Gaining an insight inside the Diamonds’ high performance environment is a rare occasion.
Three Australian athletes were recently given the opportunity – Courtney Bruce, Caitlyn Nevins and Maddy Turner.
The trio attended the Diamonds’ Squad Camp at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra.
Young NSW Swifts defender Turner, pictured, is still pinching herself from the experience.
“I did not expect this to happen this year,” Turner said. “I didn’t even think I would be on court, let alone named in the starting seven of the NSW Swifts each week.”
“I was surprised to get the opportunity to attend Diamonds’ Squad Camp, but absolutely loved it.
“It was cool to see what goes on behind the scenes, not just on court.”
Turner didn’t know what to expect leading into the camp, but relished in the opportunity to immerse herself in the environment.
“I liked how everyone could come from their different states and just form one united group almost instantly.”
The invitees were involved in every aspect of camp, including performance analysis sessions, team reviews, court sessions and photo shoots.
Now with a taste of the environment, Turner is hungry for more.
“I definitely want more experiences with the Diamonds. I want to push to be part of the squad in the future. I really want to make it there.”
Diamonds’ Coach Lisa Alexander explained the significance of including invitees in the Squad Camp.
“It was important for our invitees to gain an understanding of the high performance requirements of the Diamonds, what is expected of them, and the tactical and technical skills we develop,” Alexander said.
“They were able to sit in on a performance review session focusing on the leadership group from our England Tour, and saw just how open and honest we are as a unit.”
Alexander observed that the three athletes were fully integrated within the squad.
“The invitees settled into the group at camp straight away thanks to our leaders who took the time to ensure they were welcomed and understood the dynamics of the squad,” she continued.
“The coaches and I caught up with each invitee individually and spoke about where they were at in their netball career and what it would take to reach the next level.”
Alexander and National Selectors will name the 2016/17 Diamonds Squad in early August.