I got the inspiration for this article from my club’s trials this weekend – I spent the day watching loads of awesome new players who had a really diverse set of strengths. I think this is what’s great about netball – there’s not just one way to be good at it.
Here’s my very non-exhaustive list of netball strengths you can use to your advantage. See if you can find yours, or tell your teammates if they’re amazing at something on the list!
1) The Shooter
Shooting is arguably the most important netball skill – you can’t win a game without scoring goals. You might be a really consistent shooter with great stats, or great at trick shots like this one, or accurate even from the edge of the circle. You can improve your shooting really easily by practicing a couple of times a week.
2) The Passer
I love watching people who are great at passing – if you are, it probably means you’d be a great C or WA. Skills here include being able to ‘thread the needle’ by finding a space to pass through loads of defenders, or being able to quickly scan the court and find a great option. You might also be able to fool defenders with your creativity and faking.
3) The Interceptor
I read somewhere that an interception is worth about three goals for a defender. Like Julie Corletto, you can figure out where the other team are going to pass and get in front for a clean intercept. You could work on your plyometrics (like the ice skater move in our netball workout) to really help you make those flying leaps.
4) The Blocker
If you’re a centre court player, maybe you’re awesome at blocking your opponent’s run like Guthrie above. If you’re a GK, maybe nobody gets in the circle without your say. Blocking is the ultimate team player move because you put loads of pressure on and another member of your team will probably get rewarded with the intercept. It’s such a great skill though – it really delays the play of the other team, upsets their rhythm and forces them to make a bad pass. Keep doing what you’re doing.
5) The Tracker
Like Serena Guthrie, your opponent can’t get away from you. You can keep up with them through the whole game, match their every move and aren’t fooled by their dodges. Very frustrating for an attacker.
6) The Energiser
I think this title probably applies to the whole Swifts team, who seem to have superhuman levels of cardio. You have so much energy that you tire your opponents out by dragging them all over court and your stamina lets you perform at the same level in the fourth quarter as you did at the first. I am tired just thinking about this.
7) The Dodger
You have awesome agility and can always shake off a defender (or two, if you’re like WA Henry). You’re great at changing direction and speed and your defenders probably always end up really confused as to where you’ve gone. Get practicing those agility drills to really capitalise on this one.
8) The Pressuriser
If the other team manage to take a shot, you make it incredibly hard for them. You might have an amazing lean, or a really high vertical jump, or just psych them out by doing something different every time. 100 points if you manage to block a shot like Mkoloma here.
9) The Catcher
One hand, two hands, doesn’t matter – you seem to have velcro on your palms. Great catching skills are obviously necessary for centre court, but the one-handed catch is a great skill for a shooter, where you’re probably going to have to catch one-handed at a lunge, or for a defender, where you need to try and hook the ball in rather than just tip it.
10) The Rebounder
This is such an awesome skill for attackers or defenders. It involves getting in the right position and jumping at the right time while three other people are doing the same thing. Bonus points if you’re the furthest person away from the net (like Corbin, above) and still manage to scoop it up.
11) The Timer
To the casual onlooker, it just looks like you got lucky. Actually, you’re the brains of the game. You always drive at the exact right moment, never congest the court, wait until 2 seconds to make your move… Netball games where everyone has perfect timing are such a dream to watch.