Scotland Training Camp with PKC (August)

The Scotland squad recently visited The Netherlands for a training camp which involved training sessions, a visit to PKC to train and play with some of the best korfball players in the world, some video analysis coaching and was finished off with the Velocitas tournament.

The squad arrived on Wednesday evening with a few guest additions, Scotland regulars Andrea Kinver, Angus Davidson, Dan Pratt, Elly Gaunt, Emma Stanley and Natasha Lynch were joined by Luke James and Gary Cole. After a good night’s sleep, the squad were ready to start their busy schedule.

Training started early on Thursday with a walk to the Velocitas ground for some loosening exercises and shooting drills, after which a the typical Dutch lunch was served up with lots of ham, cheese and bread rolls, a theme that would carry on throughout the week.
Training continued after lunch, with some section work and positional play, but energy was being conserved for what would be a real highlight. The team climbed aboard the minibus, which Beth kindly volunteered (actually had no choice) to drive and headed down to Papendrecht.

Arriving in the evening the squad took some time to settle in at PKC, taking photos and watching the impressive youth teams train on the many pitches available. Head coach Jan de Jager met the squad and took us on a guided tour of the facilities, getting to see behind the scenes of the world’s biggest korfball club. After the tour we took to the pitch and were training with the PKC selection, Jan took us through some shooting and passing drills before some 2 on 2 attacking and defending. After a while the group split up with half going to another pitch to play some 4 on 4, where the Scottish and PKC players were mixed into divisions, it was exciting to be playing with Korfball League players and a real highlight was getting to play against and alongside one of the best female players in history when Mady Tims joined in.

The training came to an end and the squad were invited to stay for some drinks which were very welcome after a fast paced and enjoyable training session.

Friday morning the squad were up bright and early for some more section work and shooting drills followed by even more ham, cheese and rolls. In the afternoon we were visited by video analyst Patrick van der Meer who uses camera’s, screens and phone applications to provide instant feedback to coaches. We started by using the equipment to look at shot technique and the curvature of our shots, this was useful in being able to instantly correct minor details that would otherwise go unnoticed, it also allowed Beth to talk through what she wanted whilst replaying the video. Finally the squad played some 4 on 4, with Beth using the phone app to record parts of the play to discuss afterwards.

After a couple of hard days training the squad were treated to a 3 course meal and some drinks before getting to bed for a well deserved rest.

The day of the tournament arrived and Scotland’s guest players increased with Ian and Pete arriving to fill in the spaces on the team sheet, the first game against Phoenix didn’t go well with errors and tired play leading to a 3-0 loss, but throughout the day the team improved, the players gelled and results got better. The team did win some silver-wear with Dan also playing for Velocitas who won the group!

After a tough few days came the party, Velocitas put on a BBQ and then their clubhouse became a disco, the squad even had a visit from injured player Morven and Arjen too.

The team enjoyed their first lay-in of the trip on Sunday and slowly arose to gather their belongings and head to the airport, a great time was had by everyone on the trip and lots of lessons had been learnt as well as many memories being made.

Dan Pratt