Article by Jaane Paul - Assistant Coach Born to Shine Squad
When opportunities present in our sport, we have to look at these as ways to develop our up-and-coming players. QLD Suns we have identified that we can offer our young players opportunities to participate in training and competitions with the older age groups, so as to increase exposure to different stimuli and accelerate development. Hence, it seems necessary to deepen the knowledge about the impact of some age-related task, not only in physical performance but also in tactical and mental behaviour.
We went out to our QLD Suns playing pool and asked for those that were interested in participating in the Invitation Mini-Series, the response was overwhelming. We decided that we would pick from our Open Men’s team players that could not only offer strength in each third of the court but those that were willing to mentor our younger players over the four days.
It wasn’t all about the tactical plays on court but to also instil in our players professionalism and what it means to represent our sport on the big stage. To support the pool of players that were selected from the QLD Suns Men’s, U17 & U20’s was our experienced Open Men’s Coach Garry Pashen and assisting him was Jaane Paul (JP).
JP new to QLD Suns and while we are focused on developing our sport and players, we are also conscious that we give opportunities to our coaches.
Garry led the team for three of the four games and handed over the reins for the third game in Toowoomba which was against the QLD Sapphires. This was a true test for JP drawing the game. JP says she has come away from the experience with a taste of what coaching at an elite level is and knows she has what it takes. When speaking with the players not only were they appreciative of the invitation to play but to play with those that they idolise. The players from the Men’s team were very encouraging and asked the younger men to raise to the occasion and play to their strengths.
When you compare the players from the first game to the last there is significant improvement in their game. Exposure to being coached by Garry and an opportunity for Garry to see the talent that is coming through from our younger players I believe had an impact on all.