Preseason underway at Lightning HQ

Sunshine Coast Lightning has commenced preseason training this week in preparation for the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season, with athletes participating in a range of tests and training activities.

Head Coach Noeline Taurua said after taking out the title of SSN premiers for the second year running, the team’s focus was now on building the foundations for Lightning’s third season, which kicks off in April 2019.

“For us, the first couple of weeks of preseason are based around the physical body,” Taurua said.

“We conduct strength, power, aerobic, biomechanical, muscle balance and medical assessments and use these as benchmarks throughout the season to make sure we’re improving.

“Through these tests, we’re also able to determine any strengths, weaknesses or imbalances and tailor programs to suit individual athletes’ needs.”

Taurua said one of the activities players would be participating in included force plate testing.

“The force plate looks at the balance between the left and right side of the body. As athletes land on a plate, we measure the amount of force involved and can detect any imbalances that need addressing.

“USC’s 3D motion capture system is also really useful as it allows us to examine the biomechanics of movement in the arms, legs and other areas. We can then address any sub-optimal movement techniques or areas that require strengthening.

“I believe we’re starting from a better base than in past years as we have been able to fine-tune our systems and processes in 2017 and 2018 and better understand what we need to do and what strengths individual players bring to the court.”

Taurua said the Club also focused on athlete nutrition, wellbeing, strength and conditioning, physiotherapy and performance analysis.

“At the end of the day, preseason is all about ensuring our athletes are physically, mentally and emotionally ready to compete when our first game rolls around.

“We work hard to create a learning environment where our players feel comfortable in expressing themselves both on and off the court, and we try to get out and about and enjoy everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer.

“Outside the traditional gym setting, you might find our players out on the tennis court or running on the beach during preseason.

“These activities not only enable us to soak up the coast’s beautiful landscapes and lifestyle, but they also act as great team building activities.”

Players Steph Wood, Laura Scherian, Maddy McAuliffe, Peace Proscovia, Jacqui Russell, Cara Koenen and Annika Lee-Jones have commenced preseason training, with Laura Langman, Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni expected to arrive at Lightning headquarters in the new year.