Using fun netball drills in your training sessions will keep players engaged and is a good way to build on basic skills and drills. Used in the right way, fun netball drills can be a powerful tool to help you and your players get the most out of every session.
In this article:
- Fun netball warm-up drills
- Fun netball drills for beginners
- Fun netball drills for adults
- Fun netball passing drill
Why use fun netball drills?
Fun netball drills can massively boost performance in the training session and the whole season.
It’s amazing how a straightforward footwork or group drill gets players more engaged and working at a higher intensity when you add a fun element.
Keeping players motivated in training sessions is as important as building skill levels. And every netball coach knows it can be hard to keep everyone focused, especially if the team just want to play a netball game.
Repetitive exercises designed to train muscle memory are essential for skill development but they work best when they are fun! To help keep your netball players or team training on track, I have put together five fun netball drills to keep everyone engaged.
Use them in your main session or at the start as part of your warm-up to help reduce the risk of injury.
Fun netball warm-up drills
These are great netball-specific warmup games, they get players switched on physically and mentally whilst also adding a fun element.
Drill 1 – Ball Tag
This drill is great for smaller groups.
Players – Split players into two even teams. Ideally with around 5 – 8 on each team. Use bibs to distinguish teams.
Space – Use 1/3 of the netball court
One team are running around in the 1/3.
The other team have the ball and are playing netball rules (no footwork or contact, 3 seconds on the ball etc). This team are passing the ball between team members while trying to pass it accurately so that they can tag, with the ball, the team running around. (Please note the ball is not thrown at players to tag, a player must have control of the ball and tag someone when the ball is in their hands).
If the team running around gets a clean intercept, roles switch and they become the tagging team. The first team to get all runners out by tagging – wins!
Drill 2 – Hit the post
This drill is great for bigger groups.
Players – Split the group into two even teams. Ideally with 5 – 10 on each team. Use bibs to distinguish teams.
Space – Use all of the netball court.
All players can go all over the court but no one is allowed in the shooting circles.
Netball rules (no footwork or contact, 3 seconds on the ball etc)
The team with the ball are trying to pass to each other to get to the edge of the shooting circle at the other end of the court. Once they land on the circle edge they must try and hit the post with the ball to gain a point (the ball does not have to pass through the net to score a point). Whether you score or miss, the opposition team restarts with a backline pass to try and work down to their shooting circle.
Add more balls to make it harder or take out the footwork rule to make it quicker.
Drill 3 – Cross over the line
This drill is great for small or large groups.
Players – Split the group into two even teams. Ideally with 4 – 8 on each team. Use bibs to distinguish teams.
Space – Use all of the netball court
One team defends and the other attacks.
The team defending stand in the centre third and the attacking team stand behind the goal line at one end of the court.
The coach shouts “Cross Over” and upon hearing this the attacking players must try to get to the opposite goal line (or furthest transverse line in the case of young players).
Defending players must try to tag attacking players before they reach the other side of the court, while the attacking players are trying to evade them.
Make it harder by limiting defenders to the centre third of the court.
Fun netball drills for beginners
The following drills are great for keeping new players engaged in the sport while working on footwork, passing and agility.
Drill 1 – Passing relay race
Players – Split the group into two even teams. Ideally with 7 – 9 in each team.
Space – 1/3 of the court.
Stands the team opposite one another in two queues. Place one player in the middle (and at the side) of the two queues. One at a time, the players attack the middle space, receive the ball, and pass to the queue in front of them. They then peel out the way and run to the back of the queue they came from. The player with the ball passes back to the feeders and repeats the attacking drive.
The first team to go through their line without dropping the ball or doing footwork, wins! Once players have got the hang of it, ask them to move through this drill quicker.
Drill 2 – attack, land, pivot, pass
This is a great drill to practice footwork while having fun!
Players – work in pairs or small groups.
Space – 1/3 of the court
One player has a netball, and the other player or players stand a few meters away. Place a hula hoop on the floor between the player with the ball and the player(s).
The player without the ball attacks forward and practices their footwork inside the hula hoop – one two landings and pivots with the landing foot in the hoop and the other foot on the outside.
Progress it so that the player with the ball throws it to the player landing in the hula hoop.
Drill 3 – Jailbreak
This is a great drill to practice attack, defence and agility and is great for small groups.
Players – Split the group into two even teams (if you have uneven teams, allocate the extra player to the defensive team).
Space – set up a 10 x 10 perimeter with 4 cones to mark the corners of the square.
Get the players to make two circles in the centre of the square. The attacking team form the inner circle and the defending team are the outer circle. Maintain formation and shape, the attacking team runs clockwise and the defending team runs anti-clockwise until the coach shouts “jailbreak”.
At this point, the attacking team must try to escape the outer circle of defenders and reach the outside of the square perimeter without being tagged.
Points are allocated to attackers depending on how many of their team escaped and to defenders depending on how many people they tag.
This drill sharpens up defending and attacking movement skills, improves agility, dodging and encourages fast footwork.
Fun Netball Drills for Adults
The following drills are great for encouraging improvisation and teamwork.
Drill 1 – Numbers
Use this drill to work on communication in attack and defence.
Players – Split the group into two even teams. Give each player a number with the same numbers of both teams.
Space – A full netball court.
Place the ball in the centre circle. Call out three numbers. The three players from each team whose number has been called must run on to the court and head for the ball. Possession is determined by whoever gets to the ball first. Using normal netball rules, the team with the ball must then work to goal. The other team defends and tries to intercept to get their own goal.
Once a goal has been scored, start again with three more numbers.
Mix up the drill by having different numbers of players on the court (two on two, or four on four for example).
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Fun netball passing game
Drill – Reactions
This fun exercise teaches players how to make quick decisions while passing with speed and accuracy.
Start by dividing the players into groups of four players. Three players in each group stand side by side in a line. The fourth player from each group stands a few metres away, facing them, in the middle.
Give two of the players in the line a ball each.
To start, one of the players passes the ball to the player stood facing them. They are the first worker.
The working player then passes the ball to the player who doesn’t have a ball or who hasn’t just passed to them.
The sequence continues, with the other player who started with a ball passing to the worker. The worker is always receiving the ball and passing it to the next player without a ball or who hasn’t just passed to them.
Players should go slow at the beginning, then as they get more confident the feeders should increase the speed of their pass. So the worker has limited time to make a decision and release the ball.
The diagram below shows how the ball would flow through the players.
Want to see the reactions drill in practice and get more passing drill ideas?
You can find the coaching video for Nat’s reaction drill in “Decision-making in attack” in the coaches section of our Member’s Area.
I hope these netball drills will help you integrate a fun element into your coaching sessions. We want to keep players as engaged as much as possible and enjoying their netball