The Australian Diamonds took a novel approach in preparing for Sunday’s opening Test of the Constellation Cup by simulating the noise of a sold-out stadium at training.
Monday’s technical and match play sessions in Melbourne featured recorded crowd effects over the loud speaker as the Diamonds honed their communication skills.
With noisy parochial crowds expected during the five Tests of the Constellation Cup series – that begins in Invercargill next Sunday – Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said the added noise would help with preparing for the big games.
“It’s a fantastic help for us in terms of our communication on court; it’s hard to simulate the noise in those big games but the crowd effects were great,” Alexander said.
“It’s all about the vision and the body language, being able to communicate that way instead of by voice.”
The Diamonds are in Melbourne for a three-day pre-embarkation camp before travelling to New Zealand on Wednesday morning.
The three days provide Alexander with an opportunity to bring the team together for three additional sessions after the players spent the last couple weeks training at home.
“All the signsare looking good but I’m glad that we’ve got this extra time together as a group.”
The Australian Diamonds will contest their last internationals before next year’s Commonwealth Games with a five-Test Constellation Cup series against the New Zealand Silver Ferns followed by a two-Test series against the Malawi Queens.
After two Tests in Invercargill and Auckland (September 19), the Constellation Cup will conclude with Tests in Adelaide (October 4), Melbourne (October 7) and Canberra (October 13).
The Diamonds then host Malawi for the first time ever with Tests in Wollongong (October 16) and Gold Coast (October 19). Tickets are available via Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au, by phone on 132 849 or at any Ticketek outlet.