Australian Masters Team Plan for 2011 Elite World Championships

Masters "Master Plan' by Coach Elwood (David Sutcliffe)

Hi All,
As the newly appointed coach of the Mens Masters team, I am very keen to put in place a program that will:
a) Develop a team that will be competitive at the 2011 Worlds
b) Encourage the Masters age group players to aspire to be as fit and play as well as they can
c) Remove any perception that some players have that representing Australia in the Masters category is some how a second class competition.

At this point in time the CMAS Aged Group Worlds (Masters, under 19 and under 23 age groups) are planned to be held 1-8 August 2011 in Portugal (although the venue is unlikely to be confirmed until October and Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa and Spain are mentioned as possible alternative hosts).

The Worlds plan is based on holding this competition so that it finishes a week before the Elite Worlds commence, allowing people to travel from one event to the next.
As playing coach, I will be insisting that all members arrive, fit motivated and willing to work as part of a team. When we select the team at the Nationals in 2011, I envisage choosing between 10 and 12 players, but will only take players who have proven they are prepared to get themselves into good nick.

While I understand that in our age group you cannot simply put your life on hold, as the Mens team used to do, but I do expect that players will need to do some sort of training on a daily basis if they expect to be fit enough at the Worlds.

I will be guiding selectors to only choose those players who already have gotten into shape, rather than those that promise to get into shape after being selected. If that means we take less players then so be it!

To progress the team, I am taking a 4 staged process:
1) Send a squad of players to the Asian games to be held Manilla, Philippines late October this year (the dates are October 30, 31, and Nov. 1)
2) Select the team and hold a 2 day training camp at the Nationals.
3) Hold a 4 day training camp in mid June
4) Have a 4 day camp immediately before the first day of competition starts.
Details will be confirmed over the coming months regarding the Worlds, selections and training camp.

However the first stage is the Asian Games in late October.
I am treating this comp as a 5 or 6 day squad training camp and I am keen that anyone who is serious about going to the Worlds next year attend if possible.

What we hope to do will be a mix of:
1) 2 or 3 training sessions per day
2) Divide into 2 or 3 even teams of 5 to 6 players and compete in the Asian games as some of the international mixed teams
3) Play a series against a mixed best team and possibly a South African Masters Team
Craig Mackenzie is negotiating the exact details over the coming weeks, and will provide more information as it is available.

This will be a Masters squad only and open to any Masters player who nominates, who has intention of going to the Worlds.

I expect you to rock up fit and use it as an opportunity to show your worth to make the Australian Masters team.

What I hope is that, by ensuring we set a standard that requires commitment, it will mean all players (including retired elite players) will value playing in the side. Recent examples where players are selected simply because they are available or have turned up unfit at the comp, or get on the grog during the comp will not be tolerated.

Please circulate this to as many Masters players as you can, and encourage anyone interested in the Asian Games (and the Worlds) to get back to me as soon as possible.
Coach Elwood - coachelwood@hotmail.com

Note:  Kirsteen Reid ('Chooky') has kindly offered to coordinate an Australian Womens or Womens Masters Team for the Asia Games in Philippines in late October. Players interested in being part of that squad should contact Kirsteen as soon as possible (krchook@optusnet.com.au).