going work on with them. By being able to see their weaknesses meant that I could plan my sessions around that instead of working on parts of their game that didn’t need to be improved. In my implementation I think that the theory of what I planned was good.
It was planned around the team’s problem areas and would in theory build on them as the weeks progressed. I do however think that I could have fitted different skills into my sessions by taking out some of the games or drills that focused on getting free in the last couple of sessions. Such as the sprint dodge, as the main points behind that drill were covered in the session 3 while learning about centre pass techniques. Also I could have planned an extra session and spread out the sessions a bit more as some are cramped ma not have given the girls enough time to take in all the skills.