To celebrate the launch of my new London netball map, this week I’m sharing with you my top 12 reasons why netball beats the gym hands down. I mean, don’t get me wrong here – I love the gym as much as the next girl. But I mainly use it to get fitter for netball, not because I actually enjoy spending my evenings there.
Full credit to my netball team for coming up with most of the reasons on the list.
1. You can’t talk to a treadmill
Netball is a real team sport and the social side is the best thing about it. You become great friends with your team (of course), but also get to know the other teams, the umpires, the coaches… the list goes on.
2. It gives you a reason to get fit
Playing netball makes me want to improve my cardio so I can last an hour of sprinting, build my leg strength so I can go for flying intercepts and strengthen my core to be able to twist and balance. There’s no better feeling than seeing your hard work pay off on court.
3. It’s great for clearing your mind
When I’m playing netball, I’m not checking my phone or stressing about what happened that day. I’m totally in the zone.
4. It makes you smarter
Netball helps you improve your timing, hand-eye co-ordination and spatial awareness. Anyone who’s ever tried to learn a new drill will agree that there’s some pretty serious logic involved.
5. You can do it in a dress
Or leggings, or shorts, or anything you like (I once played in jeans at short notice).
6. It’s outdoors
After spending all day indoors, often the last thing I want to do is go into another stuffy building. Netball gives me a reason to run around outdoors (and breathe those sweet London fumes).
7. You don’t realise you’re exercising
Netball feels like too much fun to be good for you, but you definitely realise how hard it is after you try to play again after a few weeks off.
8. It forces you to leave work on time
It’s always tempting to carry on working after 5pm, but having a match to get to means you have to force yourself to get out of there.
9. It’s a great outlet for your competitiveness
If I didn’t play netball, I think I’d drive my friends and loved ones crazy by trying to beat them at games like ‘who can walk the fastest’.
10. You can’t just decide not to go
When you have a match, you don’t have the option of hitting snooze and deciding not to bother. Six other people would be pretty aware if you just didn’t show up.
11. It makes you a better person
As countless sports movies have told you, you learn valuable life lessons on court. Netball helps you work better in a team, improve your communication skills and decision making. Captains have to make loads of tough decisions and motivate the team even when they’re losing – if that isn’t good leadership training I don’t know what is.
12. It’s great fun
I spend most of my time on court laughing at something or other. I’m also pretty sure it’s frowned upon to go for post-gym drinks.
What do you think – would you add anything to the list? Let me know @netballsquad.