The balance that helps make a champion netballer

Netball Australia & Almond Breeze caught-up with two of Australia’s leading netballers to discuss what it takes off and, on the court, to compete at the elite level and how they breeze through their days.

Star shooter Caitlin Thwaites and dynamic midcourter Jamie-Lee Price took time out of their busy schedule to talk about the fundamentals every athlete, especially elite, need to get right when it comes to health and fitness.

Suncorp Super Netball’s all-time leading goal scorer and latte lover, Caitlin Thwaites said the biggest thing is being really dedicated and working hard.

“I think a lot of people always ask me the secret to be a really good shooter, it’s just about having that discipline and really putting in the hours and hard work of being able to refine your skill sets, to work really hard and stick at it. Because it’s not just going to happen if you do something once or twice, you’re going to go out and do that one extra training session and it has to be repeated over an extended period of time for you to be successful.

“At the age of 15, I had been juggling a couple of sports, netball and volleyball. I made the decision to go with volleyball for a little while, giving up netball initially, but ended up coming back to netball and have not turned back ever since.

“For me in terms of eating, it depends on how much training we’ve got on that day. Normally a training day for me, I’ll try and get a good breakfast in, I really like having English muffins with banana and honey on it.

“During the season, we do a whole heap of different types of training, conditioning, which is fitness type exercises, running, some bike, type things. We are also in the gym a lot, so getting nice and strong, but also trying to prevent us getting injured with the amount of training we do.

“In the off-season I always like to do a bit cross training, bit of boxing, to mix it up and keep training a bit fresh.

The Bendigo native, Thwaites added it’s not all about fitness, training and remaining healthy.

“Netball is a great place to meet new people, have fun with your friends and that is something that has carried out across my entire career, since I was seven until now and, that’s what I love about it, having fun with your friends,” Thwaites said.

One of netballs rising star, Price said nutrition was very important.

“I’ve learnt over the last few years how important it is, especially getting older. Your body is like a car, if you fuel your body the right way, you will perform but, if you fuel it wrong, you will underperform.

“I do love my food, when it’s game day I love to have scrambled eggs on toast with avocado and then I love to have a bit of sushi for lunch and for snacks I have grapes during the day and pre-game toastie and smoothie.

While netball requires dedication and commitment on and off the court, Price much like Thwaites said it brings you into a community, it’s your family, it keeps you active and healthy plus it’s a lot of fun too.