Making a start as a player

Getting into and finding the right team for you depends on a number of factors.

  • Are you a new player?
  • A player returning to netball after a long gap or an experienced player?
  • Where do you live?
  • How far you are able to travel?
  • When do you want to play?
  • Are you looking for a social team?
  • Are you looking to play more seriously/competitively?

Your level of fitness and ability is an important factor when looking to start playing netball. Ideally you need to join a team that compliments the level that you are at.

The Beginner

As a beginner player who has never played netball or played a little bit at school you need to find a local team or a works based team that ideally holds regular training sessions.

Training sessions are a great opportunity to improve your general fitness level, learn the netball rules and tactics of play in a non-competitive environment.

In order to improve your game as a netball player, you and your team will need to find or develop from within – a netball coach. It is almost guaranteed that your team results and your own game will improve following practicing netball drills and structured netball training.

A netball drill will help improve certain skills such as ball control and creating space so the sequence of passing allows the netball to move fluently down the court towards the netball post and score many netball goals. Many netball players want to either ignore netball training drills and coaching and ‘just’ play, but the advice of is that good netball coaches are in short supply so do keep hold of a good netball coach and allow them to develop their own skills by developing new netball coaching techniques through netball drills and training.

The training session will also be a great way to get to know your team. Often teams train one evening in the week and then play in a league on another day/evening. As you become more familiar with the game you may want to play in the team in league matches.

Look at link ‘what to wear’ for information about what you need to buy or borrow (don’t borrow training shoes) to start playing.

Experienced or intermediate netball player

Generally this someone who has played to a good level at school, college or university or played in work teams or at club level.

As an intermediate player you will be more familiar with how netball teams and clubs work and what suits you best. Looking at different established teams gives you the opportunity to choose a team that is absolutely right for you. Often a good way to find out if you would like to join a team is to become a reserve player for a league. This will help you get to know the players and the level they play at when you turn up to play games.

Club netball through the Counties and then Super league is the next step and then onto national level! Further details can be obtained from England Netball.

What makes a good player?

Players should be ready to play as soon as the first whistle is blown. Shooters need to ‘get their eye in’ and practice shooting before the game starts. All players should warm up with a combination of stretching and running which will reduce the risk of injury. You need to be aware of the standard and ability of your team mates.

Players should play within the spirit of the game and be supportive and appreciative of the opposition and the umpires. It is important that players listen for the whistle and take note of the decision of the umpire.

At quarter time and half time to avoid dehydration, you must drink water or sports drinks; oranges are often provided at half time. After an enjoyable game it is worth ‘cooling down’ with gentle stretching and walking. There are many websites dedicated to the best way to stretch and minimise sports injuries.

The benefits of playing netball

When a player starts playing netball they will soon see and feel the results of improved fitness levels. As well as the more obvious physical benefits netball can be a great way to develop teams and build skills it also is a great way to meet new people and increase your confidence. It is a great method of reducing stress, encouraging people to eat a more balanced diet and reducing weight. Unlike going to the gym you will receive loads of support and encouragement from the rest of your teammates and you will start to see results very quickly.

As your playing career progresses you will enjoy a wider social life as through playing in leagues and tournaments you will meet people from different walks of life. You might even make new business connections or find a way into a new career; you may travel to different parts of the country or even to new parts of the world. What is certain is that you will get a real sense of achievement as your skills and circle of friends increases.