All hands on deck for Diamonds squad camp

11206492_1023350184349275_4620080222166208983_oWhat a whirlwind week it’s been for the Australian Diamonds squad as we completed our next step in the journey towards Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015.

We had more than 50 people involved in our three-day camp at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra all contributing to the effort of leaving “no stone unturned” in our preparations for this benchmark event.

This included athletes, coaching staff, support staff, sport scientists, photographers, coach mentors and our parents, partners and peers who came in for part of the camp to undertake our program devised by our Wellbeing Consultant Angie Bain.

It is a very large logistical jigsaw to be put together and managed exceptionally well by our High Performance Operations Manager Julie Richardson.

11127871_1023349991015961_7998228834758301732_oWithout Julie’s expert attention on the details, a camp of this magnitude would be difficult. Julie ensures it all flows seamlessly.

We were also chuffed to have other Australian High Performance programs requesting visits to training to observe the Diamonds in action, including the Canberra Raiders High Performance staff and the Coaching and Leadership High Performance Coaches attending a course at the AIS.

It displays the level of respect that our program is held in the Australian High Performance environment and is a testament to all the hard work of all our staff and athletes.

Another very important observer was the legendary Australian netball identity Joyce Brown, the last coach of an Australian team to win a world championship on home soil in 1991. Joyce is my coaching mentor and is assisting me to fine tune my coaching skills in readiness for August’s World Cup.

She also observed our overall program at the camp to provide that “view from the balcony” that is so important in our preparations.

Joyce was also one of five former Australian Captains with a role at this recent camp. The others included national selector Anne Sargeant, assistant coaches Michelle den Dekker and Marg Caldow, and current skipper Laura Geitz.

It really is wonderful to have such access to the winning ways of the past and fast tracking it to the future.

A vital aspect of the camp was the careful monitoring of all of the athletes’ loads which was managed superbly by Head Physiotherapist Alana Antcliff in consultation with all ANZ Championship team physiotherapists, the team behind the team.

The mid-season monitoring brought great knowledge for our Physical Conditioning programs and experts.

11174300_1023190017698625_3764991408826957730_oWest Coast Fever captain Ashleigh Brazill actually broke the vertical jump record that was previously held by Queensland Firebird Gabi Simpson.

It is always an important touching base to check in on programs, injury management and coaching feedback.

Our Parents and Peers program is a recognition of the vital support that all of our athletes’ families provide for their daughters, wives and partners.

We believe that this extra innovation in the Diamonds program enables the athletes to have a support team off the court that is second to none.

We also want them to know how important they are all in the enhanced performance of their daughters, wives and partners, and how they can best play their role at Netball World Cup and into the future.

The wonderful offshoot of this is that it provides an immediate network of support for all involved and that other parents, husbands and partners experience the same issues, joy and downtimes.

We think it really adds to our experience at matches to know that the team behind the team is well prepared and can feel that their contribution makes a big difference to our performance.

Overall, the performances in all areas of the Camp provided excellent data for the selectors and assisted in preparing a strong squad for the rigors of a Netball World Cup. The next few weeks of the ANZ Championship will provide further “food for thought” for the national selectors.

Watch this space!

On a final note I would like to wish all of the mothers involved in Netball a very Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday – and a very big thank you to my mother for all her love and support. Happy Mother’s Day Mum!

Go Diamonds!