Australian Diamonds squad member Tegan Caldwell plans to use next month’s Fast5 Netball World Series in New Zealand as an opportunity to improve her long-range shooting accuracy.
Caldwell is part of the Australian Fast5 Flyers squad heading to Auckland between November 8-10 to take on New Zealand, England, South Africa, Jamaica and Malawi in the three-day tournament.
It’s the first official national team selection for the Melbourne Vixens shooter, who has been part of the Diamonds squad the past two seasons.
Caldwell said the Fast5 format encourages shooters to put up more long-range shots with goals worth two or three in specially marked zones on the court.
The 25-year-old has worked closely with Diamonds specialist shooting coach Margaret Caldow on improving that area of her game and hopes it makes her a more dangerous player in the ANZ Championship next season as well as enhancing her chances of a Diamonds call-up.
“Marg Caldow is into really just turning and nailing the shot if you’re just inside the (goal) circle,” Caldwell said.
“If you can shoot it, do it. So this (Fast5 World Series) will be a great opportunity to practice and keep working on that so hopefully I can sink some more of those in the ANZ Champs next year.”
Caldwell is coming off a career-best season in the ANZ Championship for the Vixens, where shot 298 goals at an average of just under 20 goals a match and at 86 per cent accuracy.
With Erin Bell and Natalie Medhurst strengthening their claims on places in the Diamonds squad for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Caldwell knows she needs to add more strings to her bow to force her way into contention.
“That goal attack position is very tight in the Aussie Diamonds team,” Caldwell said. “It’s definitely a hard spot to try and wiggle into. But I’ll keep staying positive and taking on feedback when I get it.
“I suppose I see the more experience you get the better it is and it’s just another opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like at the top level and get that feedback from coaches, things to improve on.
“So I was very grateful to be selected in this (Fast5) team and I’ll see where it progresses from there.”
Caldwell will be a crucial player in coach Jane Searle’s shooting rotations during the tournament along with NSW Swifts trio Susan Pratley, Carla Dziwoki and new recruit Gretel Tippett. She’s excited to have an opportunity to play the Fast5 format.
“From what I can gather it’s a really quick game,” Caldwell said.
“You get a different feel for the game by playing in a different way, but ultimately you’re still doing what you love.
“We’ve got some good young players in our team so it will be a cool experience and one I’m looking forward to.
“All you want to do is play for Australia and wear the green and gold and this is a chance to do that.”