Whether you are a beginner netball player or you've been practising netball for a number of years, in order to improve your game it is essential to practice regularly.
One of the elements to becoming a good netball player is to embrace new skills and learn how to critique them. There are netball drills for every aspect of the sport from shooting to conditioning, which will help you to get to grips with the game.
Below, Newitts lists five netball training drills for beginner netball players and five for more advanced junior players. Remember, it is important to master the basics before moving on to the harder techniques.
Beginner netball drills
Learning to shoot using BEEF
Learning to shoot is a challenge for beginner netball players, but it can be made a lot easier by using the acronym BEEF. It's important to master the words and technique before you start to add a ball into the mix. See below for a full explanation of BEEF:
Balance: Focus on balancing your body on strong feet that are approximately shoulder width apart and point toward your goal.
Eyes: Imagine that something is floating just above the netball ring then aim for it.
Elbow: Make your elbows face the ring with your arms extended close to your ear. Maintain your elbows in this position whilst allowing your arms to bend backward before releasing the ball.
Follow Through: Follow through is the flick of the wrist from the shooting hand.
Learning positions - Learning positions can be tricky for junior netball players, so invent a netball drill that makes this element of the game fun. Have players run to each spot and call out the name of the position before they get there. After a few weeks you can try timing each player as they run through and name each position.
Stepping - Learning not to step can be hard for new players, so why not invent a game to help. The ice-cream game is a tried and tested netball drill that involves players lining up at the base line, then running until a whistle is blown. At the sound of the whistle, players must do a low jump (as if over a puddle) and land on one foot while yelling "ice". As they start to put their back foot down, they yell "cream".
Catching and passing - The art of catching and passing can be practised using a bean bag to avoid any initial injuries. Get your junior netball players into a circle and ask each player to practice tossing the bag to their left then their right. Go around the circle several times with the beanbag to give players time to understand the different passes and how to be accurate before you introduce the ball.
Movement - To practice movement, ask your players to form two parallel lines at the base line then call out the movements you want them to perform. Each team member must perform their movement down the court then get back into line. To make this netball drill more fun, why not give each player a turn calling out what they want their teammates to perform. This drill is an excellent all-round training drill for netball players of all levels.
Junior Netball Drills
Warming up legs - It's important to get your legs fully warmed up before you begin a game as your legs will take the brunt of the work on during a match. Ask players to form two parallel lines at the end of the court approximately 5 feet from one another. The person at the head of the line starts with their choice of leg warm up, then once they've got to the end of the court, they jog back and the whole group repeats it. After that round, the second person in the line becomes the leader and so on.
Warming up hands - The fast hands netball drill is an excellent way to warm up hands and bodies and get players used to quick reaction times. Split your players into pairs, with each pair taking a ball. Ask players to stand 10-12 feet away from one another, with one player holding the ball and the other player's hands down at their sides. The player with the ball with then use a chest pass to pass the ball to the player whose hands are down. Only when the pass is in progress can the player without the ball move their hands to try and catch it.
Defence - You'll need seven or more players to perform this netball drill. Begin by asking players to form a circle with two teammates stood in the middle of it. The players who are in the circle must then pass the ball to one another using different techniques while calling out the recipient's name. If the ball is intercepted, the person who tossed it should then switch places with one of the players in the centre.
Shooting - You'll need two players, a ball and a pole to perform this netball drill aimed at practicing shooting. One player must act as the defender whilst the other is the shooter. The shooter's goal is to overcome the arms of the defender by making a shot. Repeat the drill until 10 shots have been successfully made. This is also an ideal netball drill for critiquing shooting technique.
Footwork - This netball drill encourages fast footwork whilst also implementing defensive actions. Ask the players to get into two circles within a 30-foot by 30-foot square designated by cones. The group in the inside circle then runs clockwise whilst the outer circle runs counter clockwise. The coach yells "jailbreak" and at this point the members in the inside circle must try to escape the square. Members gain points for escaping. You can make the drill harder by timing how long each team takes to escape.