Category: News

Round 7 President’s Report

 

Hello everyone and welcome to round 7.

It is hard to believe that a third of the season is now behind us and it will not be long before the talk in town will be all about finals. However, we cannot get too far in front of ourselves as we must endure what winter has to throw at us first and, in that regard, hopefully, the weather gods will be somewhat kind to us all.

My travels last week were very limited in comparison to a few weeks prior as I unexpectedly found myself headed to the Glengarry Rec reserve to umpire a Senior game of football. I am sure this may have raised a few eyebrows from a few punters in the crowd, but the job got done and I was lucky to be part of a great game of football played in good spirit which the Roo’s ran out eventual winners.

Over on the Glengarry Netball courts, the ladies were not only playing competitive games and keeping the crowd entertained but the lady Magpies were fundraising for Breast Cancer. Congrats to everyone who pitched in to help and nor should we forget to acknowledge those various sponsors who supported the day which culminated in approx $2500 being raised to this worthy cause.

As I left the venue later in the day, I thought to myself what a great job our clubs do when it comes to supporting these types of initiatives. There is not one club in our league that does rise to the occasion when asked and nor is there any club that does not dig deep when required regardless of how tough things might be in the day to day landscape. I can think of many things I love about the NGFNL but examples like this simple fund-raising effort make me proud of those involved and the NGFNL. Everyone at every club should take a moment to pat yourselves on the back for the work they do in these instances. Well done everyone.

During the week I received a phone from a great mate in our Football/Netball community to ask me how I was going and check in on me. He was apologetic he had not contacted me sooner or more regularly and I was just humbled he had made the effort.

Of course, this was totally unexpected but reminded me how simple things can have such a dramatic impact. Mental Health is such a tricky subject but none of us should underestimate the significance of a simple and genuine phone call. I encourage you all to find 10 minutes and ring someone this week who you have not spoken to in a while and check in on them. If nothing else, say hello and ask how they are doing. Don’t think about it or make excuses just do it and know that you have had an impact for the better to someone else within your circle of friends.

The relationship between the SUA and NGFNL has been long, enduring, and fruitful over many years and as I have spoken about many times, we are one of only a handful of leagues in Victoria who have all positions filled on game day by third party officials. But the SUA needs help in recruiting a few resources and I am convinced there are few football loving individuals who perhaps see umpiring as a viable activity in supporting community sport. So, if you are one of those individuals who has ever thought about having a crack at umpiring (Goal, Field or boundary) then I encourage you to get in touch with the SUA and have a go to see if this is something that may fill a void in your Saturday.

In my opinion, past players make great candidates as umpires as they have played the game and appreciate what is required when having a whistle in hand. Again, you may not have thought about umpiring but why don’t you go and then you can tick that box and see what it is like on the others side of the fence. Joining the SUA does not mean anything other than helping them fill positions in the most important aspect of our game. SUA contacts details are in the tagger or give me a call and I point you in the right direction or give you a helping hand.

Whilst on the subject of Umpires the same can probably be said for Netball Umpires. If you have any interest or desire then I implore you to get in touch with your club’s Netball coordinator. There is mentoring available from very experienced League mentors and there are various courses your club and league can offer you to make you better and elevate you through the learnings and grades of Netball Umpiring. Again, if you are interested then put your hand up and have a crack.

In Senior football last week we saw some close games played. As mentioned I was at Glengarry vs Heyfield where the Pies led for the majority of the day but the Roo’s found some inspiration and momentum late on the game to come away victorious and record their first win for the season. The Demons at home had too many options up forward which the Blues could not contain and proved again they are hard to beat on home turf. Churchill set tongues wagging with a solid win over the much talked about YYNFNC Jets and perhaps shows our league is very competitive at the top end. The Saints put up a solid effort, but the Woodside Cats had too much firepower all over the ground. The Tigers were close to recording a second win but could not overcome a gritty Bulldog outfit who snuck over the line for a 5 point victory.

In this week’s round we have some very interesting matches scheduled which I hope will attract good crowds at our respective venues. Sale City host Cowwarr and I get the feeling the Saints are not far away from a win in 2022. However, the Bulldogs always play well on home soil and will be difficult to beat and I have a 50 cent bet either way subject to injuries and COVID related issues.

The Cats host the Cougars, and this should be a cracking game based on current form. Both clubs will be looking to flex their muscles and send a message to everyone on the NGFNL, Hard to pick a winner but I suspect the Cats hold a small home ground advantage in this game.

