Natalie Metcalf is back with her top 5 netball training drills. You can do these on your own at home, or if you’re at training and want to do some extras. Get your teammates involved too! This is a selection of simple netball drills and all you’ll need is a ball, a bit of space, a post (if you want to add in shooting), a wall and some objects to use as opponents.
Right, let’s dive into my favourite netball training drills!
As mentioned I’m going to show you 5 netball training drills, they are:
- Netball footwork drill
- Netball drill for shooting
- A fun netball passing drill
- A challenging netball marking drill
- A great drill for getting in front of your defender
Netball Drill 1:
Netball footwork drill
Focus: outside turns, outside foot landing (ie when you run to your right, land on your right foot, when you run to your left, land on your left foot).
Equipment: a netball and a wall (around 3m long).
How to do this netball footwork drill:
- stand facing the wall, about 1m away
- throw the ball onto the wall at an angle
- run to your right in line with the wall
- catch on extension
- on your outside foot, turn outwards (away from the wall)
- repeat in the other direction
Why this is a good netball footwork drill:
This netball footwork drill helps you practice outside turns, ball placement and quick turns.
Netball Drill 2:
Netball drill for shooting
Focus: shooting accuracy and shooting from range.
Equipment: a netball and a netball post.
How to do this netball drill for shooting:
- start at the ‘x’ closest to the post
- once you score, take a step back to the next ‘x’
- repeat until you’ve completed all 5 spots
- if you miss a shot, go back to the beginning of the lane
- aim to score a goal from every ‘x’ on all 5 lines
- when you’ve completed one line, move onto the next line and repeat!
Why this is a good netball shooting drill:
I like this netball shooting drill because it’s a good opportunity to work on your shooting range. Challenge yourself every time you do it to create more pressure and mimic a netball game. You’ll be chuffed when you finish it!
(PS Sometimes this drill takes me ten minutes and sometimes closer to an hour!)
For more tips on shooting techniques in netball, check out my blog on all things shooting techniques!
Netball Drill 3:
Netball passing drill
Focus: passing accuracy and decision-making at speed.
Equipment: a netball, a wall (put numbers on as shown in the diagram if you can and add in another person to help if you want!).
How to do this netball passing drill:
- put 30 seconds on a timer
- while stationary, see how many times you can hit the same number in the time allowed
- work around all four numbers. 1 – overhead pass, 2 – left shoulder pass, 3 – right shoulder pass, 4 – chest pass
- repeat 3 times
How to advance this netball passing drill:
Start with your back to the wall, and throw 3 anywhere balls (if you have a partner, ask them to throw the ball to you). Once you’ve collected the third ball, turn to the wall and offload to one of the numbers using a pass of your choice. If you’re working with a partner, get them to call the number. Repeat for 10 and try to hit the number each time!
Add in a defender and pick a number to offload to, this is harder because you have to get the ball around the defender (the defender is 3ft away with their arms up blocking the pass!). Progress this further by making the defender more active and both contest the ball once you’ve hit the number on the wall.
Why this is a good netball passing drill:
This is a fun netball passing drill that works on your passing accuracy using a range of passing styles. It also helps you make decisions quickly and follow your gut instinct!
Netball Drill 4:
Netball marking drill
Focus: Quick footwork while marking an opponent, keeps your head up to sight the ball and helps you get the perfect timing onto the ball.
Equipment: a netball, a wall, a feeder, 4 targets to work between (use cones or water bottles etc).
how to do this netball marking drill:
- start on one side between 2 cones
- facing inwards, work your feet up and down between the cones
- feeder throws the ball onto the wall
- go for the interception either before the ball hits the wall or re-gather once it bounces off
- offload back to the feeder, work the other side
Why this is a good netball marking drill:
This netball passing drill gets your feet moving quickly. It’s great to practice winning the ball and shutting down an opponent.
Netball Drill 5:
Getting in front of your defender in netball
Focus: footwork around your opponent, staying in front of them and staying ball side
Equipment: an object to work around, ie chair or bin, 2 targets, a feeder and a netball.
How to get in front of your defender in netball:
- the feeder holds the ball in one hand
- whichever hand the ball is in, the worker must get ball side, (on the same side as the ball) and in front of the object
- for example, if the ball is in the feeder’s right hand the worker must work around the object to be on the right-hand side
- when the feeder wants, they pass the ball towards the cone on that side
- the worker has to cut the line of the ball to try and take the ball
Why this is a good netball drill to practice how to get in front of the defender:
This is a great netball drill to practice quick footwork and get ball side to get in front of the defender. Multiple efforts mimic match play plus it will work on your body positioning and help you move your feet in order to dictate where you want to take the ball.
Quick-fire Q&A with Natalie Metcalf:
How many times a week do netballers train?
My weekly schedule in Superleague netball season would generally consist of:
• 3 x netball court training sessions
• 2 x bike sessions (conditioning)
• 4 x weights sessions (2 main lifts and 2 accessory lifts in season)
• Daily netball shooting practice either at home or at training
• Daily mobility (yoga or gentle stretching)
• Rehab/prehab before every court or gym session
WHat are the 5 basic skills in netball?
- Catching – meeting the netball with strong hands on the take
- Passing – accuracy and being able to complete a range of passes
- Footwork – strong on the landings and quick feet in attack to dictate where the defence go
- Turning ability – inside vs outside, turning full and with hips and head-turning quickly
- Movement – having different styles and ways of getting free and the ability to offer multiple times to receive a call and shift the defender
What are the two more important skills to learn in netball?
- Teamwork – it’s extremely important to be able to work as part of a team. Netball is the ultimate team sport as every player is involved in order to score a goal.
- Being game smart – whether in attack or defence, learning to read the game to win an intercept or feed a shooter from the 1/3 line is crucial in netball. We’re always learning to keep our play unpredictable and the opponents guessing – so go on – test yourself and try new things.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my favourite netball training drills. Give these drills a go and let me know how you get on!
About the author, Natalie Metcalf:
Natalie is an Elite Netball Academy Ambassador, Superleague player and International netballer. Natalie regularly attends our netball camps and netball classes to pass on her expertise to our athletes.
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