After observing Rebecca, a netball player positioned as Goal Attack I have identified both strengths and weaknesses in her performance. One of her strengths would be her general ball handling skills; I am yet to see her make one mistake whilst receiving the ball from another team member. The ball is always efficiently received and immediately passed on to another player. Since I started observing Rebecca she has used a range of passing techniques including bounce pass and shoulder pass, but has most often used the more accurate chest pass.
She is also clearly a good attacking central court player as she creates space and time for her team members whilst communicating on the attack. Displaying her ability to be a good team player and also a good leader/captain. One weakness that I have identified would be Rebecca’s shooting. As a Goal Shooter she needs to improve her accuracy and knowledge of the best technique to use whilst shooting. In order to improve Rebecca needs a successful action plan of her weaknesses, her improvements and a timescale.
I realise how important an action plan can be, due to my past experience with my Personal Performance Portfolio for AS level P. E. For the action plan to be successful she needs to train, and could base her training programme on the training principles. Firstly, she has to ensure that the programme is specific to netball and the skill of shooting. Rebecca has to progress by increasing the duration, intensity and frequency at whilst she trains. She needs realistic goals in training, e. g. scoring at least six out of ten shots for the first training session and then increase the difficulty.
Depending on the time scale chosen for improvements she could use a Macro, Meso or Micro cycle for improvements long or short term. She could also use the principle of overload by taking away a time scale to a training session and just keep shooting until she has ten or fifteen shots in one go, which ever is most challenging. She has to be aware of reversibility and the fact that if she stops training her ability would decrease at a pace dependent on how long she has been training. Also the principle of tedium has to be considered, ensuring variance in training session to avoid fatigue and increase motivation.
Rebecca’s body would then have certain adaptations to the training. Even though she has been concentrating on improving a skill, she has also improved her endurance and fitness level by training so much. The short-term adaptations to training would be an increase in heart rate, ventilation, temperature and blood pressure. The long-term adaptations would be a decrease in resting heart rate, an increase in stroke volume, bradycardia, and size of left ventricle, lung volume to utilise more alveoli, elasticity of arterial walls, capillarisation and muscle mitochondria.
Another training adaptation would be the amount of slow and fast twitch fibres in Rebecca’s muscles. She needs fast twitch fibres as all netball players need quick reactions, speed and agility. Yet they also need slow twitch fibres, as netball is a team sport, which requires endurance. Rebecca, as a Goal Attack needs to be aware of the effect of forces. The internal effect that her muscles have whilst contracting to shoot the ball and the external effect of the gravity pushing back against the ball. Knowledge and execution of balance is also crucial.
Rebecca displays knowledge of this as she positions herself with the feet shoulder width apart in a steady position to pass, shoot or receive the ball. She must realise that to be balanced the centre of gravity, her weight needs to be balanced in all directions. As Newton states in his second law of motion – acceleration, the ball will move if it is directly proportional to the force causing it and inversely proportional to the mass of the object. So Rebecca must realise how heavy the ball is and just how much force she needs to apply for it to move into the net.
She knows this as she has probably been taught how to throw a ball from a young age; therefore it is a fundamental motor skill. As an A level student with her first sport being netball, I would suggest that Rebecca is in either the Associate or Autonomous stage of learning. But from watching her play today she has looks to be in the autonomous stage of learning for netball, but the cognitive stage of shooting. This could be because of the importance of the day so she is making unnecessary mistakes because of nervousness.
Another aspect that is playing large part of her performance would be Rebecca’s motivation level. Her motivation levels for today will be high as well as her arousal levels as today is so important. But as Yerkes and Dodson states the higher your arousal level the higher your performance level will be, but only to a certain point – optimum arousal level. After this point, the performer becomes over-aroused and this has a negative effect on performance. This could possibly occur today as Rebecca’s arousal’s levels as so high.
I have noticed since watching Rebecca that she has passed the ball a lot to the Centre. This could be because the Centre moves into a good position every time for support or it could be because of an individual relationship between the two players. They could possibly be from the same school therefore are friends and are used to playing netball with each other. The group cohesion is strengthened by the two key players good social interaction. The group dynamics on a day like today will suffer as the players are out of their usual environment and are not used to playing with players from other schools.
But they do have a strengthened task interaction as they all want to succeed today. Social facilitation is the effect an audience has on performance; this will be a huge issue today. Rebecca is playing her chosen sport in front of many significant others, many of which are evaluating her performance. She is experiencing evaluation apprehension which could have a negative or positive effect on her performance. If her dominant response is correct then the thought of having important people watch her will have a positive effect and could improve performance.
If the dominant response is incorrect then this will have a negative effect on performance. The effect of her co-actors could also be having an effect on performance. Positively as Rebecca is trying to prove her ability is as good as any other player there or possibly better, or negatively as she could be comparing herself to players that play at a higher standard to her. Significant others are the crucial aspect to social facilitation as it is with appropriate role models. Rebecca, as a netball player in South Wales doesn’t have many role models.
The two main role models would be her teacher and coach, if she has one. Her Coach would also adopt the roles of an instructor, a motivator, a leader, a friend and a manager. The same roles would be adopted by her teacher, but with some more discipline, as she has to follow a specific curriculum. Women in sport in general, specifically netball don’t have many role models to look up to and admire as women have always been second to men in most sports. Specifically in this area women’s opportunities, provision and esteem suffer due to the traditional emphasis of a male rugby dominated welsh culture.
Rebecca hasn’t been given the same amount of opportunities as many other sports people and this has had a negative effect. For Rebecca to be in a local team she has to travel to the training sessions and matches which can be up to fifteen minutes from her home. Even on a national scale women are under represented in sport, with only 5% of the space in national newspapers for sport covering women’s sport. Lack of funding is also an issue, which would have been detrimental to Rebecca’s performance. There is a lack of facilities in the area therefore a lack of general interest for trials and tournaments.
South Wales Schools, unfortunately for Rebecca, concentrate more on rugby for boys as opposed to netball for girls; this needs to improve on a national scale for Rebecca to see any benefits in her performance. But unfortunately for Rebecca and other local sports women this has always been the case. Traditionally emphasis in sport was always on public school boys. The only main sport girls used to play was tennis, never netball in the nineteenth century girl’s schools. So women’s sport started steps behind men and will remain steps behind, making girls in school today, like Rebecca feel inferia to her male sporting counterparts.