The Jets will host the TTU bombers who will be fresh from a week’s brake and buoyed with confidence from a good win in round 5 over the Cougars in a night game. However, the Jets will be disappointed with a loss last week and be looking for some redemption at the expense of TTU. The Jets have talent all over the park and the Bombers will need to be at their very best if they are to leave Jets country with another 4 points in the bank.

The Roo’s host the Tigers and again this might be a much closer game than many may think. The Roo’s recorded win number one last week and I was impressed by the young talent this club is again fostering and developing. However, the Tigers were solid last week and will see this game as a genuine opportunity to taste success again. That being said, the Roo’s will not want this game to slip from their grasp and at home I think have some advantages and can continue the positive momentum they have created over the last few weeks.

In the final game, the Blues host the Pies and I think this will be another great game of footy. The Blues have plenty of talent but appear to be playing patchy football and will be a significantly better outfit when they can consistently put 4 quarters together. The Pies, on the other hand, know that when they take the game on and play an aggressive play on at all costs style of football they are a much better team than their performances to date reflect. The trouble is I just don’t know which Magpie team is going to turn up. The Blues may have pencilled in 4 points, but they should not take this game for granted or the Pies will depart with the points and record their second win for the season.

 Well, that’s enough from me, let the sirens sound and good luck to everyone today.

Play hard but play fair.

Speak soon David “dirty” Kyle President


Shane Morgan plays 300th!

 

Shane has been playing for Cowwarr football netball club for over 20 years. His career highlight include:

2005 League B&F

2006 Rookie of the year

2006 Senior Premiership

Multiple team of the year player – 2006 & 2012

League Leading Goal kicker

Shane’s grandfather Dave Morgan player for Cowwarr FNC and was club president for several years. His mother was also a Cowwarr netballer for many years.

Part of our Senior playing group and leadership group for the past 10 years.

Finals Decision

 

This afternoon, the AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League Board of Directors wrote to all clubs to inform them that the unpalatable decision has been made to abandon the 2021 finals series.

From the letter distributed to all clubs.

I am writing to everyone again to continue my openness and transparency from within the Board room and convey some of the decisions and associated rationale. 

You should all know nothing is considered lightly and nor without lengthy periods of consideration and consultancy where appropriate.

We all find ourselves anchored and locked in uncharted waters, and not only are they uncharted waters but with an environment congealed with ongoing uncertainty and with what seems constant directional change from those who govern us above.

The Board understand this drives frustration, and we equally understand that we all crave clarity to enable us to plan and execute outcomes within community sport.

Despite what any other league may be communicating, for which they are rightfully entitled to do, our Board sees many significant challenges to deliver an abridged finals competition. 

  • The current lockdown has been extended by the Andrews government, eradicating at least a further two weeks of ability to return to play, inclusive of time to prepare and train.
  • We understand the Andrews government has indicated and prompted some lifting of restrictions, but this is to be balanced against historic policy implemented after lockdown periods, stated vaccination criteria, and rising active cases in the Victorian community.
  • There is even some public suggestion leaked or otherwise, that should restrictions lift in regional Victoria, they will not include the return to play of community sport. 
  • As I write this note, our league has not played competitive sport for 9 weeks. We can add an additional 2 weeks from what I have mentioned above, let alone AFL Vic recommendation that a 14 day preparation for play should also apply. At what point do we all have an OH&S responsibility but to comply?
  • Player engagement is becoming tricky, and we still do not have a pathway for many players who reside in Melbourne or work interstate the return home and play 
  • Of course, on top of that we should also consider the workforce, volunteers, and umpires behind the scenes. Nothing in that space just happens without planning and effort.
  • Fairness and Equity of all matters in this space has been at the forefront of your Boards mind and throughout our decision-making processes we have been extremely cognizant of this within our final’s series and Brand. How do we balance one scenario against another or one club’s ability to advance against any other participant?

There were several other major decisions decided by the Board, which have become a ramification of making this decision.

