A comparison between skill and decision-making ability of netball players at club level: pilot study
This study explored the differences in technical performance and tactical knowledge of netball players at different levels of competition in the Western Cape. The players (N=30) were divided into three groups based on their level of competition (high level n=5, middle level n=12 and low level n=13). Each player's technical performance was assessed by four skill tests. A test protocol using slides and video clips of 17 different tactical problems was used to assess tactical knowledge. The results indicated that the skill tests were able to distinguish between the three groups, with Group A performing significantly better than Group B (p<0.5). Groups A and B both performed better than Group C (p<0.01). No differences were found among the groups for tactical knowledge. Although the test for tactical knowledge may have not been sufficiently difficult to discriminate differences between the groups, it is also possible that the tactical knowledge of the players who competed at the highest level was not more sophisticated than the knowledge of those who competed at the lowest level. This highlights the importance of coaching to develop tactical knowledge as a critical feature in any comprehensive sport development plan.
Keywords: Netball; Technical performance; Tactical knowledge; Coaching.
South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 29 (1) 2007: pp. 29-38