Steel squad ready themselves to train alone

Reinga Bloxham.
Reinga Bloxham.
Netball is a team game, so it is going to be difficult for players to train by themselves.

But that is the agenda for the Southern Steel side for the next four weeks as players get ready to go into lockdown.

The future of the ANZ Premiership is up in the air and NZ Netball has yet to make a decision on what to do with the rest of the season. It put the competition on hold for two rounds last Friday.

The Steel played one game in its season, going down to the Magic in Dunedin, in a match in front of no spectators because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Steel coach Reinga Bloxham said four of the players were in the gym yesterday doing some last-minute training and getting some gear they can use during the lockdown before going home.

She admitted though that it is not going to be easy for the team.

‘‘Netball is obviously a team game so it is going to be a big challenge to carry on and to keep working through this,’’ she said.

The side will be touching base via a video link at least three times a week; the players keep connected by video already.

The coaches have created a large resource base that players can look into and use for training and to keep their skills sharp.

She said it was vital for the players to stay connected and be accountable.

With four weeks at least off, when the side next came together it was basically time to start again. That was disappointing, but there was nothing the side could do about that.

‘‘We had worked really hard in pre-season and hit some really good targets. So we have to make sure we maintain our fitness levels and not let them drop down. But it is going to be really challenging.’’

She said the players have taken netball, tennis balls and other equipment to maintain sharpness.

Players could not train together.

‘‘They might look at finding a concrete wall and hitting the ball up against it. If they’ve got a sister they could play with they could go to the courts and practice with them as long as they stay the right distance away.’’

She said it was about keeping trainings fresh and relevant for players.

Bloxham was not sure what would happen with the competition, but said playing its only game in front of no spectators was very strange and something she was not keen to repeat.

 

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