Two Valkyries had another early start as they traveled to Warwick University to attend an ‘Upgrade Your Catching Technique’ course run by the Head coach of the GB Women’s flag team, Andrew Gambrill.
The day started with introductions and a classroom session, reminding us all of the fundamentals of the catch and how one might catch on different routes. On the field we were introduced to a couple of finger strengthening and dexterity exercises, that most people will no doubt have practiced over the Bank holiday already! It wasn’t long into the Quiet Fingers catching practice that the session was unfortunately rained off and attendees sought shelter & lunch. Back out onto the field and rain, once again interrupted the Clock drill. Thankfully, the good people of Warwick Uni found a sports hall to continue the session.
All participants nailed the various drills including, over shoulder, wrong shoulder, overhead catches and easy ups under the watchful eye of Andrew, who provided great feedback. All participants had grown in confidence in their catching throughout the day that there were no qualms when it came to the dreaded one-handed catches! Each attendee caught the ball one-handed after sticking with the fundmentals they had been taught throughout the day. A final test of the ‘low ball’ competition (won by our Valkyrie – Ruth Lewis) which tested the longevity of your squat as well as your catching and reaction time and it was time to head back to Wales.
“I had a really great day – well worth the 5am alarm! It’s great to go back to basics every now and then and focus on one element of the game. If you can nail the catch and make it second nature then you can concentrate on other things – like how you might dupe the defence! Andrew broke the day & the techniques down in such a way that there was something for everyone. One attendee commented that she hadn’t realised before that you catch with your fingers, not your palms; while it was clear that others’ catching success and confidence were through the roof by the end of the day. I’ve already been practicing my finger strengthening exercises and can’t wait to put them into practice on the field!”