For many SV members, the indoor season finished at cup finals weekend. However, the Men’s National Team Programme stepped up a gear in their preparation for the SCA finals as most were hanging up (or finally washing) their knee pads. Quiet weekends are a distant memory after morning and afternoon sessions were arranged every Saturday and Sunday. Many people won’t realise the effort it takes to put in so much training, travelling and preparation time whilst still managing to keep up with the less exciting parts of life like washing, shopping and going to work! The focus the NT players have shown since the season ended has been incredible. Not one complaint, not one negative word, just complete focus on achieving our performance targets.
With 6 weeks between the SVL Premier League finishing and the NT participating in the SCA finals, maintaining match sharpness and focus on performance targets was essential. The solution was the introduction of the Men’s NT Performance League. Each weekend a 7 set match between 2 teams of NT players and guests, took place. Teams and individuals were awarded points for winning sets and achieving predetermined performance targets with a league table shared with the squad each week. The data provided regular feedback to the players on their progress and gave additional information to NT staff to aid with preparation. With 4 rounds of matches complete, the results are in…….
Service reception was one of the most competitive performance criteria in the Performance League with points awarded to players for their percentage of excellent and positive passes. With noteworthy passing scores for all players in the top 5, Liam Darling came out on top with an outstanding 62.5% of passes in service reception achieving an excellent score.
|Passer||Excellent passing %|
Another fiercely contested category with only 1.5% separating the top 4 but after achieving 77% kill percentage in week 1, outside hitter Jonny Black managed to maintain a high enough score to come out on top with 51.8%. Niall Collin finished as highest scoring opposite with Edward Oldbury top of the pile for the middle blockers.
After 4 matches the ‘king of the block’ award finished with an exact tie. Setter, Euan Fraser, and middle blocker, Mark Cathro, both came out with an average of 3.6 blocks per match (narrowly beating middle blocker Darren Martin who finished on 3.3). Hopefully both Mark and Euan can continue their form whilst on their first senior NT tour later this month.
The serve v pass battle is always high on the list of stats, deciding the result of a match with service pressure required with minimal errors. Mark Cathro earned the best server award, maintaining a high serving efficiency (95%) and outweighing errors with aces in every match.
Congratulations to all the award winners, however, a huge thank you to the full squad (and guests, Eddie & Kal) who all contributed towards raising the performance bar. The squad travelling to the Faroe Islands on Thursday can have nothing but gratitude for their fellow NT players who will not be present on tour. The attitude from the whole group towards making sure those in the Faroes are well prepared has been outstanding. The Performance League has been a success and as the saying goes, “iron sharpens iron, as one man sharpens another”.
Feeling sharp. Bring on Tórshavn.
The team are playing at the following dates and times:
Friday 13th May – Scotland v Iceland – 8pm
Saturday 14th May – Scotland v Faroe Islands – 5pm
Sunday 15th May – Scotland v San Marino – 2pm