The Geelong Netball Club (GNC) place a high emphasis on the physical preparation of all athletes on both the primary playing list and development squads. Headed by Scott Graham who is completing his PhD in training load monitoring of netballers, the program is based on current peer reviewed scientific literature resulting in the most informed and relevant training practices for netball.
The GNC conducts testing of all athletes, in two specific areas of physical preparation (explained in greater detail further on). Importantly, every athlete is provided with feedback on every test conducted and EVERY test is used in some way to inform the conditioning practices of the club. By completing the testing and using the data, every player of the GNC gets a physical preparation program that is specific to them and not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Physical competency screening
Physical competency is a method employed at GNC to identify any physical deficiencies of an athlete, that may result in an increased likelihood of sustaining injury. Athletes are provided with feedback on their performance via video analysis of single-leg squats, and also written feedback in the form of a physical profile.
Physical capacity testing
The physical capacity tests are common performance measures such as the 20m sprint, 505 change-of-direction test, vertical jump, and the Yo-Yo Intermittent recovery test level one. Every athlete receives feedback on their results via their physical profile, where they can also compare their results to those in other teams such as the ANL or professional leagues.
The preseason at the GNC incorporates court work from day one in conjunction with strength and conditioning activities. Whilst every court work session is planned, so is the conditioning program where every session is periodised, progressed and regressed in order to provide the best physiological adaptation possible. For preseason, a typical session will include a 10-minute warmup, then approximately 30 minutes of conditioning that includes ball work activities. Then 60-70 minutes of structured court work followed by 30 minutes of resistance training in the gymnasium. During the season, athletes will train as normal whilst continuing their resistance training for 30 minutes at the end of every session.
Each athlete receives their own resistance training program, with exercises prescribed being based on testing results in order to address any physical deficiencies identified. We are very lucky to have full, uninterrupted access to the gymnasium at the Handbury Centre for Wellbeing at Geelong Grammar. The resistance training is performed as part of every training session, reducing athlete burden of having to find another time during the week.
The running program is a high intensity interval-based program with set periods of work and rest. Importantly, the distances that athletes are required to run are based on their Yo-Yo testing results. This means that every player regardless of fitness level will get a running program that is designed for them, once again the GNC does not use a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to training. Everything is tailored to the individual.
The GNC employs the athlete management system (AMS) to track how each athlete is progressing with their training. Utilising this software, conditioning staff and skills coaches can coordinate every training session to hit a certain level of intensity.
Recovery & nutritional advice
Athletes are provided with a database full off recovery and nutritional ideas via a Dropbox folder. The athletes can use this resource throughout the season to maximise their preparation and recovery for trainings and matches.