Returning to coaching can be both exciting and challenging. Leap’s Workforce Project Officer Shay Fenlon recently spoke to two local coaches Sachel Grant and Ana Sellors. He asked how they have adapted their sessions to meet current restrictions while ensuring their participants still have fun.
Netball coach Sachel Grant works with players of all abilities throughout the netball pathway and is Saracens Mavericks Pathway Head Coach. As an indoor close contact sport netball has made many changes to training and match rules to enable them to continue.
- Sachel wears a face shield rather than a mask to make it easier for her to see faces and for participants to see hers.
- Celebrating success is a big part of netball. Players have found that learning to replace the high 5 with air high 5s and elbow raises has been great fun. Sachel uses stars on a board along with a ‘winners wall’ to highlight great performances.
- An alarm set for every 15 minutes prompts everyone to stop and sanitise their hands and equipment.
- Keeping players as one team, with no social interaction reduces risk but Sachel does find that she is constantly reminding players to maintain social distance with each other!
- When it’s time for a team talk they’re held on court where there’s more space and at the end of games they clap or stamp as an alternative to cheering.
- The social aspect of team sports is so important: Sachel has a player’s communication group and uses WhatsApp to keep in touch with players
- She begins sessions with a mirror dance, or movement. ..the child shakes their body and coach has to copy the movement. Ana likes this as it is simple, short and great fun.
- A bell will replace the High 5: Ana rings it when they play a good shot. As the group is small, she may change this to a bell for each player. Ana is thinking about creating some hand signs for tactics movements or reminders.
- Team talks are usually held after each session and these are now being held outside if the weather permits. Ana finds her players always like the final chat and the social aspect of her sessions: she thinks it’s important to listen to what the players want and adapt.
Thank you to all our amazing coaches in Bucks and Milton Keynes who are embracing the challenges to help our communities stay physically active. If you would like any further supports, please see our Support for Deliverers page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org