John Harmer with Alex Blackwell and Joanne Broadbent
The Lend Lease Breakers are leaving no stone un-turned in their quest for a 10th consecutive WNCL title with former England and Australian women’s coach, John Harmer, spending three days with the squad to help refine their techniques.
An expert in biomechanics, Harmer took the Australian women’s team to three World Cup Finals between 1994 and 2001 before moving to England to take charge of their side.
“If you look at the teams that win competitions they are always the most skilful at that point of time. The skills of the game must be well learned and players must be able to execute them under pressure. It is about repetition and muscle education to get the response that you want,” Harmer explained.
After several weeks of fitness training the Breakers are about to start a series of specialist skills sessions and Head Coach Joanne Broadbent, who was coached by Harmer while playing for Australia, felt that her former mentor’s expertise would help lay a solid platform.
“It is important that the players get that grounding from the technical aspect of their game and John is one of the best in the business in knowing what the body can do, and what needs to be done to make it work more efficiently,” she said.
“When you get the technical component right, then that helps with confidence,” she added.
Harmer conducted one-on-one sessions with a number of Lend Lease Breakers ranging from the most experienced player in the squad, Alex Blackwell, to young all-rounder Naomi Stalenberg who made her WNCL debut last season.
“I love coaching and the Breakers are an exciting squad to coach with some quality players,” said Harmer.
“In addition to being very good listeners, they’ve got the talent to know how to change their body and that means that they’ve got some awareness on where their body is.
“For example, if they’ve got ‘long arms’ at the wrong point of their bowling action it hasn’t been hard for them to either make themselves more compact, or to put the rotations in the same direction as they are running. Those are the minor things that actually make a huge difference to the balance and execution of their bowling actions.”