As time goes by, sport changes, rules change to make a game faster and more entertaining, tougher more challenging, not just for players but also for coaching personnel.
Being part of a team is an important lesson not only in sport, but also in life.
Playing within a team structure teaches each player to share, look at what is in the best interest of the team, and not just from your own personal point of view.
I am sad to say, that in speaking to a number of coaches this season, we are seeing an increase in selfishness creeping into some players conduct within the A grade competition.
Netball is a game designed to be played by only seven players at a time, yet 12 players can play within a game’s time frame.
Every player would love to be on court for the full 60 minutes of play, but that cannot happen once a team numbers more than seven, so every member must do what is within the best interest of their team.
It is the sharing concept that is impacting on some players, and they have not been too subtle at times in displaying their displeasure.
Part of any coach’s job is to select and change a team’s line up to benefit the team as a whole and give all players the opportunity to win the game.
Equal court time is something we see in our junior grades, it does not apply when a player achieves the top level of their sport within the association they play in.
To see players react sometimes in very undignified ways is extremely disappointing, as each and every one of them would love to be on court.
Players sitting on the bench are just as important as the ones on the court at any time, they are the voice of support and experience, they are the fresh legs that may be needed, they are the taller or shorter, tougher, sometimes more determined option.
They can be the less intimated option for a coach, the different style of player that brings different strengths and experience onto a court at any given break.
They give a player exiting the court a rest, a time to look at the game from the sidelines just as the coach does, they can learn, get specific new information or details from the coach to then take back onto court if needed.
In short there are lots of reasons why a coach makes a decision as to who takes to the court at the start of play and why she/he, may or may not make changes during the game.
Players need to learn and understand that every coach makes a decision for the benefit of her/his team, a decision they see will benefit the side as a whole and not as a group of individuals, for if you play in a game of netball there is nothing individual about it.
All of this is my tip for the week, just about every coach this season is having problems with deciding who should play and what changes should be made, if any.
Players support your coaches in the choices that they make, for each is trying to make the right choices for the team, with the right combinations they feel can get the job done on that particular day against that particular opposition, for without coaches where would you be.
Senior playing times: 12.45pm – A reserve, C grade; 2pm – A grade, B grade; 3.15pm – B reserve.
Tailem Bend v Mypolonga
Tailem Bend this week will welcome Mypolonga in a game the Eagles feel they have a chance of winning at home.
Tailem had a good game against Jervois in round 12 that will take them into this week’s contest full of determination.
However, Mypolonga also had a good game that saw them return to the club of old.
This game will be a good contest as both teams have their strengths and it could show up in a direct contest between players.
In the game against Mannum, Mypolonga were missing two players, Lexi Blight and Sheridan O’Brien, will both of these players be back this week?; that is the question Tailem must anticipate.
For the Eagles, Hayley Davids has returned from holiday overseas and although she didn’t play against Jervois will she take to the court this week against the Tigers?
The strengths for Tailem have definitely been their determined drive into attack led by Emily Edwards – who for the Tigers could shut her down? Could it be Ash Horsnell or indeed Courtney Blacker, for in shutting down that drive will be one of Mypo’s main focuses.
Accuracy in goals will be high in this contest as the shooters are accurate - who will come out on top will depend on the number of opportunities given to each teams goalies, therefore dominance of the centre third will be where this game is won or lost.
Mypolonga are returning to the same blend that played so well 10 years or so ago, so I believe this is a game they won’t want to let go, not if they want to maintain second spot on the table.
Ramblers v Imperials
Third-placed Ramblers will this week host top-of-the-table Imperials.
When these two teams met first in round six, Imperials ran out winners by 27 goals; that is something Ramblers coach Mark Dougall will not want to see happen again.
His team has developed and improved a lot since that last meeting and he they will be looking for so much more this time on their home court.
Ramblers also suffered an injury last time, they will be hoping all players will not only be ready and willingly this week, but they get through the game in one piece.
There is not a lot that can be said against Imperials as the team currently playing is pretty much the same team that has taken out the last four premierships.
They are versatile, dedicated and just as determined as all other teams. However their minds have not always been switched on together, could this be a flaw that Ramblers could exploit?
Ramblers are not an overly tall team and this could this work in their favour, they will need to keep their game lower and always in front of the Blues if they hope to be in with a chance.
This game is the last chance that Dougall will have to look at what he truly needs to get on top of Imperials, for answers must come soon.
The main contest of interest this week will be Ramblers gutsy centre Nikki Dougall up against the taller centre for Imperials, Olivia Bolt, and all around netball circles know just how tough this contest will be.
This will be a good game of netball to go and watch, both teams have a lot of club pride to play for in this battle between the two Murray Bridge teams, a battle that could bring anything with it.
It is hard to see Imperials losing this game as they are a very settled un-injured team but that won’t stop Ramblers from trying hard.
Mannum v Meningie
Mannum will welcome Meningie to their home courts in what is the longest travelled trip within our association.
Mannum last week had a loss to rivals Mypolonga, but did show signs of things improving for the team; combinations are starting to work for the Roos who have been decimated with loss this season.
Meningie, on the other hand, are a team selected with one objective in mind and that is playing in the grand final this season.
Although Meningie currently sit in fourth spot they do look to have the better draw in remaining matches this season and should gain an advantage over other clubs competing for second spot, even if by just percentage.
Meningie is playing with a new look shooting circle but, this combination does have time to settle if needed before finals, so the real strength of the Bears team is not yet there for all to see.
Mannum will try hard in this game as there is a danger of them finishing the season in the bottom spot, as percentage is all that there currently is between themselves and Jervois and no-one at the Roos will be happy with that.
Meningie will not lose this game for that is not an option for coach Matt Hood or his team.