For New Zealander Yvonne Willering talking and coaching netball are key areas of her life.
For New Zealander Yvonne Willering talking and coaching netball are key areas of her life. Chris Ison

Willering offers views at forum

THOSE attending the weekend sports forum at CQUniversity will be disappointed if they are going along to learn about a New Zealand style of netball from skilled coach Yvonne Willering.

What they will get from this articulate communicator is her personal views on the sport she loves and has served for many years.

Willering arrived in Rockhampton yesterday for the Train Well, Play Well Stanwell Sports Forum and while she has travelled worldwide during her career as a player and a coach with New Zealand's Silver Ferns she did not know what to expect when she arrived in the city.

"I didn't even know where Rockhampton was," she said.

Consequently, having travelled from a cooler climate the Kiwi was taking time out to adjust to the region's heat.

However, any discomfort she might have felt disappeared once she started talking netball.

So what side of Willering will coaches see at the forum?

"Hopefully variety and not an Australia verses New Zealand style," she said.

"My style is not typically New Zealand.

"My aim is to get people thinking. There is no right or wrong in coaching."

After spending a good proportion of her life in the spotlight of international sport, Willering said she now enjoys what she is doing, conducting seminars and meeting netball coaches from all levels of the sport.

"I go where I am invited and can see value in what I'm doing," she said.

Despite never visiting Rockhampton before it is not Willering's first introduction to Central Queenslanders.

"I spent time with the Capricorn Academy girls in Auckland," she said.

"It is nice to have inter-action with the players."

One of the sessions Willering will take during the forum is "defending against tall shooters".

"It is one I'm often asked about," she said.

"I don't see it as a one against one but working (defensive circle) in pairs, setting up for each other, seeing defenders creating rather than tracking the ball in flight."

The master coach does not merely concentrate on defensive tactics and drills and will also provide information on some of the ideas she has on attacking play.

Coaching other coaches provides its own set of difficulties, because first Willering has got to discover the level at which she has to aim her session.

"It will be interesting to see what level they are at," she said.

Obviously if the coach is in charge of a very young group of players then the basic skills are what's required and not a tactical session.

However, she is aware that it is also necessary to take into account the knowledge already gained by coaches and players.

"Sometimes we underestimate the players," she said.

However, one thing is certain and that is whatever Willering teaches Rockhampton coaches, she will make it interesting and her enthusiasm for the game will be contagious.

"I love creating drills but it has to be taken into a game situation," she said.

While at the forum the coach is keen to take in other sessions and will also use the Claws match against Wide Bay to assist in explaining how to analyse a game and how to make decisions on which are the major tactical changes to make during a break.

While still a proud Kiwi, Willering has respect for netball in Australia.

"Australia does have the bragging rights for the next four years," she said ruefully.

"The intensity in training is better here, and their commitment (to travel great distances) is incredible.

"I find the players are self-motivating."

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