Young NSW Swifts fans were treated to a day in the life of some of their favourite netball heroes when they participated in the ‘Train like a NSW Swift’ clinics earlier this week.
More than 130 girls aged between 12 and 16 years old signed up for one, two or three days at the Anne Clark Centre, learning lots of new tips and tricks from Swifts’ players and support staff – everything from defensive plays to shooting techniques, the importance of recovery as well as the best foods to eat on game day.
Swifts’ Captain and 2014 ANZ Championship co-MVP Kimberlee Green was there to pass on some of her 90-plus game experience, along with 2014 teammates Sonia Mkoloma, Caitlin Thwaites and Abbey McCulloch who gave the participants an insight into a typical training day.
A teacher by day, McCulloch featured in all three days as she looked to fill her school holidays with more netball.
“The last few days have been so much fun – the kids have been really great and I’ve seen a few pick up some good tips and tricks to take back to their Club or school, which is really fantastic,” McCulloch said.
“The aim of the clinics was to give budding netballers an idea on what we do at training, and how they can improve their game both on and off the court. But at the end of the day it was all about having fun and enjoying your netball, which we certainly have!”
Swifts’ Head Coach Rob Wright was also on hand, taking participants through some of the planning that goes into games, brainstorming ideas and getting the players to think about how and what they were doing on court.
Other support staff also got in on the action, such as physio Brett Doring sharing strapping techniques, psychologist Karen Haddad discussing the importance of an athlete’s mental toughness, and nutritionist Samantha Rand on what fuel an athlete should – and shouldn’t! – put into their body to produce their best on-court performance.
Netball NSW Community Engagement Manager Kristy Guthrie echoed McCulloch’s sentiments, thrilled with success of the unique training clinic offer.
“We had a fantastic response to the clinics and I’ve received some really wonderful feedback from the participants and their parents. Everyone had a lot of fun,” Guthrie said.
“The aim of the clinics was to arm these young players with the tools and training techniques that they can take home to pass on to their friends and teammates at their Club, Association or school.
“Even the parents have learned a thing or two, with one mum in particular telling me how informative she found the nutritional talk – now she knows what to feed her daughter on game day.
“We’re really pleased with the positive response we received so we’ll take that on board looking ahead to any clinics and activities in 2015, ,” Guthrie concluded.
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Check out some of the action from the Train like a NSW Swift clinic via the NSW Swifts Facebook page!