  • The league will award a minor Premiership Cup to all teams who finished on top the league ladder after round 11 of the home and away competition. Ironically round 11 also signified the point in our season where every club had played each other once and every club had endured a season bye.
  • NO premiership flag nor premiership medals will be awarded.
  • In our junior competitions we have undefeated teams in under 15 & 17 Netball and under 18 Football and would like to recognize this outstanding achievement by having a minor premier and undefeated medal created for distribution to clubs. As a suggestion these could be handed out at club Presentation and Award nights assuming lockdown restrictions are lifted, and this can occur. A Board member is committed to attending to assist. 
  • From a respect and transparency perspective, all club Presidents who had a participating team in top position as at round 11 will contacted directly to advise this decision prior to any advice to our member clubs and prior to any public announcement 
  • League Best and Fairest awards will be delivered and formalized for season 2021. 
  • The Board intends to pre tape and produce a B & F award ceremony which will be available for download and viewing on AFL Grand Final eve. This will be a succinct version with other league highlights and interviews. Further details will be advised indue course regarding the time of release and access pathways etc.

In conclusion, I trust we all understand most of season 2021 has been a tricky space to navigate and anyone involved in community sport would have been challenged one way or another.

The challenges of getting the gang back together have been immense, the drain on volunteers has been like no other and the support of sponsors at every level has been inspiring and I thank you all.

If there is anything positive to come from this news is that your Board has spoken about, what can we do in 2022 that is different and engaging, what can we do to rebuild the value in community sport.

We now have some extra thinking time to ponder the ideas we already have in the suggestion box.

 So, whilst 2021 did not conclude as we all envisaged, I look forward to season 2022 with renewed enthusiasm.

I have great belief in the extended family of the NGFNL and I know that our brand will remain strong in pursuit of a collective passion for community sport. 

Speak soon 

David Kyle 
President  

Regional Community Sport Cancelled

 

Tonight we have received a notification from AFL Victoria that following a directive from the Victorian State Government, all community sport across regional Victoria is to be cancelled immediately.

The NGFNL Board will meet over the weekend to discuss the next steps with our finals series.

However, unfortunately, no football or netball this weekend.

Keith Lang-Bill Onley Cup

 

One of North Gippsland football and netball’s most quintessential traditions will be renewed this weekend when Glengarry and Gormandale contest the Keith Lang-Bill Onley Cup.

Established in 2010 in place of a sponsored annual trophy of 25 years, the occasion celebrates one of the league’s oldest rivalries and acknowledges the contribution of two great individuals and their families to the league and their respective clubs.

Lang was a premiership player with the Magpies in 1929 and 1930, a league best and fairest in 1935 and spent 45 years on the Glengarry committee, where he also filled the role of president, and served more than four decades as time keeper.

Onley was himself a dual premiership player, helping Gormandale to the 1946 and 1954 flags, and also a league best and fairest in 1949, before providing many years of service to the Tigers as a trainer, boot studder, club office bearer and fundraiser.

Both men are life members of their clubs and have had many family members follow in their footsteps and represent the clubs on the football field and netball court over the years.

Lang’s daughter Gwenda King – herself a Glengarry life member – credited fellow Magpies great John Brady with the initial idea for the Lang-Onley Cup, and said its enduring legacy could be found among its origins as a Mother’s Day event.

“Back then the league were trying to promote getting more family orientated and John thought this would be great as something different,” King said.

“To get a game on the Sunday and on Mother’s Day wasn’t so easy because people said ‘oh you’re not going to get people coming on Mother’s Day’ and ‘people aren’t going to want to come on a Sunday’.

“It took a bit initially to promote it and get it going but the league said ‘we’ll give it a go’ and it ended up being a really good trailblazer for North Gippy.

“It’s a family friendly day and we try to make it that because it’s family history both clubs are talking about.”

As with all of the league’s planned activities, the cup was unable to go ahead last year due to the covid pandemic.

Adding to the already anticipated return is the prospect that it could also be the last time these particular greats are honoured in this way.

While a final decision on the future of the cup is yet to be made by the clubs, King said a rebrand as per the original plan would be fitting of the spirit in which is was formed.

“It was meant to go for 10 years and I think taking covid out of it, this would possibly be the last year,” she said.

“I know how much it has meant to us and we were very lucky that [when it started] Mr and Mrs Onley were still alive whereas my mum and dad weren’t so it was very special to them when they met up with us – me and my three brothers and our family – and it created a really good connection.

“Both families would go out at the end of the game and present the Bill Onley Medal and the Keith Lang Medal and I could see other families that are due that same sort of acknowledgement and would enjoy that acknowledgement of their history in the clubs.”

