FUNCTIONAL TRAINING TOOLS
TOUGH TIMES DON'T LAST.
TOUGH PEOPLE DO.
It is important to train all of the physical attributes needed to play a game of netball. This includes endurance, speed, strength, power, skills and footwork.
We will always incorporate these elements in our training programmes and help you improve your athleticism and skill-set on court.
“If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” Ben Hogan
Endurance is key to develop, especially in pre-season This is your underlying aerobic base, some people refer to it as the ‘engine’. Essentially, the more oxygen an individual can consume and use, the more work you will be able to do.
If an individual has a high aerobic capacity, there is a greater flow of oxygenated blood to the muscle tissue. The greater the aerobic capacity of a netball player, the more likely it is, that the netballer can practice and compete for longer and at higher intensities.
This higher blood flow aids recovery during and in-between training sessions, creating a positive feedback loop. A player who can recover more efficiently to a higher training demand and load will gain greater adaptations and make better improvements in performance.
The average effort for a netball match is 6 seconds across all positions, in a recent study, it was found that the average distance covered by a Centre is 8.5km and a GK is 4.2km. This distance, combined with the intermittent nature of the sport, means that netball players need to develop both their aerobic and anaerobic capacities to the highest of levels.
HIIT (high intensity interval training), will optimise your anaerobic and aerobic capacities. For example including one session working at short and sharp intervals of 15-20 seconds at maximum speed and intensity, but also another session involving longer intervals 2-3 minutes ‘on’ 2-3 minutes ‘off’ working constantly at a high level of intensity.
Developing your ‘base’ can be achieved through LISS training (Low Intensity Steady State Training), ensuring that your heart rate does not go past Zone 2 (55%-65% of your Maximum heart rate). This ‘Zone 2’ work can be accumulated during warm-ups, but can also be specifically be targeted by spending some time just working at lower intensities (on a bike 30 minutes not going past 55%-65% of you maximum heart rate etc.)
To put this into perspective when you are playing a netball match, you on average spend half a game at 75% to 85% of your maximum heart rate (which is intense!), so we want to replicate this intensity, but not overtrain, which is why it is important to build this up over time.
“Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.” Will Smith
Without stating the obvious, you need to ensure you are tactically, physically and mentally capable of reading the game and executing skills under physical and mental fatigue.
Practicing 'Ball on Wall', doing target practice, team drills, game related training, video analysis and training positionally specific skills, will enable you to continue developing your netball performances away from a 'match-day'.
Additionally, practicing generic hand eye coordination skills such as juggling and our 'off the wall' drills can help develop reaction time and ball handling. See this "link" for our 'off the wall' YouTube video, where you can follow along too.
Finally, watching netball is a great way of improving your game. You should watch live or on the TV and concentrate on your position and the opposite position, see if you can identify any patterns or tactics, anything that could be done better and anything executed really well. Analysing video footage of yourself playing can be a great way of seeing what your coach is seeing and giving you a useful perspective of what you need to improve on. Watching high level netball is also a brilliant way of seeing how the top players play and what you might need to practice to reach those heights.
TOP PLAYERS TO WATCH:
GK: Geva Mentor (England)
GD: Jane Watson (NZ)
WD: Serena Guthrie (England)
C: Kate Maloney & Liz Watson (AUS)
WA: Liana Leota (NZ)
GA: Helen Housby (England)
GS: Amelieranne Ekanasio (NZ) & George Fisher (England)
TIP: whenever you are doing a session where you’re feeling fatigued, in your recovery throw a ball onto the wall aiming for a particular brick/mark. Try doing x 10 chest, x 10 shoulder right & x 10 left and x 10 overhead. Only count the ones you hit! This should help you deliver accurate passes under fatigue.
STRENGTH, SPEED & POWER
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
Strength is extremely important as a netball player. Strength is the ability to generate force and is part of the underlying foundation that will allow us to build speed and power.
Being a strong netball player improves your ability to accelerate, decelerate and withstand actions such as, jumping, sprinting and change of direction. This decreases the risk of injuries and increases the chance of better performances.
Landing is a fundamental skill of lots of movements performed during netball and appropriate lower limb strength training has been shown to reduce the likelihood of injuries. By including jumping and landing in multiple directions within your training, with a focus on landing techniques, can help reduce your chance of injury too.
This can be further developed through, progressive plyometric training such as double leg jumps, single leg hops and controlled landings, these can be included in warm-ups before strength and speed work.
High power movements such as weight-lifting, depth jumps and jumping squats are also beneficial to performance, improving your change of direction, speed, jumping and sprinting.
20m Sprints - do at the start of your speed session after your warm-up so you’re really fresh.
2 x each, build up to max speed - 50%, 75%, 100% sprints (all gradual acceleration/deceleration)
2 x gradual acceleration to 100%, gradual deceleration
2 x static start to 100%, gradual deceleration
2 x static start to 100%, more sudden stop (try sitting back on your heels & control of your knees)
Speed session: - checkout a netu speed and agility session by visiting our netu fitness YouTube channel and watching our “netu speed & agility 8 cone mania” video.
Strength & Power
At home it can be difficult to access workouts that cover the strength and power elements of training, but here’s a great “Full Body” session to start with and to base your future workouts on:
Cat-camels, down-ward dogs, high lunge + twists, deep squat + twists
2. Ankle/Knee Stability:
Calf raises x 10e/s, High Knee Reaches x 10e/s, Toe Taps (front, side, back, reverse side) x 4e/s, Arabesques x 4e/s, Arabesques + Hip Tilt x 4e/s, Glute bridge x 10, Glute Bridge Marches x 10e/s
3. Heart Rate Up:
Get your muscles warm by spending some time (<5min) moving your body. You can use a cardio machine of your choice, preferably one that works the muscles you are about to use. Since this is a full body work out, skipping with a rope, getting on the assault bike or the cross-trainer would all be good choices.
4. Deadlifts - 3 x 10-12 reps
Spend some time building up to a weight you can complete 10-12 reps at. The last 2 reps should be challenging. If you know your 1RM - the 3 sets should be 50% - 65% of your 1RM.
5. Super Set 1:
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 3 x 8-10 reps e/s
Bent Over Single Arm Row 3 x 8-10 reps e/s
(lean on a bench for stability with the arm that is not working)
6. Super Set 2:
Lying Leg Curl on Swiss Ball 3 x 8-10 reps
Stir The Pot 3 x 6 reps clockwise, 6 reps anti-clockwise
Press-up 3 x 8 reps (use variations e.g. knees down, but try to improve week on week)
7. Finisher: Complete Reps 10,8,6,4,2
A. Ground to over head thrusters e/s
B. Box Jumps
- Pigeon pose + walk hands down
- Glute stretch holding leg behind the knee
- Glute cross-over stretch (arms in T)
- Child’s pose into cobra, ending on child’s pose, walking hands from side to side.
We would recommend 3 strength sessions per week covering core, upper body and lower body.
We would also recommend that your workouts focus on stability first, then endurance, hypertrophy, strength and finally power. All this means is start doing workouts with light weights/body weight, short rest (<30secs), high reps (18-25), only 1-2 sets, then progressing every week or two weeks to power, where you lift the heaviest weight you can, for only 1-3 reps, with 4-5min rest, but 5-6 sets.
This process can take time, so work up to power workouts slowly, take advice from a qualified trainer if unsure and listen to your body.
As qualified trainers ourselves, at NETU we provide programming that will enable you to access workouts that safely get you stronger and fitter for netball specifically. Our programmes are unique in that they are focussed around netball movements, netball injuries and we are able to take influence from S&C programmes we have received in the years of professional netball we have played.