As the saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect’. So whether you’re a player or a coach, the key to success is to maintain interest and variety in your training.
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/orkneysports/2387949361
If you’re looking to improve all-round game technique or specific skills such as shooting, shielding and passing, here are a few tips to help you reach the next level.
Since only the Goal Shooter and Goal Attack can shoot in netball, this is a vital skill for those players to hone.
Accuracy is vital. There is no backboard to bounce off, so players should adopt a balanced stance with their feet shoulder-width apart and keep their dominant hand behind the ball, with their fingertips cradling it. The other hand should be on the side of the ball to maintaining stability.
When shooting, power should come from your legs. Your arms and hands control the direction of the ball. Focus on the back of the ring, and as you release the ball, flick your wrist to allow your fingers to spin the ball backwards. This way, even if you miss, it will bounce back towards you.
Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Netball_Game_in_Action_-_Guarding.JPG
Shielding and Defending
Defence is really important. Not only does a strong defence stop your opponents from scoring, but maintaining possession increases the chances of your team scoring. Being quick and light on your feet is an essential skill for defenders. They should be able to change direction quickly and always be ready to bounce into action. If an opponent attempts to shoot, being able to jump high makes it more likely you will be able to intercept the ball.
Being able to pass accurately is essential for all members of the team. Strength and balance in either side of the body are essential, and drill exercises are a good way to hone those skills. To help you or your team visualise what you’re aiming for, try watching a netball drill video. There are lots available online, such as those at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Netball/, with more than 700 training drills and plans designed to keep players interested and develop their skills.
To learn more about netball, take a look at the International Netball Federation’s website: https://netball.sport/.
Whatever position you play, or if you are coaching a team, there is a lot of information out there to help improve skills and really enjoy this fast-paced team game.