Bring your A game to your next competition day by keeping a few simple things in mind as you enter this netball season.
Think about the 5 Ps – Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Preparing early is going to ensure you are both physically and mentally ready for game time.
Depending on what level of netball you are playing at, you should be working on your aerobic fitness, game skills and an all over body strengthening programme.
Ankle and knee injuries are the most common in netball, so ensure that you are targeting these areas by doing strength training before the season begins. If you are unsure about how to strengthen these areas, see an exercise professional.
The month of May brings us into the netball season and so preparation is now focused on being game-ready, injury free and in our best state of mind to focus on the game.
Reduce the risk of injury this season by warming up thoroughly (10 – 15 minutes) and perform dynamic stretches before each training session and game.
If you have any areas of weakness visit a physiotherapist who will provide you with advice and how to correct any muscle imbalances. Also, ensure that you are landing, stopping and starting safely on court.
If you are unsure about this, ask your coach to watch you and give you advice on how to improve your techniques. After each game, have a warm-down routine you can follow which includes active recovery, re-fuelling and static stretching.
Diet and hydration are essential and are some of the easiest ways to be prepared on game day.
By eating properly and staying hydrated you will get the most out of yourself when performing on court. Sip water throughout your warm-up and cool-down to stay hydrated and ensure you have eaten appropriately before the game to avoid fatigue.
Visit a dietician for advice on the most suitable game-day diet for you.
Finally, ensure you are sleeping enough. Sleep is vital for concentration, reaction time, moving efficiently, avoiding injury and recovery from training and games. Aim for the magic 8 – 10 hours a night and try to have a regular sleep/wake routine throughout the week.