First-timers to Stacey Marinkovich’s coaching will get to know her as a plotter, a motivator and a confidant according to Australian Fast5 midcourter Verity Charles.
Charles will make her debut for Australia at the Fast5 World Series in Melbourne on 27 and 28 October.
She does, however, have inside knowledge on the national Fast5 mentor having played under Marinkovich at West Coast Fever.
Charles, shooter Kaylia Stanton and midcourter Jess Anstiss are the Fever trio who will help fresh faces such as Queenslander Kimberley Jenner connect with the coach.
“She’s one of the most positive coaches I’ve ever had,” Charles said of Marinkovich who played for the Perth-based Orioles and Fever before rising through the coaching ranks.
“As a former player, she gets it. Stacey demands 100 per cent but she’s also very supportive, very caring.
“Tactically she’s got the skills. But she’s really good with giving you a rev-up and the ingredients you need to work things out yourself.
“She’s a coach you want to play for.”
It was no coincidence that Charles’s career-best form aligned with the Fever’s charge to the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball grand final.
After making a permanent home at centre, her bounce and experience have combined in a perfect midcourt package.
The off-season has provided her the chance to train with her husband, former Wallabies hooker Nathan, which means she will hit the Fast5 tournament at speed.
“Nathan’s soooo strong. He beats me at weights but when it comes to running and ninja (obstacle training) I’ve got him covered,” she said.
Charles last experienced five-a-side netball as a teenager but she has watched enough in recent seasons to know what to expect.
The midcourters will be expected to run until they gasp for air, have a break and then run some more.
There is also a strategic element to the job which may go unnoticed. Amid all the running, leaping and passing, the midcourters have to manipulate their attack ends according to the situation.
During power plays when double points are offered, shooting from close range is a wasted opportunity.
Big deficits also demand more two and three-point attempts, and it’s the feeders who call the shots.
“In traditional netball you’re always trying to get the shooters closer to the post,” Charles said.
“In Fast5 you’ve got to watch the clock and the scoreboard. Things can change really quickly and you’ve got to be onto it.