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Former Sunshine Girls coach targets youth development

Published:Friday | February 3, 2023 | 12:54 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
Winston Nevers
Winston Nevers

FORMER assistant national coach of the Sunshine Girls, Winston Nevers, believes the second staging of the ‘Future Netball Academy’ will attract more participants than its inaugural year in 2022.

The netball clinic, which is the brainchild of former national shooter, Jodi-Ann French-Kentish, will tip off on February 25 at 10 a.m. on the grounds of the Scotiabank Netball Court in Liguanea, Kingston. Nevers who is the head coach of the programme is eyeing numerous development skills which will be taught to the young netballers.

“We are planning to bring in other coaches, including national coach Connie Francis, to help us with the programme. We are also looking at taking the girls to some overseas classics to expose them a little bit more. The 15, 16 and 17 year-old group, which we had from last year, have been doing well so we are looking to improve the skills of aged six and upwards. We will be helping them to develop their catching, passing and all-round court movement, along with shooting and defending,” said Nevers.

The experienced netball coach also hinted at using a coaching method he has copied from watching world-beaters Australia and New Zealand over the years in which they constantly work on ball movement using four to six balls repeatedly to improve concentration levels.

“We are looking at the decision-making, concentration and awareness because it also helps them in their school work. Some have said it helps them when they’re doing their examinations, so there is where we want to make a big push. It helps to develop their concentration. Here in Jamaica we only train with one or two balls so it doesn’t really help the concentration that much,” he added.

Coach Nevers said one aim at the clinic is to help the players attract the attention of some of the top local coaches which in turn could get them into the national programme.

“Scouts, meaning the national coaches, can come and look at the talent and take players from our programme into the national squad. Some players could even get scholarships to local high schools. You have high schools attending and they could take some primary school players into their programmes. It starts from there until it gets bigger,” said Nevers.