All netballers know what it’s like to sit there on the bench, keeping it nice and toasty! But most of us don’t want to stay there long-term. Here are my tips for folding up the rug, taking off your jacket and earning your place on the court.
I’ve lost count of all the times I was stuck on the bench! Sometimes it was behind a player who I knew was better than me and other times it was when I believed I could contribute more to the team. No matter what your circumstance is, my tips to getting out on court are the same.
- Make a time to chat to your coach and ask them what skills they think you can improve on. Treasure this information, go away and work on it (outside of team trainings). Once you’ve mastered that skill, ask for another area for improvement – keep this going until you make your way out on to court. Personally, I worked very hard at home when no one was watching. I wanted to make sure that I couldn’t give the coach an easy reason to put me on the bench, for example poor fitness or ball skills.
- Even though you may think you should be on court and are disappointed not to be, always be a team player and be positive at team trainings and games. Supporting your team is an important skill to have. Don’t let your attitude be the reason you are on the bench!
- Fuel your body well in preparation for trainings and games, and make sure you make the effort to ensure you recover well too. You will get maximum benefits of training and games if you do this, and your performance will benefit.
- Put 100% into the 1%ers. For example; cool down properly, maximise recovery (hot-cold showers/ice bath at home), during training drills make sure you run to all the cones and don’t take short cuts. Your teammates and coach will notice all the effort you are putting in.
These four tips helped me work my way from the bench to the court and I would love to hear how you were able to do the same.