Kapow! Trials Writeup (1st/2nd December, 2012)

Saturday: Evaluating skills, capacities and athletic ability

Four returning players were charged with evaluation of the participants.

Pichler was looking at offensive receiving/upfield play which included huck receiving in the first major drill and cutting/throwing a continuation break in the second major drill.
Smatt was looking at defense which included defending hucks, and then a combination of forcing and man marking/attempting to stop the continuation break in the second drill.
Pringle was looking at throwing, which included throwing hucks and then breaking a mark on the second major drill.
Dave Tyler was the last talent scout, and was running the athletic ability tests which included a straight line speed test, a short distance cutting/turning speed test, a middle distance cutting/turning speed test and some tests for plyometric ability.

After the drills, only 20 ish minutes remained of our day and so we set up some pitches and just played games. The scouts were just keeping an eye on people without taking notes.

After the day, we had about 3/4 sheets each filled with numbers which Pichler gathered into a spreadsheet.

Sunday: Games and grasping new concepts

After the drills based Saturday the decision was made to have a games based Sunday. Pichler, DT and I were the captains of the triallists, who were split into three teams. Each of us was assigned one of the zones we had used last season and, after a brief summary and short practice of them to each team we started to play games to three points where the defense always set up their zone to run down with. The idea behind this was to attempt to gain an insight into how quickly players would grasp our zones which are outside the conventional set played by most teams, both playing in them and against them. Each team had to adapt their play to the zones being played by the other teams, which they may have never seen before and the results were very positive.

After that, two pitches were set up and players were encouraged to switch pitches and shirts in order for them to get experience playing with lots of different people and to give the three captains a chance to get to see everyone.

After that, the scouts headed to get a coffee, and thus begun a very long discussion on the past two days.
There were very interesting points raised by the different captains and I was surprised at how many differing opinions there were of some players. After a couple of hours, a couple of hot drinks and plenty of tough evaluation we had trimmed down the triallists to definite selections, players we wanted to invite to re-trial and definite cuts.
There were some very tough calls due to the high standard. During this week the conversations have continued off the back of the spreadsheet filled with stats and some people have moved between the three distinctions. Emails were sent the next week and the hard work continued.