Here at Elite Netball Academy, we’re committed to training our athletes smartly and working hard to make a difference in the sport of netball.
We’ve recognised the need for access to quality training environments to develop technical, tactical, physical and psychological competencies within the sport. To develop these areas, we have created Elite Netball Performance Pillars for our athletes.
What are Performance Pillars in sport?
Performance pillars in sport can be used to roadmap the route to achieving a team or athlete’s overarching aim, whether that be pathway selection for Country, a Superleague club or excelling at local club-level netball. Pillars are constructed using a mix of short, mid, and long-term goals, these are surrounded by process and performance goals needed that are required to achieve them.
Technical Performance Pillar
The technical performance pillar refers to the fundamental and more advanced skills of the sport. In netball, for example, these would include passing, catching, landing, shooting, turning, positional responsibilities and so on.
Elite Netball Academy has a curriculum of competencies that have been developed for delivery and built up over a number of years by Anna Carter and other World Class coaches. The curriculum ensures that players are hitting a level of expectation at each age and stage that would ensure they move forward to be better players with a good foundation to build on.
Each player is different and will have different competencies that need more attention and that’s why we often revisit the curriculum every six weeks to adapt or change it for the needs of the group.
Tactical Performance Pillar
This performance pillar refers to strategies and decision-making. In netball, it would include decisions about centre passes, attack setups, centre pass defence setups, man-to-man defence or zonal, set plays and so forth. While we don’t touch on lots of this at Elite Netball Academy due to us not being a presentational team, we share principles of what good looks like and common knowledge of what players would be expected to know and understand at a certain level.
In training, we try to ensure that all skills, drills and development of understanding are put out on the court in some kind of gameplay, setup or scenario.
Physical Performance Pillar
It is important to us at Elite Netball Academy that players, parents and coaches understand that physical development is based upon a foundation of movement skill and mobility development. We will spend a lot of time developing a generic physical base for all athletes such as movement skills (e.g. locomotor, stability and object control), sport-specific skills, mobility, agility, speed, power, strength, hypertrophy, endurance and metabolic conditioning with an emphasis on age and stage of development. The body must be built on strong foundations.
In the physical part, we also include nutrition referring to a generally balanced diet, nutrition specifics to training and competition, assessment of body composition and hydration strategies. Basically, great life advice and a firm direction on what we need as athletes to make sure we stay injury-free; we fuel our bodies appropriately for what is needed and have a healthy relationship with food.
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Nat Metcalf’s blog on what to eat before a netball game, click here to read more.
Psychological Performance Pillar
This pillar refers to a wide range of psychological variables that influence performance and are influenced by it. The typical list of mental skills associated with elite athletes includes control, arousal, mental imagery, high self-motivation, absolute self-confidence, good concentration, and effective management of emotions and moods.
At Elite we aim to offer varied workshops and resources throughout the season to support their understanding of these areas.
What can high-performance centre athletes expect from Elite Netball Academy in relation to these Performance Pillars:
Here’s how our High-Performance Centre athletes will get support in terms of our four performance pillars:
- Well-organised sessions with intensity
- Effective communication
- Individual targets and expectations
- Support and development plans to support the player’s progress
- Three fitness tests a year with feedback, actions and a bespoke programme based on results
- Sessions with Elite Netball Academy ambassadors Natalie Metcalf and Natalie Panagarry
- Education on pillars throughout the year
- Support with any outside feedback being received and how we can support that
Here is how we apply performance pillars for our athletes
|Fundamentals such as footwork, passing and catching. Revisited often but introduced in different practices to keep them engaged
|Basics of attack and defence principles. Recognise the rules and apply them. Learning the positions on the court with their roles and responsibilities.
|Big focus on building a variety of movement skills and fitness. Can be disguised through warm-up games or team games at the end of the session.
|Create a fun and engaging environment that builds confidence in the players.
Build teamwork and cooperation skills.
|Junior Academy U12
|Refine existing skills and move forward to more advanced skills. Drills build the knowledge base and skill acquisition
|Learning more about the positional role, layers of attack and defence. Devise strategies and tactics to apply them on the court.
|General fitness activities but the focus is on building multi-functional movement techniques, which is included in the session.
|Understand their role and responsibility on the court and within a team scenario.
Develop internal feedback and analysis, and begin to recognise your own strengths.
|Executing on-court skills to a high standard. Drills have a mixture of outcomes to support gameplay.
|Putting technical learning on the court in conditioned games and scenarios. Knowing ‘what good looks like’ in common tactical setups.
|Netball-specific fitness testing, followed by bespoke S&C plans for each athlete. Workshops are delivered throughout the year to help the athletes on their personal journey.
|Feedback is provided by coaches throughout the year to support individual development. Suitable parent and athlete educational workshops delivered for identified areas of support.
About our High-Performance Centre netball classes
Our High-Performance Centres are for young athletes with the passion and drive to achieve their netball dreams. This might be to make the school team, play at club level, getting accepted into a franchise or international pathway.
Elite Netball Academy coaches have a wealth of experience in improving netball skills and getting the best from players who want to take their netball to the next level. You will work with coaches and players at the highest level of the sport who have experience in pathway programmes and with Superleague clubs.
Together we can help you go far.
If you have any further questions about our Performance Pillars, please do not hesitate to contact us.