There are three Academies within Somerset: 1 County Academy and 2 Satellite Academies.
Satellite Academy is the first stage of the England Netball Performance Pathway. The athletes normally selected into these academies range from u12-U14, however, depending on ability can be flexible for individuals. The athletes learn to train, focus on the fundamentals of the game and develop an understanding for such things as stretching, hydration, recovery, relaxation etc.
Up to 20 athletes are selected into each Satellite Academy and have a performance session fortnightly between September and March (Easter).
Outside of the academy session, athletes should be also competing in school and at an appropriate level of club competitions.
County Academy is the second level of the England Netball Performance Pathway. The recommended age group for County Academy is u14-u16+, however, depending on ability it can be flexible for individuals.
Up to 20 athletes are selected into the County Academy and will become more focus on different aspects of the game, alongside the emphasis on training and fundamental development.
Outside of the academy session, athletes should be also competing in school and appropriate level club competitions.
A higher level of commitment is expected at this level with homework and extra practice to prepare them for the next level of the Pathway, Regional Academy.
The progression from County Academy is Regional Academy. Somerset Academies feed into Bath Regional Academy. The head county coach communicates with the Regional Academy coach throughout the season, suggesting athletes potentially ready for a taster session in Bath to been seen by the Head coach there. If deemed an athlete with potential the Regional coach will arrange another session for the athlete to attend with a further selector present to make a decision if the athlete can move up the Pathway or they are more suited to stay in County Academy.
Alternatively, every year there is a Netball South West festival for all County Academies were selected County athletes are selected to attend a day where a number of scouts and selectors are present.