Playing without fear will help make the step up for England’s Roses, says Karen Atkinson
Karen Atkinson, currently and former England international Strathclyde Sirens technical manager, discusses the change from team to international netball and highlights the value of Jess Thirlby’s selection calls.
With an intricate understanding of Superleague netball, from a playing and now coaching perspective, Atkinson is to shine a light on the gap between the Superleague and Test stages.
The jump up from you to another is something many gamers will make in South Africa and unlike throughout Atkinson days, it will be carried out and be more visible for all to see.
“it is a huge step [from Superleague to Tests] in terms of the genuine caliber, the seriousness and the spotlight surrounding international netball,” Atkinson told Sky Sports.
“Also there is a big mental shift too, when it comes to placing on the red apparel; the senior England dress.
“They’ll be incredibly nervous and incredibly enthused. I believe that the players that will fare the best will be the people who just go out there and play without fear.”
Performing without anxiety is a lot easier said than done, though. If it concerns the best on the planet, the chance is that many moved through a learning process that is substantial during their initial 10 to 20 caps.
For most it requires some time although there really are a few who possess an ability to perform without anxiety. If the Roses of England are to obtain the best possible outcome in South Africa it comes to both players and the part that is very important that their newest head coach will perform too.
“Jess will understand how important this experience is to a number of the younger gamers. She’ll want to expose them also ensure it is as favorable a beginning to their global careers as possible,” the former England international stated.
“When she plays particular gamers, how long they perform and over what mixtures will be really key and will make the distinction between these having a positive learning experience versus something that could be harmful at the onset of their international careers.
“How she debriefs with gamers and also how communicates together throughout the series [is also significant ].
“Jess will wish to come off, absolutely she’ll want to obtain a series triumph, but also she’ll want to have gained a lot of understanding of the players and also for them to have real positivity about their early international Tests”
For those players , showing balance on court is going to be crucial and Atkinson, for example head trainer Thirlby, is eager to see which individuals are able to get right in the warmth of the Test arena.
“Players will need to have the ability to perform their positional abilities well under stress and a number of those are just the basics including the accuracy of a feed by the WA or putting up the shots from the Universe,” noted Atkinson.
“You also need to observe just a little bit of’ballsy-ness’ for want of a better word! You wish to find that they’re willing to try things like a defender going out for even a mid-court player or this intercept seeing a feed to the circle.
“As a trainer, that begins to get you believing that there’s more you can develop with their sport, however they need to have a excellent balance. They can not just be going for intercepts left, right and centre or chucking balls in for pleasure rather than sticking to task, the balance is essential.”
The Vitality Roses’ squad has eight players using 20 caps or fewer and the 3 Tests in South Africa will be played without a who is who of netball.
“I think it’s clear that fans will like to see that the likes of Jo Harten, Helen Housby and Geva Mentor enjoying. They’re household names today and lovers have got used to seeing them and they affiliate together.
“However, I think there are a lot of players inside this England squad who are going to be the big names in two-years time. To see how they go when they’re mixed in with a few players, is very exciting.
“They’re not going to get it right the entire time when they’re in South Africa since they are young and inexperienced in that level.
“But, Jess (Thirlby) only needs to find enough from their physiological capacities and mental resilience that gives her an indication that somebody has possibly what it can take to get a Commonwealth Games and also a Netball World Cup.
“Some players have got a huge opportunity to just say,’Here I am, I could make some errors but this is what I’m going to be effective at in a couple of years ‘ and I hope they take it”
Sky Sports is your house of netball and live action returns with this tour to South Africa. The very first Test from the Velodrome in Cape Town will be streamed globally on YouTube and is going to be shown at 5pm on November 29.