Blogs & Opinion


Coach's Corner: Herts Mavericks GS Sophie Hankin and shooting circles are under the spotlight

Features Posted 25th February 2014 view comments

Coach, player, author, commentator, analyst... Anita Navin's list of netballing expertise is long and here at Sky Sports we've asked her to take up the post in our Coach's Corner to analyse all the big talking points from the ZEO Netball Superleague.

Lucky number seven?

ANITA'S VIEW: It was all about the number seven on Tyneside with the home side trailing by seven and no Team Northumbria goal for over seven minutes in the first quarter.

Sophie Hankin: an unconventional shooting style but successful

Sophie Hankin: an unconventional shooting style but successful

A combined total of seven shooters took to the court and an uncharacteristically low tally of seven attempts at goal were made in Quarter 1 and Q2 by Northumbria's GS Noleen Lennon.

Seven attempts at goal per quarter would more likely be a target of the accompanying Goal Attack in a game in this competition. The demon GA Oonagh McCulloch from Northumbria could only manage seven attempts in the first half and converted four.

Developing a positive relationship with any shooter pairing is vital and coaches should devote time and court specific work to develop this.

Anita Navin
Quotes of the week

Mavericks coach Karen Atkinson continues to search of the magic number of 60 goals scored per game and with an average to date of only 44, there was at the conclusion of this game a healthier tally of 51/69 (74%).

Team Northumbria were not firing, although with an average of four intercepts per quarter Toner playing at WD for the home side did deliver and disrupt Mavericks on numerous occasions.

The ZEO Player of the Match, Mavericks' Sophie Hankin, entered the game as GA for the second half and scored that lucky seven goals each quarter played. Scoring 14/19 (74%) critics may say this is not hitting the big target of 90% for this league however, the total tally for the Mavericks shooter pairing was 16/19 in Q3 and 16/21 in Q4.

Hankin did inject some creativity and variety into the Mavericks attack with some positive and dynamic movement at the second phase of the centre pass, thus achieving the sought after target of more than 18 combined attempts at goal per quarter. Her movement into the circle was well timed and her characteristic longer goal line runs and wide rotation proved difficult for the Team Northumbria defence to counteract.

In contrast, Hankin lacks height in the shooting circle but she impressed with her ability to use the 'step back' when faced with the tall and strong defensive arms over the shot. With a slightly lower release point and a technique resembling a basketball style she continues to develop her court craft and ability to outwit her opponents at such a young age.

Developing a positive relationship with any shooter pairing is vital and coaches should devote time and court specific work to develop this. The shooter eyes are at the back and the front shooter should instigate the move, but how many times do we see the reverse, with limited options and less space available for the ball moving to goal? Mavericks also demonstrated a better structure with their feeders (WA and C) who committed to setting the triangle which is a feeder at the top of the circle and one at the base on the shooter side.

Hankin at times demonstrated this understanding to perfection and balanced the circle well. If the Mavericks GS moved to the top of the circle she often moved to the baseline and also entered the circle to open up space, often on the non GS side.

It was a perfect day for Hankin after also being named in the England long squad for the U19 European Championships coupled with a win on Tyneside for her team. It is all about seven and I hope she makes it to the lucky seven selected to represent her country in the up and coming Championships.

Working the circle

Tip#1: Encourage shooter rotation hitting the top of the circle and the base stressing a good body angle to sight the ball coming down the court, the space or circle and the other shooter.

Tip #2: Pulling wide as Hankin did when moving to goal enabled her to sight all options and space available. In addition, using the occasional changes of pace on the movement to the shooting circle she made a positive impact in the attacking unit.

The difference in shooter pairings was noticeable in this game so coaches, look for the following when you watch the next live game: which shooter is the front mover and the first mover? What entry points to the goal circle does the GA use? This will make the difference I'm sure between the top and bottom four!

Comments (1)

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Kim North says...

Great article Anita.

Posted 14:06 26th February 2014

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