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  • Abigail

How to win at netball

Over 20 million people play netball around the world in 117 countries. However, only a fraction of them are being the very best they can be and actually fulfilling their potential.

If you are a netball player that wants to get the very best out of your game, this could be the article that helps you out!

Speed and agility are crucial in netball, and it really should go without saying - when either attacking or defending, speed is a key skill. In attack, you need to change direction quickly to evade a defender, to receive a pass and/or to maintain possession of the ball. When defending, you need to stick on your player and have fast reactions if you see the ball approaching the player you’re marking. Agility also majorly helps one improve at netball, plus it enables better decision making on the court. Agility really helps you change direction quickly and move without losing balance or control, so drills in this area are an essential part of any netball training program. They can help improve footwork, reaction time and overall performance on the court.

But how do you get better at this? How can you improve your speed and agility?

Training. It’s as simple as that. Some agility training exercises you can try include: box jumps, L drills, shuttle runs, lateral or side to side running and high knees. Most importantly you must continue doing plyometric drills, including: lateral jumps, split jumps, lunges, squat jumps, and clap push-ups. These are great as they combine sprint training with gym workouts, hopping and other movement exercises.You’ve got to put in the hard miles if you want to see an improvement on court.

Another crucial thing to focus on is the practising of reaction drills - they improve your response time and decision making on court in matches. An example of a reaction drill would be where one person faces away from another person who is holding a netball. The person facing away stands three metres in front of the second person and does quick feet. Then, the person with the ball shouts go and throws the ball to the other netballer - the netballer in front has to be quick to turn around, catch the ball and throw it back. To become successful, you must do reaction drills at least twice a week, as they can help you improve your balance, coordination and control; this reduces the risk of injuries.

Speed is a crucial attribute in netball, both offensively and defensively. To receive the ball and maintain possession in an attack, you need speed to shift directions and escape your opponent. In order to move the ball quickly through the court, passing speed is also necessary. Speed and Leg training for netball is a great way to increase your speed. One-legged hops are a great drill, but make sure to aim for height by using a forceful leg movement to lengthen the hop. Plus, don’t forget to hop on both legs!

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