While it’s unlikely any Lang or Onley descendants will be taking the field or court this year, King and her brothers Ian and Peter Lang, and Onley’s granddaughter Ellen Sykes (Jennings) – also a life member of the Tigers – are understood to be available to present the medals on the day.

The Keith Lang-Bill Onley Cup will be played at Glengarry Recreation Reserve this Saturday, with games commencing at 9:00am.

CLUB RECORD SET TO BE BROKEN

 

This weekend Yallourn-Yallourn North’s Premiership winning playing coach Barrie Burnett will break the club’s playing record as he plays game 320 for the club against Gornamdale.

Barrie passed the 300 game milestone in May 2019. In doing so joined a select group of players who played 300 senior games in the club’s history. And against the tigers, he will pass the previous record of 319 games held by Wayne Paulet, who is currently an Assistant Coach of the senior team.

Barrie has played all his football at YYNFNC. Starting in the U/11’s as a six-year old and making his senior debut at 18. He has become a great leader at the club and was instrumental in both the Senior and Reserves Premiership wins in Mid Gippsland Football League in 2019.

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In a recent article in The Weekly Times, he spoke about how the role of senior coach now goes beyond football.

“You are not just a senior coach anymore; you’re pretty much everything. You’ve got to deal with all these young people and try to help them along the journey, and probably the most rewarding part is seeing them not just succeed playing football, but seeing their successes off the field as well seeing these young boys become men.”

In the same article, he also commented on the challenges faced by players and the club having year-long lay-off last year due to coronavirus restrictions.

“It was about just trying to keep the positivity with all players, and keeping them engaged and about their well-being,” he said. “We’ve got through it, and hopefully, we don’t have to go too long through this little period at the moment”.

Senior club officials have spoken of how Barrie has become a great leader within the club, having tremendous respect by all the players, club executive, committee, members and supporters. All of whom all wish Barrie congratulation for this fantastic effort he has achieved at YYNFNC.

NV Eastern Zone Association Championships 2021

 

The AGL Loy Yang NGFNL are calling for junior players for the 15&Under &17&Under to participate in the Eastern Zone Association Championship Tournament.

Sunday 20th June 2021 at Moe & District Netball Association.

The NGFNL 15&Under and 17&Under teams will also be competing in another tournament at Sale NA (Sunday 30th May) before the EZ Ass Championships.

Coaches are:
17&Under:  Paxton Farley 
15&Under:  Rebecca Fromberg and assisting Steph Henley
Including Specialist coaching sessions by Shirley Fromberg.

The Netball Victoria Association Championships will be entering the 22nd year of competition in 2021 and provides Victoria’s 220 plus Associations an opportunity to compete in 15/U & 17/U Divisions. 

The Association Championships are a key pathway competition and provides Talent Identification opportunities for Zone Academy and State Team Programs.

Eastern Zone Championships will be held at Moe Netball Association (MNA), Moe on Sunday 20th June 2021.

The AGL Loy Yang NGFNL are currently seeking Players of both age divisions to please register their Name, NGFNL Club, DOB, Email address, two preferred playing positions and netball membership number to 0407 862 018 before Wednesday 12th May 2021.

Tryouts will be Wednesday 12th May, Sunday 16th May and Monday 17th May, all venues to be confirmed.

New Branding Campaign Launches

 

The AGL Loy Yang NGFNL launches the BENORTHGIPPY campaign

It shouldn’t be a secret that people are at the heart of community sport and that’s the basis of the AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League’s new marketing campaign for season 2021.

The ‘Be North Gippy’ campaign aims to re-engage community members as players, volunteers, supporters and everything in between by highlighting and celebrating club and league pride and participation.

It also serves as a timely reminder of how much there is to love about grassroots sport in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

“After 12 months of no football and netball, like most leagues around Victoria… the challenge is getting people back,” NGFNL board member Grant Johnstone said.

“Your good players will come back, your hardcore volunteers are coming back, they’re all coming back naturally anyway. It’s I guess about what I call the bottom half of the twos. It’s the people that have enjoyed or been distracted by other things over 2020. [People] that are pretty valuable to a club, whether they be players or volunteers.”

Johnstone joined the NGFNL board ahead of what would have been the 2020 season and quickly identified the league’s major strength – solidarity.

With an extensive and successful background in marketing and the media industry, Johnstone said Be North Gippy was about creating a brand position for the league and that tapping into and highlighting the league’s most valuable asset was a no-brainer.

