Callum Knox Returns From Spain After Coaching National Basketball Squads
Thursday 06 July 2017
Callum Knox, our Health and Fitness Manager and Head Coach of Women’s Basketball for the University, has just returned from two action packed weekends spent coaching national squads in Spain. Callum’s first coaching weekend (23rd-25th of June) was spent in Calella, Spain as Head Coach for the U15’s National Development Squads. This consisted of two teams, comprised of twenty six girls from all over Scotland, between thirteen and fourteen years old, who were competing in the U16 Euro Basketball Cup Tournament.
The first game of the weekend was up against Basket Venaria, an Italian club team. The second game of the day was against Stevnsgade, a Denmark club team. Both games proved to be challenging but the following day, the girls bounced back with two victories over Spanish club’s A.E Boet Mataró and C.B. Cunit, securing the Scottish squad’s place in the semi-finals of the plate. The following day saw a game against strong Spanish side, Ce Diagonal Mar and the girls were unfortunately beaten by 7 points. The other squad team played an extremely close game against a versatile Italian club, Basket Venaria, who beat the girls by just 1 points. Callum comments: ‘It was a tough end to the tournament but not necessarily disappointing because I’m extremely proud of the girls and how hard they worked.’
Callum explained that for a lot of the girls, this was their first time playing for Scotland, their first time playing in a different country, and their first time competing in an international club tournament. ‘I enforced a higher level of discipline than perhaps the girls are used to in order for them to perform at the highest level possible.’ Callum was accompanied by two assistant coaches, a team manager and a team physiotherapist, who together, prepared the team as best they with the use of video analysis, nutritional guidance and effective recovery protocols. Callum commented on his overall experience as Head Coach:
‘This being my first national team coaching experience, I was lucky enough to work with a fantastic coaching staff who managed to support and challenge me to be a more effective coach. We complimented each other very well with our broad range of knowledge from different areas.’
He also commented on the performance of the two squads he coached:
‘Over the course of the tournament, players were faced with a level of competition they had not yet seen in this early stage of their career. They stepped up to the plate and were able to take on the challenge and hold their own. Many of the younger players put on particularly impressive performances.’
The following weekend, Callum was fortunate enough to also have the opportunity to be Assistant Coach for the U16’s and U18’S Women’s National Performance programmes for a series of organised games against various Spanish teams in Barcelona. In the first two days, both teams had games against four Cataluñya regional squads, one of which is the reigning Spanish Regional Champion team. Their players were of a very high standard, some of whom will be up for national team selection in their age category. It was a fantastic experience for both squads, as the majority of them had never faced such a high level of opposition. The following days were against local club teams, with the U16’s squads beating Catolic’s U18’s on the Saturday, a fantastic achievement given the age difference. The U18 squad was also victorious against San Josep U18’s on the Sunday.
‘This was another first time for myself, being an assistant coach this time, in a strictly performance setting. This enabled me and the coaching team to be more specific with our game preparation and video analysis. It was also a chance for me to work with two established youth national team head coaches, from whom I learnt a great deal. I look forward to implementing the knowledge I gained from this experience into my coaching for both the University team and hopefully for further national youth squad coaching, if I am fortunate enough to coach national squads in the future. ‘
‘I am very excited about this coming year with the addition of the women’s second team. I am looking to develop more female players at the university of St Andrews and look forward to getting back to work!’
Saints Sport would like to congratulate Callum on his selection for Scottish National Squad coaching and look forward to seeing what he will achieve in the near future! #EverToExcel #SaintsBasketball #BasketballScotland
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