27 February 2020

Loughborough Lightning netball head coach Sara Bayman reveals lessons learned from last year

Loughborough Lightning netball coach Sara Bayman has revealed what her first season was like with the Vitality Superleague side. 

The 35 year-old moved away from being a player at Strathclyde Sirens and went into her first coaching role at Lightning last year.

The side finished in fourth place and are looking to push for a higher finish in the table during the 2020 campaign. 

The England international, who has 84 caps to her name, told Sky Sports: "I learnt a huge amount about myself and about the dynamics of a team behind the scenes.

"As a player you think that you understand the game and how teams work and then as a coach it just looks completely different.

"A lot of what I learnt was around just how important the man-management side of it is and how important it is that the players feel comfortable and happy."

Bayman has four Superleague titles to her name and has revealed that being a great coach is not all about the technical side

"When players talk about great coaches and managers they don’t sit down and say that they’ve just enjoyed the most incredible technical session. They talk about the fact that someone makes everyone feel part of the environment and that they’ve created an incredible culture.

"Moving into the job what I was most nervous about was the coaching. I was wondering if I was going to be able to impact players and make a difference to some top players?

"In fact, that was probably the least of my worries during the season. It was more about how do I keep everyone on court? How do I keep everyone happy? How do I keep the team motivated? It was a huge learning curve." 

At the season opener last weekend in Birmingham, Lightning lost 72-58 to Team Bath. 

They will next face Scotland's only professional side Strathclyde Sirens on February 29 at the Sir David Wallace Arena.

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