Ideas to develop higher level players and coaches

Ideas, suggestions and discussion on Scottish Korfball Development; includes player, coach, referee, youth and club development.

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Ideas to develop higher level players and coaches

Postby Nigel Cooper » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:18 pm

In the run-up to last year's AGM, Gavin sent round a few suggestions aimed at developing the upper end of Scottish korfball. I'll copy the heart of his message below, in the hope that it will kick start a bit of discussion and we can cherry-pick any fresh ideas. My aim is to try and get something into place a.s.a.p., i.e. this season, so please don't be shy in putting your views across. Don't be shy to just say "yeah, this is something I'd like to do" too, either as a player or a coach.

Gav's Suggestions

Something that's been apparent to me watching players / games since I returned is that there are a lot of players with the potential to become much better korfball players than they already are, but that there are seriously limited opportunities for them to develop. The gap realistically between the league teams and any probable starting 8 for Scotland is pretty big. I think we need to look at ways of bridging that gap so that when a player arrives in the Scotland Squad, they have already had a lot of work on technique, that they have already experienced a higher level of play outside of their club, etc. That then means that with the Scotland Squad, Beth is then refining things and moulding the squad into a team, not spending precious training time teaching basics. So basically here's a few thoughts on what we can do to improve:

1. Coach our Coaches

Quite simply, we need to help clubs and club coaches by making sure they know how to coach the basic elements of korfball well and also, and often more importantly, how to identify and correct errors in technique. Working with small numbers (simply one person per club), could we set up a teaching group - teach these people how to coach technique, with a view to them then taking back what they learn to the clubs. Run a few sessions prior to the start of the season, then a couple during it to check progress, deal with queries / questions that have come up. The more people we have that can teach basic technique well, the quicker we will improve both top and bottom level of korfball in Scotland.

2. Play More Competitive Korfball

There needs to be a level of competition between the league set up and the international set up. Players learn quicker when they have to work in teams / squads where the ability is higher than they are used to in the clubs. If the number of league games is reduced this season, there will be more 'free' weekends, therefore more room to put in an additional level of competition. For example, why not have a 'regional' competition? Combine Glasgow, Dundee and St.Andrews into one team, the Edinburgh sides into another, then perhaps a 'Scottish Exiles' team. Train with your regions, then play competitive matches. This gives players a chance to compete with the other best players from their region and against the top players from other regions. It also gives an opportunity to take a promising player out of the club set up (especially with the universities) and put them in a stronger squad to try to develop them quicker. It also provides a potential competition for Beth to watch to help her decide who to include in any Scotland Squad she has. It would also give our own coaches a chance to work with a stronger group of players that their own clubs (I would expect those coaches involved with the training group above to be involved in coaching the regional sides). The regions could look to enter the EKA inter-area competition (I'm sure the EKA would be ok with that), plus any other competitions. It doesn't necessarily have to be regional sides, it could be students v non-students, under 25s v over 25s, just anything that pulls players out of the club set up for periods to train / play.

3. Get Players Early

When a person starts to play korfball for the first time, it's usually relatively easy to quickly identify those who have the potential to be very good - you can generally tell by the way they pass/catch, their movement, etc. A player that comes into any club like that also usually has the potential to develop very quickly. It's an unfortunate side effect of a competitive league and growing clubs that players like that can often end up either trying to learn to play in a weaker club's first team (i.e. not one of the clubs challenging for the league title) or in the 2nd or 3rd team of a club for the first year or so because the 1st team is understandably looking to win every game and is not going to risk putting a beginner on court in a league match. Again, can we look at identifying these players quickly, then get them either training as a group, or with regional teams so that they can be pushed further quicker?
Nigel Cooper
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