If you’re a netball player, you know that the overhead pass is an essential skill to master. The overhead pass, also known as the high pass or lob, is a technique used to pass the ball over an opponent’s head or around a defender. It’s a great way to move the ball quickly up the court and create scoring opportunities for your team. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the overhead pass in netball, including tips, techniques, and drills to improve your skills.
Tips for the Overhead Pass in Netball
Before we get into the techniques and drills, let’s start with some general tips to keep in mind when practicing and executing the overhead pass in netball.
1. Focus on accuracy
The overhead pass is a high-risk, high-reward technique. If executed correctly, it can be an effective way to move the ball quickly up the court. However, if executed poorly, it can result in a turnover and give your opponents an advantage. Focus on accuracy and take your time when executing the overhead pass.
2. Use your whole body
The overhead pass requires the use of your entire body, not just your arms. Use your legs and core to generate power and momentum. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and weight on the balls of your feet. As you prepare to throw, transfer your weight from your back foot to your front foot and use your core to rotate your torso.
3. Practice, practice, practice
The more you practice the overhead pass, the more comfortable and confident you will become. Practice with a partner or against a wall, and focus on your technique and accuracy. Start with short passes and gradually increase the distance as you improve.
Techniques for the Overhead Pass in Netball
Now that we’ve covered some general tips, let’s dive into the techniques for executing the overhead pass in netball.
1. Grip the ball correctly
Start by gripping the ball with your fingers spread wide, with your thumbs on opposite sides of the ball. This will give you more control and accuracy when throwing. Hold the ball with your dominant hand, with your non-dominant hand supporting the ball from below.
2. Use your legs and core
As mentioned earlier, the overhead pass requires the use of your entire body, not just your arms. Use your legs and core to generate power and momentum. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and weight on the balls of your feet. As you prepare to throw, transfer your weight from your back foot to your front foot and use your core to rotate your torso.
3. Push the ball up and out
As you bring the ball up above your head, push it up and out towards your target. Your arms should be fully extended, with your elbows locked out. Your wrists should be flexed, with your fingers pointing towards the sky. Aim for a high, looping arc that will clear any defenders in your way.
4. Follow through
After releasing the ball, follow through with your arms and shoulders towards your target. This will help ensure accuracy and distance on your pass.
Drills to Improve Your Overhead Pass in Netball
Practice makes perfect, so here are some drills you can do to improve your overhead pass in netball.
1. Wall Pass
The wall pass is a simple drill that you can do on your own. Stand about 2-3 meters away from a wall and practice throwing the ball against the wall with an overhead pass. Focus on accuracy and technique, and try to catch the ball cleanly when it bounces back.
2. Partner Pass
Practice the overhead pass with a partner by standing a few meters away from each other. Take turns throwing and catching the ball with an overhead pass, focusing on accuracy and technique. Gradually increase the distance between you and your partner as you improve.
3. Relay Race
This drill is great for practicing your overhead pass under pressure. Divide your team into two groups and set up a relay race course. Each player must pass the ball to the next player in line using an overhead pass. The team that completes the course first wins. This drill will help you practice accuracy and quick decision-making under pressure.
4. 3 on 2 Game
This drill is great for practicing your overhead pass in a game-like situation. Divide your team into two groups, with one group having three players and the other having two players. The team with three players must pass the ball using overhead passes, while the team with two players tries to intercept the ball. Switch roles after a set amount of time or when the team with two players successfully intercepts the ball. This drill will help you practice accuracy, decision-making, and teamwork.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Now that we’ve covered tips, techniques, and drills, let’s take a look at some common mistakes to avoid when executing the overhead pass in netball.
1. Incorrect grip
A common mistake is gripping the ball incorrectly, which can lead to poor accuracy and control. Remember to grip the ball with your fingers spread wide and your thumbs on opposite sides of the ball.
2. Not using your legs and core
Another common mistake is relying solely on your arms to execute the overhead pass. Remember to use your legs and core to generate power and momentum.
3. Not following through
Failing to follow through with your arms and shoulders after releasing the ball can result in poor accuracy and distance on your pass.
The overhead pass is an essential skill for any netball player to master. Remember to focus on accuracy, use your whole body, and practice, practice, practice. Use the techniques and drills we’ve covered in this post to improve your overhead pass and avoid common mistakes. With time and practice, you’ll be executing perfect overhead passes in no time!