“People in the North Gippsland Football Netball League from what I’ve seen are incredibly proud of their club. They’re staunchly loyal to their club but they see the league as being a pretty cool entity and a pretty unified entity and people like being a part of it,” he said.

“We’re not trying to recreate the wheel, all of this already exists. The clubs are already really unified, they are already really keen and inviting when it comes to new people, we just need to tell people about it.”

A series of advertisements have been produced based on interviews with an assortment of members of NGFNL clubs talking openly about why they love their club.

Subjects range from players and coaches to volunteers and supporters, of all ages and backgrounds.

The first ad went to air on Good Friday and features members of the Yarram, Traralgon-Tyers United and Glengarry football netball clubs, including Magpies stalwart Dave Dawson, who jubilantly declared his involvement as “the best thing on earth”.

In addition to the traditional media spots enthusiastically provided and supported by the league’s media partners Prime7 and ACE Radio (TRFM and Gippsland’s Gold), Johnstone has established a brand committee to look at ways to further promote the message through social media and the existing audiences of clubs.

Johnstone estimated that 7000 people were either actively or passively involved with the league and its member clubs, confirming there was no shortage of ambassadors for the league to mobilise.

“It is a pretty simple concept and quite often the best ones are,” he said.

“Be North Gippy is an affirmation. It’s an invitation to Be North Gippy with us. We are, we’re proud of it, we like being a part of it and we reckon you’ll like it too.”

Adapting to thrive

 

If history has taught followers of Yallourn-Yallourn North Football Netball Club anything, it’s that change represents opportunity.

It is with this spirit and endeavour that the club begins its latest chapter, in the AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League.

Yallourn-Yallourn North was unanimously accepted as the league’s 11th member club in December and club president Evan Sheekey said he was looking forward to exploring the new surroundings, meeting new people and introducing them to his club and community.

“We’re proud to be here and part of a club that is inclusive to all,” Sheekey said.

“[Opposition clubs] will be greeted with a smile and we’ll be rip-roaring ready to go so they’ll be up for a hard task but definitely we’ll be really welcoming and show them they want to come back.”

Sheekey understands first-hand the importance of a local footy and netball club.

The second-year president grew up in the town and joined the local club as a junior, following in his dad’s footsteps.

However, it was some years later that his bond to the club was truly formed.

“I had a bit of a personal tragedy in 2009 and the boys at the footy club really got around me. It was sort of a home away from it all,” he said.

“I owed them a bit of service back and that’s probably why I’m still around [even though] I’m not playing.

“It’s given me a second life.”

Sheekey’s experience offers a timely reminder that people lie at the heart of a club’s identity – more so than opponents, colours or emblems – as the club embarks on a process to change the latter out of respect for fellow Bombers outfit and neighbouring club, Traralgon-Tyers United. 

“We’re rebranding over the next 12 months to move away from the Bombers to something totally different. A whole new strip, a whole new clean slate,” Sheekey said.

“We’ll stay as the Bombers for this year except when we play TTU and then next year we’ll roll out the new strip and new netball dresses and the new logo.

“I’m looking forward to playing TTU and forming a rivalry… Being neighbours we’ve had a great rivalry with Newborough over the years so hopefully we can build on that.”

Yallourn North stalwart Ray DeCarli has seen it all – from the amalgamation with Yallourn Football Club in 1977 and subsequent stint at the top table in the Latrobe Valley Football League, to the combined club’s relocation to Yallourn North and eventual return to the Mid Gippsland league.

He can attest that agility is key to sustainability and new beginnings need not dismiss the past.

“We’re not afraid to change, we’ve done it before,” DeCarli said.

“In ‘77 our footy club was pretty average, we were battling [and] we had no facilities. They were going to dig up Yallourn and we thought if we amalgamate we can get the facilities up here at Yallourn North where we play today. We played down there for five seasons then came up here and got the new oval and a lot of the facilities here now are from Yallourn… it was well worth doing what we did.”

The renovated social rooms, scoreboard and grandstand that once stood on the Yallourn No. 1 Oval and now grace the present-day facility at George Bates Reserve will soon be accompanied by new football oval lights and a second netball court, both of which should be ready for the start of the season.

DeCarli, who was named in the Yallourn-Yallourn North Football Club (1977-1985) Team of the Century, said all the changes pointed to a bright future and meant the club was well-placed to preserve what was most important.

“It’s about the social atmosphere, the camaraderie,” he said.

