Planning now to pay dividends later

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It’s been a very busy end to the first month of the year month with the entire Australian Diamonds squad heading to Canberra for a camp at the Australian Institute of Sport. 

As many of you are now aware, the theme of our Commonwealth Games campaign this year is `Going For Gold’ which provides the very distinct vision everyone involved with the squad is after.

This camp had the title `Diamonds Commonwealth Games Simulation Camp’, with the word “simulation” pervading all of our planning and scenarios that were practiced at the camp.

We even had so much team spirit that one of the teams in our simulated games called themselves the `Sunhawks’ and created a logo and trademark!

We know that we can not simulate every eventuality, however, many little distractions like our team bus breaking down helped to give the feel that how are we going to react should this happen in Glasgow.

The challenge laid out squarely to the support staff and the athletes was to “get on with the job at hand”, a very quintessential Australian reaction when things get a little tougher. Pull together, stay tight as a group and control what we can control.

The athletes and the support staff reacted magnificently to the little distractions and showed excellent reflective abilities using this experience to be as prepared as possible for the Games in July-August.

I can assure you that we will be ready!

There is still work to be done, some fine-tuning and tweaking to our program, and of course an exciting ANZ Championship season to move through.

This level of competition, the world’s best domestic league, is a wonderful training ground for all of our national athletes, ably supported by their ANZ Championship head coaches and franchise support staff.

Another great innovation this year for Netball Australia was the beginning of a new era in our High Performance Umpiring program.

All of our top Australian umpires attended a High Performance camp at the AIS that coincided with the last two days of our Diamonds camp and it was great to have them on hand to officiate in our practice games.

It was a terrific opportunity for the athletes, coaches and umpires to join together in the pursuit of High Performance. There were many great discussions that were had over breakfast in the dining hall and at the conclusion of matches.

As you all know, I am a great believer in the need for umpires and coaches and athletes to work together for the betterment of our great game. This way forward has enabled this approach to successfully occur in a conducive learning environment for all parties.

Dare I say it, but it is a win-win for all!