Lightning Coaches The Conduit To Keep Team Connected

Motivation is rising as Sunshine Coast Lightning athletes eye the re-start to their official pre-season.

Coaches Kylee Byrne and Chris Voge remain buoyant that restrictions to group training will be lifted in the coming weeks, as more clarity around the 2020 season is revealed.

“We’re trying to be proactive and ‘glass half full’ about how we re-start the season,” Voge said.

“They are itching to get back to netball, that’s what they’re here to do but they’re also making the most of their time.”

There’s been an emphasis on the athletes utilising this period of isolation to better themselves in areas outside of netball, to benefit their mental wellness and prevent fatigue hitting in-season.

“Some players are picking up more study or maybe a bit more work, or just some personal development,” Voge said.

“We’re making sure they get a good balance at this time, so they are fresh and refocused when our preparation and season does get underway.

“We hold a team Zoom Meeting every week, then between Kylee and myself, we would speak to each athlete on the phone – we’re touching base with them as needed.”

In addition to providing support to the Lightning athletes, Chris Voge has also been tasked with the responsibility of managing USC Netball Academy’s shift to online – engaging local netballers, coaches and umpires.

“It’s not just the elite players that are waiting to get back to netball,” Voge said.

“I’ve been heavily involved in the USC Netball Academy here, which we developed last year.

“It is a regional based program, run through the university, working with local netball associations to support athletes, coaches and umpires with learning opportunity and access to elite training programs such as Lightning High Performance knowledge.

An emerging athlete induction camp was due to take place with over 40 athletes, aged between 13-19 years old, just as the COVID-19 restrictions came into full force.

Understanding the importance of community sport, Voge and Lightning midcourter Jacqui Russell are part of the USC Netball Academy team which has worked with stakeholders across the Club and USC to bring the Academy program online.

The program includes home workout programs, netball isolation specific training, off court education, as well as access to USC and Lightning expertise across a range of areas.

The USC Netball Academy forms one of the many local netball pathways Lightning is engaged with out in the community.