“It’s part of what a township’s about. It’s somewhere to meet, it’s what we love to do.”

The Bombers – as they remain for now – begin their campaign with a tough trip to Yarram for a blockbuster season opener on Good Friday, 2 April.

Pre-season has commenced with the club keen to build on a strong final season in the Mid Gippsland league, in which eight of 10 teams played finals, including four grand final appearances for two premierships.

Quite how their on-field and on-court competitiveness stacks up in a new league remains to be seen, but the club can be confident its proactive, member and community-driven approach has provided a strong platform on which to build once again.

Monday 1st February 2021: Damen Francis

Return to Training Guidelines

 

With netball beginning to return to pre-COVID normal, it is important that as coaches we are aware of some simple guidelines and processes when returning to coaching.

The immediate thought for many coaches is to get back to regular session lengths, number of sessions and training styles (contesting, intensity, movements). Since most community sport ceased for a majority of 2020, the bodies of our athletes have changed and need to regain their muscle
memory due to the different types of training/activities they have been able to do. Our athletes need time to re-adjust and re-load on court and in team environments. Overall, the message is simple: we need to stage the comeback of the athletes to netball.

Before you attend training, there are a couple of things to remember:
• Make sure your accreditation is current: https://vic.netball.com.au/updating-youraccreditation
• Ensure you have paid your Netball Victoria membership: https://vic.netball.com.au/howregister-0

Below is a weekly guide to assist your athletes back to full training.

Weeks 1-2:
• Length: 45 minutes to 1 hour. Whilst Netball Victoria has some guidelines on the length of trainings (link below), it is imperative that you do not shorten your warmup or cool down – rather shorten the mid-section of training.
• Focus: Expose the muscles to the movements performed on court at a low load. Focus on form rather than pace or intensity. The knee program is a great resource and can be accessed via the link below. Get a ball in their hands and get them passing to each other.
• Contesting: 10-15 minutes. The athletes will need to re-train their bodies to perform the
skills of netball to the same standard they were before netball ceased, so allow time to do that without added pressure from an opponent.

Weeks 3-4:
• Length: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
• Focus: Try to add in reaction-based drills where they must read space or execute timing, rather than just doing patterned ball work. You should be focused on increasing the intensity of the skills and drills you are doing.
• Contesting: 15-30 minutes. Do not be afraid to remove an opponent if an athlete is finding contesting too challenging.

Weeks 5-6:
• Length: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
• Focus: Increase the challenges placed on our athletes when executing skills and strategies (e.g. defensive pressure, problem solving, working under fatigue). Implement match simulations here (e.g. half court, live ball scenarios etc.).
• Contesting: 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Things to look out for:
Be considerate with the athletes’ passing, shooting, timings and reading space, acknowledging they will be a bit ‘off’ after so much time spent away from the court. They will not be the same athletes as when they left and that is to be expected. Start with basic skills working through the 7-steps of
progression (the foundation and development coaching manuals are a handy resource for how to progress skills) and progress from there.

Be aware of any warning signs that your athlete might not be coping with the amount/kind of training they are performing. It is not just physical fatigue or strain that we are looking for, but mental and emotional as well.

Signs to be wary of:
• Soreness/tightness – particularly in the lower limbs and shoulders.
• Tiredness
• Flat mood
• Impatience and irritability – this may be difficult to judge, as they will be rusty and may become agitated that they are not at the same level as when they stopped face to face netball. Things such as “I am better than this” may be heard if this is the case.

Key tips for success:
• Create a culture where the athlete is comfortable to speak up if they have a concern about injury or mental related issues.
• Check in with your athletes in a one-on-one environment. Getting involved in idle chat with them is important so we can find out more about how they are going. Obviously, that needs to happen outside of training time (remember get in, train, get out).
• Try to ask the athletes about their mood and thoughts rather than the standard ‘How are you feeling?’. This will encourage more conversation rather than a shortened answer.
• Be aware that some athletes may not give you the correct information (e.g. having sore quads) for fear of being sat out of a session. Be vigilant and check in with your athletes.
• If you have not already, it is important to educate your athletes on recovery (please see link below).
• Be mindful of your athlete’s total time on court and not just when they are active.
• The most important factors in their recovery are sleep, hydration, diet, stretching/foam rolling and rest.
• Only arrive when required and leave straight after your training/game.
• And most importantly – take the time to return to ‘normal’ trainings and enjoy being back on court with your teams!