Johannesburg, South Africa - Netball South Africa (NSA) wound up its outreach programme in Soweto on Tuesday with the last of its road shows aimed at improving coaching standards around South Africa.
“The Player Support Roadshows are NSA’s initiative to close the gaps that have been identified whenever national squad players come for trials for national team selections”, said Mimi Mthethwa, President NSA. She continued to explain that they have identified the need to close the gaps in the coaching styles of different coaches in the country, whilst they do appreciate the good work done by coaches at grass-root level, since these coaches make it possible for players to be identified and put into different squads.
For NSA to level the ground and ensure that each squad player has equal opportunity to be selected, there is the need to ensure that coaches in the regions have the basic understanding of what national coaches expect of players at the level of international participation. Exposing young players at an early stage to this type of coaching will allow for a positive combination of South African style of play and modern skills and techniques. Mthethwa concluded by stating that they also anticipate improvement on player-performance throughout the country and getting more coaches of quality standards.
Nearly 200 coaches attended the coaching clinic on Tuesday, which was conducted by the head coach of the SPAR national netball team, Elize Kotze. “We had a fantastic response. We also want to make sure that coaches in the outlying areas understand what we are trying to achieve, so that we all work the same way”, said Kotze.
Kotze went through the basics with the coaches, and they were each given a DVD outlining what was expected of them. “They have training manuals, but the DVD will make things clearer for them,” said Kotze. “We had demonstrations by some of the SPAR Proteas and players from Central Gauteng. It is important for them to see some of our top players in action, so they can see the standard they need to aspire to. Some coaches have no idea of the pace at which the game is played at the top level,” said Kotze.
Kotze said the original aim of the road shows had been to reach 1 000 coaches. “More than 600 coaches attended the road shows, and some of the regions have asked if we can come back so that coaches who couldn’t go to the first road show can also have the experience. So I’m pretty sure that we’ll reach our target.”
NSA’s aim is to conduct these road shows in all provinces. Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are the three provinces that still have to be visited, after requesting postponement for different internal reasons. “I think they have seen how successful they have been in other areas, and they are now really keen for their coaches to be involved,” Kotze said.
Last week, NSA conducted road shows in Rustenburg and Bloemfontein. Kotze also visited Botswana and worked with local coaches there.