How to Get Better at Netball

Whether you are an elite or amateur player, the desire to get better at netball is always there – regardless of how long you have been playing.

While there is no silver bullet to suddenly becoming a better netball player overnight, there are good habits that you can pick up to help you see noticeable development over the weeks and months ahead. Here, we have listed some of the different things that all good netball players do both on and off the court to make sure they are at the top of their game.

Understand the Game

To develop your game, you need to understand netball and the roles and responsibilities of each position. Just like any sport, each position has a unique function coming together with other players on the pitch to create one cohesive unit.

Familiarise yourself with the seven positions and what players can and cannot do when assigned those positions. They are:

  • Goal Shooter (GS)
  • Goal Attack (GS)
  • Wing Attach (WA)
  • Centre (C)
  • Wing Defence (WD)
  • Goal Defence (GD)
  • Goal Keeper (GK)

More so than most other sports, understanding your netball position is important as each position is confined by the lines of the court. If a player moves outside of their respective zone then an offside call will be given by the referee.

Join a Club

In case you haven’t already done so, join a netball club if you are serious about improving your game. Many make the mistake of feeling as though they need to improve their game before joining a club – the best way to get better is to sign up to play with like-minded people.

You may not feel comfortable to sign up for a competitive team, but you will find that most netball clubs offer recreational groups where the result doesn’t matter. These social groups make for a great introduction to the sport, helping you to meet new people, and develop new skills in an unpressurised environment. This is true no matter what age you may be.

Most of these sessions will be about getting the balls out and playing, rather than taking part in a strict formal training session, but coaches will always offer tips and advice to improve your game. If you begin to get better at netball during recreational/social sessions, it may not be too long until you are invited to participate within a team. Clubs will always have coaches keep watch for potential players to join competitive teams.

Always ask Questions

Ask your coaches questions – they won’t mind and, if anything, they will be delighted that you are enthusiastic enough to want to learn. Many players can perform a technique, but understanding why and when is another question entirely.

The best players have an overwhelming desire to understand everything they can about the game. This goes for training and matchdays. If there is something that your coach does or asks, always make sure to ask them why and take away a little bit of knowledge.

It isn’t just coaches that you can ask questions of, either. Ask players in the group why and how they do certain things, especially the more experienced players, and they will be happy to share. It could be the case that you are struggling with a certain aspect of your game, and you see someone excelling – ask questions and you will be much better for it.

Watch and Learn

To be a better netball player, you can’t go far wrong by watching games and learning from them. Elite level netball is very accessible, with games broadcast live on television. Watching games offers a different perspective – in training or matches, you are focused on your specific position and not necessarily taking in the whole game. That means that you miss a lot of the action when it is not in your area.

It is the same reason why many coaches prefer to sit in the stands for some of the game so as they can take in more of the game. By doing this, you can develop your tactical understanding of netball (why coaches set up in the way that they do), notice the same individual battles that you contest, and see the game in a different way.

Get in the Gym

Netball requires an enormous level of physical fitness, so if you are serious about wanting to get better at netball, then extra sessions in the gym are a must. Wide attackers and centres, especially, are expected to be incredibly fit as they are responsible for running the game and unlocking defences to create scoring opportunities.

Weight training is also a great addition to your training regime, adding power and strength to your arsenal. The physically stronger and faster you are, the more of a handful you are going to be for the opposition. Focus on your core muscles, and working on your balance, will help you to get an edge – especially in the latter stages of a game.

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