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Good footwork is pivotal in netball. As players are not allowed to run with or dribble the ball, more emphasis is placed on footwork. Players may choose to pivot on their landing foot, moving their other foot as they wish, but they cannot move the landing foot before releasing the ball. A violation of the footwork rules results in a free pass for the opposition. Players can perform a series of drills to help improve their footwork.
The "left/right" drill requires two players. Set up three cones about 2m apart. Position one player on the middle cone, and have the other stand 5m away with the ball in hand. The player with the ball should make three passes to the receiver's right, using the cones as a guide and then repeat the process to the receiver's left. The receiver should focus on landing on her outside foot and shuffle back to the middle cone after each pass. Move the passer further back to increase the difficulty of the exercise.
The "ice cream" drill is a straightforward exercise that focuses on balance. Divide the players into single-file lines positioned about 10m apart. The player at the front of the group without the ball runs toward the other group, catching the pass and landing on one foot before bringing the other foot to the ground. Players shout out "ice" when their landing foot touches the ground and "cream" when their trailing foot hits the floor. The receiver then passes and follows the ball to the other group. Continue the cycle, setting a time limit for the drill.
The "outside foot" drill requires two ball feeders and one receiver. The receiver alternates back and forth between the two feeders, catching the ball and then passing it diagonally to the other feeder. Emphasise the importance of landing on the outside foot, so the receiver can step towards her intended target when making the next pass.
Statue of Liberty
The "Statue of Liberty" drill helps players work on their footwork and balance. One player stands holding the ball aloft and the other player runs, jumps and grabs the ball, landing with proper footwork and good balance. Once comfortable, add a turn after the landing to the routine so that the player is facing her partner. Increase the intensity of the drill by having the "statue" player sprint to another position on the court and receive a pass before repeating the exercise.
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