sports

11 reasons why netball changes your life and makes you a better human.

Hey Sharon!

By ALISSA WARREN

Netball is the sport of queens. Not princesses.

A netballer has seen enough wins to give her grunt, she’s seen enough losses to make her humble and enough injuries to make her gentle. It doesn’t matter how many games she’s played, all of those things can happen in one game, sometimes more than once.

I’d go so far as to say that netball equips a girl for life.

And this is why:

1. She can make decisions. 

After she’s caught the ball, it’s hers for three seconds. In those three seconds, she has to find her feet, survey the court, assess the defence, find her team mates and pass the ball. Big decisions, tiny amount of time. And it’s not a one-off. This. Is. The. Whole. Game.

2. She knows how to make the most of a bobby pin. 

Hair flailing? Sorted. And FAST. She can manoeuvre a curvy piece of metal quicker than Kim Kardashian could even fathom.

3. “Here if you need.” 

There is no ‘I’ in netball. It’s a TEAM sport. No matter how good the star of the show is, she cannot win on her own. She needs the support of her team.”Here if you need” is netball’s most famous catchphrase, uttered at every game from the U8’s to the big kahunas. Everyone in the team unites. She knows the bigger picture isn’t about one great pass.

4. If you do the wrong thing, you’ll get caught. 

It’s rare that you can go offside or obstruct in netball and NOT be caught. Either the umpire – or some other player – will take you down. Netballers know cheaters get caught. Even if that’s sometimes a little bit annoying.

5. No one stays in the same position. 

It’s always good to try a new position. For every reason, in every aspect of life. Bring it.

6. Timing is everything. 

Netballers know how to intercept. They know how to pivot. And they know that every slight angle can change her whole game. She might not get it right every time but she knows that every angle, every second – makes a difference.

Boom.

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7. Suck It Up. 

A netballer knows that sometimes you just have to SUCK IT UP and play Wing Defence. Sometimes she’s relegated to WD and that’s okay. The lesson? Netballers learn pretty quickly that sometimes she’s not as good as the rest as the team and sometimes she’s a little off her game. Life has WD moments. Own the gig and make it YOURS or ride it out.

Alissa Warren. Winning. Not in the goal-scoring sense.

8. She knows when to LIFT. 

Third quarter is crucial. Peak. Pivotal. Just like INXS said the best part of their rise to the top was before they actually got to the top. Just that little bit before the peak. This, netballers know, is the third quarter. This is when it’s time to bring your main game. This is make or break time.

9. She gets stuff done. 

Netballers are running in short, sporadic movements for close to an hour. On. Off. On. Off. The whole time. They can tie their shoelaces in about 27 seconds. No dramas. They are go-go-going.

10. Peripheral is perfection. 

Being able to see while pretending not to look is unique, sneaky, clever and essential. A netballer can watch without watching. Perfection.

11. She knows relief. 

Relief at the rain stopping six minutes before having to play on an all-weather court, relief at hearing the final whistle, relief at winning and the bloody relief at knowing that the loss is OVER. She knows what it’s like to suck on a pop-top drink bottle at the end of a game. Pure relief.

From the moment a little netballer smells the aroma of rain-soaked asphalt, to the moment she’s told she’s playing on an INDOOR court, she’s a lover of the game. Or maybe not. Perhaps she’s not a lover of the game, but she’s a lover of all the little bits that make up the game.

Success is a build-up of all the 1% moments, not the 100% moment.

It’s not about the game as a whole, it’s about what makes the game.

The rules, the bibs, the oranges at half-time, the whistle, the team.

That’s what makes the woman.

Did you play netball? What position did you play? 

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