Netball, a dynamic and exciting sport, is a fantastic way for older teens to stay active, develop teamwork skills, and enjoy competitive play. However, after a long break, returning to the game can seem daunting. This article is designed to guide older teens looking to rekindle their passion for netball and ease back into the sport.
Understanding the Challenges
Firstly, it’s essential to acknowledge that getting back into netball after a hiatus can come with challenges. These might include changes in physical fitness, rusty skills, or simply the nervousness of rejoining a team. Recognizing these challenges is the first step in overcoming them.
1. Start with Physical Conditioning: Netball is a physically demanding sport that requires stamina, agility, and strength. Begin with general fitness activities like jogging, cycling, or swimming to build up your cardiovascular fitness. Incorporate strength training and flexibility exercises to prepare your body for netball-specific movements.
2. Refresh Your Skills: Start with the basics. Spend time practicing fundamental skills such as passing, shooting, and footwork. You can do this alone or with a friend. There are also many online tutorials and drills available that you can use to brush up on your skills.
3. Join a Local Club or Team: Look for local netball clubs or community teams that welcome players returning to the sport. Joining a team can provide structured training, coaching, and the support of teammates. It also offers a sense of community and belonging, which is an essential aspect of team sports.
4. Attend Skills Clinics or Camps: Many sports centers and netball clubs offer skills clinics or camps specifically designed for those looking to improve their game. These can be particularly beneficial for getting up to speed with the latest techniques and tactics.
5. Play Social Netball: If the idea of competitive play is too intimidating, consider starting with social netball. Social leagues are more relaxed and focus on enjoying the game rather than winning. This can be a great way to ease back into playing and build confidence.
6. Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals for your return to netball. Whether it’s improving a specific skill, playing a full game without fatigue, or making a competitive team, having clear goals can keep you motivated.
7. Stay Positive and Patient: It’s important to maintain a positive attitude and be patient with yourself as you get back into the swing of things. Progress may be slow at first, but with persistence, your skills and fitness will improve.
8. Embrace the Social Aspect: Remember, netball isn’t just about the sport – it’s also about the friends you make and the fun you have. Embrace the social aspect of the game and enjoy reconnecting with old teammates or making new friends.
Returning to netball as an older teen can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with a sport you love, improve your fitness, and be part of a supportive community. With the right approach and attitude, you’ll find yourself back in the game in no time, enjoying every pass, goal, and match. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the journey back to the sport.