UofG Athletes: Meet Emma
I started playing netball when I was 10 years old for my school’s netball club. Although we weren’t as serious a team as perhaps the school’s football team, we loved the game and enjoyed all our training sessions and any matches we could play. For this reason, we were really successful in our local area and that is how I first fell in love with the game.
8 years later and I still love to play netball but it is overwhelming to think about how different things are now.
Firstly, there is the physical side. I remember at school the games would be very slow, you would land with the ball, probably wait three seconds then pass to your teammate who was making a leisurely drive towards you, then the team would usually drop the ball or run with the ball before any goal could be scored. Now, my netball matches are very intense (and the heart rate monitors we wear during training and games back this up).
Netball is a non-contact sport but the bruises and bashes we get state otherwise. This is probably the biggest change in the physicality of the game and our training programme is built so that we can adapt in this way.
A normal week for me looks like: 3 court sessions (2 with the national squad), 3 weights sessions, 2 conditioning sessions, a match, 5 shooting sessions, and a further 2 recovery sessions. Each session is planned to ensure we are being pushed to our abilities to get stronger and faster, but also to make sure we are recovering well.
I have had the opportunity to play netball across the globe at European and world competitions. Most notably in Summer I travelled to Botswana to play in the World Youth Netball Cup! Of course, a lot more has happened after I was 10, but it's warming to look back and see all the opportunities that this sport has provided for me.