What a difference a year (14 months and a few days) makes! In Round 1 of 2017 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN), we faced off against Adelaide Thunderbirds in Adelaide. Preparing for the game I was incredibly nervous. I have never been one to get overwhelmed by a situation but it seemed that my body had decided Sunday 9 February 2017 was the day to completely lose it. I had the shakes, visibly if you were paying attention. I was incredibly sweaty (which I’m sure my teammates would say isn’t completely unusual) and there was the crying in the bathroom incident…
Exert from Let’s Be Frank: Big Girls (almost) Cry:
“I have never really been a person that suffers from nerves. I am usually able to take things in my stride and the rational part of my brain rules the roost for the most part. However, when Vez (Verity Charles) found me on the verge of tears in the bathroom before our Round 1 game against Adelaide because my hair band had broken, I knew I had a small problem. As all good OCD athletes do, I grabbed my container of 50+ spare hair ties, popped a new one in and got a grip of myself (and my hair!).”
Round 1 of the season is known for is frenetic pace and nerves which catches even the most experienced of athletes off guard. At the half-time point of that game, I recall getting back to our changing room and being exhausted. I remember saying, what I thought was inside my head “I’m not going to make it”. It turns out the inside my head voice function was turned off as Janstiss (Jess Anstiss) who was sitting next to me said, “What did you say?”. Again, I was shocked at myself and the expression I could see on Jess’ face. For the second time that day I got a grip of myself and my irrational emotions and got on with the job in hand.
Flash forward to Round 1 of SSN 2018 and again we faced off against Adelaide Thunderbirds, in Adelaide - Groundhog Day! Now despite the result at the end of the game and our new addition everything felt very different for me. I was definitely physically fit enough for the demand of SSN, although my PBs continue to creep up, they are marginal gains. Our pre-season programme however, has clearly paid dividends. Not only physically have our capacities improved, but the biggest progression for me has been psychological.
Although I was very excited and anxious to get the season underway, game day just felt like another opportunity to show people the development of the Fever Way as we have been doing since we first ‘publicly’ took to the court during pre-season in December against Magpies and again against Firebirds, the Diamonds, Giants, Swifts, and England!! Our preparations enabled me to gain further clarity over our game plan, control under pressure and most importantly confidence in my own abilities as an athlete. Given the chance to reflect after the match on the two experiences, Round 1 2017 vs. 2018 was an empowering moment in my learning and development and further proof to myself to support what I’ve said before. My best is yet to come!