Online Training Changes Face of Tuks Netball Coaching

Kaitlyn Ramduth pictured with her U18 Singles Title at the Wilson Mini 3 Tournament. Photo: Wilson Tennis

The COVID-19 lockdown has forced coaches around the world to be creative with their coaching programmes with online training taking off.

Head of Tuks Netball, Jenny van Dyk, admits that online training has added value to the university netball team and she is eager to continue with the trend post lockdown.

Speaking with Celine Abrahams, van Dyk says coaching during lockdown has been an interesting learning curve.

“Online coaching has been interesting, but it has also been a fantastic learning opportunity for me and my team. We’ve put out eight solid weeks of training with the girls and we are starting with our final phase of four weeks before we put them into a rest phase.

“This is definitely something that has brought so much value to our programme and we’ll definitely continue doing it after lockdown.”

Online training means that van Dyk is no longer just the coach. She wears many hats to ensure that she is happy with the coaching material that is going to her players, who she is hoping to continue inspiring via these online resources.

“I find myself as coach in a position where I’m not just the coach anymore, I’m the player, the actor, the producer, the scriptwriter, the video/camera person, the sound engineer – I’m everything!” – Head of Tuks Netball, Jenny van Dyk

“Before you would just talk, these days it’s different. Now you have one hour of video (sessions) and it is a worthwhile investment for you and your team. It can take up to six or eight hours of editing and actually getting it done, so that is the interesting part of the physical activity that you still want to keep alive during these times.”

With no physical contact and the opportunity to enjoy the team spirit, it is difficult for some players to train on their own meaning that some will rise, and others may fall out.

“Another thing is the connection. I think it’s important as we are trying to do a lot of it online but we have players that have classes during different times so all of our sessions can’t be virtual and all of our sessions can’t be live sessions.

“And, some players have greater data plans and others hardly have data to work with and obviously we’ve helped all of them so that they can access information. The University of Pretoria has set up a plan for all the students to go through a portal and have some data-free rates.

“It is difficult for them to train alone but in this time, they also really getting to become disciplined and to really start working to do it for themselves.” – van Dyk on players training on their own

“The one thing that the players miss the most is obviously the team spirit. It is difficult for them to train alone but in this time, they also really getting to become disciplined and to really start working to do it for themselves.

“It is so easy when you are in a team environment. You go to training because the team expects you there – you don’t feel like it, but you will go because you know that other people will be there and it will be easier.

“Now when you are at home, you wake up and you know you need to do that session but the team is not there to check up on you and nobody will actually know if you do it or not, even though the athlete monitoring system is in place.

“At the end of the day, it is a period where you will see some players rise up and others will probably fall out.”

Van Dyk and her team will be continuing to work on their techniques behind closed doors until sport is given the green light to go ahead.

Photo 1 Caption: Head of Tuks Netball, Jenny van Dyk, is eager to continue with online training programmes post COVID-19 lockdown, saying it has added value to the university netball team. Photo: Tuks Netball (Instagram)




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