Captain Hannah Cox writes about the season so far.
In the first of our Cox’s Corner columns, Club Captain Hannah Cox takes a look back on how the season’s started.
As this week sees a break in our regional league fixtures, I’m taking the opportunity to pause and reflect on the story of our season so far.
We have been very lucky this year to be supported by two coaches from outside the netball world; Francis, who has been working with us on our strength and conditioning, and Fiona, who has been leading yoga sessions.
As of this year our regional training sessions last 2 hours which gives us the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time working on areas of our match play that are not just catching, throwing and shooting related.
Francis Sanderson, of F.A.S.T. Fitness And Strength Training, plays a huge part in developing our
fitness, speed and resistance to injury. We often dread the repeated sprints we do at training as they hurt (a lot) but our base level of fitness is better than anything I’ve seen from a Storm team.
We now have the ability to play at a consistently high pace throughout the whole game and we are really punishing teams in both the regional league and Cornwall league that can’t match us with this.
He has also given each regional team player an individualised strength and conditioning programme, for us to follow, as a result of movement analysis. This is something that has also been new to us and the girls have taken this on board really well and are continuing to work on these programs as the seasons develops.
Fiona Lundie is new to our set up this year and has been leading yoga sessions for us before our
training. I am not best known for my mobility and flexibility (my hamstrings are nodding as I write this) so I was a bit worried about this being introduced to our training, but I shouldn’t have been.
Fiona has been super supportive of everyone during our yoga sessions and really does cater for
everyone’s core strengths and ‘bendiness’.
She also does an excellent job of creating a calming environment, which is impressive, considering she battles with the music that accompanies circuit training on the other court at Carn Brea.
I think it has been very valuable spending the time working on our mobility. This is one of those things that can get forgotten in the day-to-day life of an amateur netball player, but it is such a crucial aspect that many of us know we need to improve on.
Aside from these two new areas, we continue to work hard on our style of netball at training. David is a coach who brings out the best in his players during sessions and the ethos that we now play with reflects this.
We are not happy as a squad if the training intensity is not where it should be and we are able to recognise this and step it up accordingly.
We are lucky to have a range of personalities within the squad which means every person brings something with them to training, that is missed if they are not there; we know how to make each other laugh or when to give each other a boost if needed.
We are very lucky to have these foundations to build our game on.
On the bus on the way to our first match David described this season as ‘the tricky second album’, due to our success last year in the newly formed regional 3 league. I thoroughly related to this analogy and thought it was an accurate way of looking at the season ahead.
When I saw the fixtures list for the first time and focused on the matches at the start of the season I was a bit apprehensive.
Not only were we going to travel away for 3 out of the four fixtures (Glastonbury, Bridgwater and Crediton), the teams we would face would pose a challenge, if last year’s results were anything to go by.
Thankfully we have come through our first matches successfully and now sit second in the table, having gained maximum points for victories but missing out on top spot on goal average.
During these matches we have seen glimpses of the standard of the netball we are capable of playing. I have had moments mid match where I felt hugely inspired by my team mates.
Our defence unit is looking strong and has seen some gravity defying interceptions from Maia, Keira, Kirstin and Niamh.
Our midcourt are looking slick and are making the most of any turnover balls we make with their penetrative drives from Phoebe, Bryher, Beth and Fern through the court.
Our shooting circle is looking consistent and adaptive and big shout out to Caitlyn for some outrageous shots being made especially under pressure.
As a squad we are frustrated when we don’t play to our own high expectations. We are aware of this and this helps us develop a culture where we are constantly learning; helping us bring our best onto court when it is needed.
I want to take this chance to thank all our sponsors and followers for their support over the start of the season. We hugely appreciate the backing we get!