This page has been kindly supplied by Pam Barham of Network Coaching International

Footwork" Know How" for Netball

All netball coaching programmes need to include footwork practices which develop body control when catching and throwing a ball, speedy changes of direction and sharp footwork positioning to hold down a space and cut off a defender's effectiveness. Constant and corrective comment assists players to strive towards error free performances. Striving for top performance gives a player sharpness and an awareness of responsibility within a team structure. The following practices can form the basis of either an "at home" programme for individual players or activities for a training session. The number of repeats will depend on the age and experience of the players concerned.

Individual players

Activity 1

Formation: Triangle of cones three metres apart.
Start from one corner and work around the outside of the cones.
Sprint - 10 secs - jog 30 secs
Slide (side step) - 10 secs - jog 30 secs
Repeat several times covering the same distance with each repeat.

Coaching points: Eyes up, quick changes of movement at cones, push hard with the legs as you change direction.

Variation 1

Sprint around the cones in a figure of 8.

Variation 2

Slide (side step) around the cones in a figure of 8.

Variation 3

Introduce changes of direction moving to any cone in the triangle.

Coaching points: Body balance, keep knees bent, back straight, eyes up, small quick steps.

Activity 2


Formation: Square Pattern of cones 3 metres apart. Start in middle of square. Design a pattern of movement which incorporates short sharp movements to each cones in turn, always recovering to the centre of the square. For example: sprint to left forward cone and back to starting point; sprint to cone behind and right. Use high intensity movement for 10 secs, jog 30 secs. Repeat several times.

Variation 1

Use sliding and sprinting movements.

Variation 2

Pivot to change direction.

Coaching Points: Keep movements sharp. Body low stance. Head up and focus eyes on a central point.


Activity 1

Introduce ball throwing

All the practices in the Individual Activities section can be repeated using a ball thrown by a partner to the moving player, at various times during the activity.

Coaching points: Focus eyes on each other. Use a variety of passes.

Activity 2

Movement reaction practice

Players face each other about 2 metres apart. Player A works at various foot movements, e.g. hop one leg, jump up and down, slide left and right a few steps, various jumps using various foot patterns and pivots etc. Player B tries to quickly copy partner's movements. Exchange the lead.

Coaching points: Focus eyes on each other. React quickly without dropping focus to feet level.

Activity 3

Signal reaction practice

Player A stands still facing player B, 3 metres apart. Player B sprints around partner without contacting and responds to the call of Player A, for example, slide, change direction, sprint, turn left etc.,
Work high intensity 10 secs, jog 30 seconds. Repeat several times, then change places with your partner.

Coaching points: Body positioning, speed changes and focus.

Activity 4

Speed practices in competition with another player.

Place cones 3 metres apart on the side lines of a netball court or similar space. Players stand with a partner in the middle of the court, opposite the cones. On a signal the players sprint to the opposite sides of the court slide around the cone, sprint to the other side, slide around the cone and sprint back to the starting position. Repeat several times.

Variation 1

Time one run through of each player. See if they can beat their own time over several attempts ( say 5 trials.)

Variation 2

Use two cones on each sideline for each pair of players. Slide around the cones in a figure of 8 pattern before returning to the starting position.

Coaching points: Body positioning - should be low around the cones. Good arm pumping in the sprint run, fairly still when sliding. Keep feet moving sharply.

Variation 3

A ball can be introduced into this work when and where appropriate.

More footwork drills can be found in Netball at a Glance and Fit & Skilful Bk 1, obtainable from Network Coaching International (in the UK)or (in Australia).

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