Leeds Rhinos Update – Mid February 2018

It seems appropriate to write an update given that the Vitality Netball Superleague (VSNL) season got underway this weekend, we are less than 50 days away from the Commonwealth Games, there has been netball on TV and lots on social media too!

Things are busy here at Rhinos too! We are announcing our next festival for our Hub and Academy athletes, we are busy this week running a camp and a masterclasses, and we have had matches for two of our Academy squads!

The start of the VNSL season is an important reminder of our ambition at Leeds Rhinos Netball, which is to aim to have a squad in the VSNL as soon as we are able to. When we launched our programmes in July last year, we had two clear aims: firstly to run some great netball opportunities to develop young athletes and secondly to aim to secure entry into the Superleague. These two ambitions remain important to us and to our colleagues at Leeds Rhinos rugby, who have of course recently launched a women’s rugby team and a disability rugby team.

Our next Leeds Rhinos Netball Festival is on Sunday March 18th at Leeds Beckett University. The event will be open on the website later this week.  We are looking forward to this exciting event where Academy and Hub athletes can come together and put all they have been learning into practice, and then learn some more about the Rhinos way to learn, play and win!  This is for all our Hub and Academy athletes, except U11s. Last time we had an incredible number of athletes who all had a fun filled day of learning. Places are limited, so book early! It is £20 for the day’s activities.

The day will run between 10am and 3:30pm.  All athletes will take part in four interlinked activities to build on what they have been doing so far through the programme. Athletes will be split into groups and rotate around the activities during the day. Please note some are indoor and some outdoor, so note the kit requirements! We will brief and debrief the athletes all together at the beginning and at the end of the day, including a question and answer session with a Rhinos coach and Netball Ambassador.

Please wear Rhinos kit. Please bring water, snacks and a packed lunch. Be careful not to have any unnecessary valuables. Please bring a kit bag with any medication, strapping, recovery snacks (see bottom of page), plus any spare clothes/trainers.

 Activity 1: #Play like a Rhino, Netball, Sports Hall

  • Netball games in Blue Hall. Rotations/short games, with players deciding on what they will work on and giving each other feedback. Also likely to be filmed for use at another session during the day

Activity 2: #Train like a Rhino – Part 1: Rugby (outside)

  • Rugby drills outside (outside clothing/footwear)

Activity 3: #Train like a Rhino – Part 2: Netball drills and skills (small gym)

  • Sharpening the basics

Activity 4: #Think like a Rhino (classroom)

  • Elite player to talk through analysis of one of their games/or footage of their position – what they are looking for, to help athletes think about analysis
  • Play tactics e.g. centre pass attack and defence, shooting and defending – looking at specific footage and learning about what’s good and bad etc

We will have a selection of Rhinos coaches on the day, plus hopefully our Netball Ambassadors helping as well. We can’t wait to see you there and continue the journey of personal development. If you have any queries, please ask!

Matchplay this week Some of our U15 and High Performance Academy athletes were selected to compete in matches in London this week against Wasps and London Pulse age group sides, both of who are running very good pathway schemes and developing good athletes. These lucky athletes had a fantastic experience, learning about matchplay at a different level, with very experienced coaches, and against strong competition. Huge thanks to Lisa and Debs for all the planning and preparation for the event, to Jan and Gerry for their work coaching the athleteson matchday, to Maggie for her role preparing the athletes before the trip today and to Jo for general help on the day. I am delighted that we are achieving so many of our objectives.

Other opportunities As ever, there are a range of opportunities for athletes to develop. We have a few spaces left on the Masterclass that I am running on Friday this week, where I will work personally with athletes on key aspects of the game and we expect the standard to be high. I would love to see as many of our athletes as possible so we can push their development.

Our Boot Camp will be online soon, scheduled for the summer, in August, where again, the standard will be high and the quality of coaching will be excellent. I would expect that a lot of Academy athletes will want to take part in this, timed perfectly for “pre-season”, before trials and with a residential option that is always great experience.

We are also running a series of position specific Prestige Workshops for U13 athletes, with great coaches, to offer that intensity of learning new techniques to the younger athletes.

We are also launching some coaching for coaches sessions, which will be available later this week, as another aspect of Rhinos Netball developing to have an impact on performance in its broadest sense.

We appreciate the support that you give to Leeds Rhinos, we are really pleased with our rate of development and what has been achieved in the few months since July 2017 and us stretching the boundaries and learning from professional sports!

#netballontherise #thisgirlcan #ANewEraBegins

Anna Carter
Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball