The Diamonds training at the AIS, ahead of Sunday's match against New Zealand. From left: Renae Hallinan, Rebecca Bulley, Laura Geitz and Caitlin Thwaites. Photo: Graham Tidy
Recovery tips from professional football teams, including the ACT Brumbies, have helped awaken the Australian Diamonds as the sleeping giant of world netball.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander revealed she had adapted recovery tips from former Brumbies coaches Jake White and Dean Benton, claiming the professional approach had helped the Diamonds claim an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the Constellation Cup series against New Zealand, which finishes in Canberra on Sunday.
Alexander has canvassed training ideas from Super Rugby and AFL.
Bianca Chatfield has a kick of the footy during a break from training on Thursday. Photo: Graham Tidy
When Benton took over as athletic performance director of the Brumbies two years ago, he curiously added compulsory noon naps to the club's training regime. In two years, the Brumbies went from their worst season in Super Rugby history to making a grand final.
After slumping to Australia's first ever series loss against England earlier this year, the Diamonds have borrowed the method from the Brumbies and the results are paying off.
Given the Diamonds' international travel, Alexander said she'd be ''crazy'' not to take advice from teams like the Brumbies who faced similar touring schedules.
''I follow the rugby very closely, I admire the Brumbies' program and love what they've done,'' Alexander said.
''I'm good friends with Dean and his sports science approach and the sleep recovery work they did, we're trying to follow that model.
''We hadn't paid enough attention [to sleep recovery], it affects performance. The thing that the Brumbies and all the rugby teams do is that they have to perform domestically and internationally.''
The Diamonds will attempt to win their fourth consecutive match against the Silver Ferns for the first time when they play at the AIS Arena on Sunday.
Alexander had hoped to meet with White in Canberra, but the South African quit the Brumbies two weeks ago.
Alexander also invited Collingwood AFL coach Nathan Buckley to the Diamonds' Test victory in Melbourne last weekend.
Diamonds captain Laura Geitz isn't one for noon naps. But the Diamonds skipper said tinkering with the training schedule had helped Australia dominate the Silver Ferns.
''[Alexander] is forward thinking and loves to try new things - that's amazing for us,'' Geitz said.
''I'm not someone who does nap during the day, but everyone is different.
''The girls who do it [at] home do it here, and that's what we want to do, we want to make it as normal as possible like life at home.''
Alexander could tinker with her line-up for the last Test against New Zealand.
It's the last time the teams will clash before the Commonwealth Games next year.
''Absolutely we [want a psychological advantage], we want to build the confidence in this group and you don't want to take that for granted. If you play around with it, you can lose it quite quickly,'' Alexander said.