Time flies in the world of netball

2016 Australian Netball Diamonds Selection Camp Diamonds Coach Lisa Alexander

It’s amazing how quickly time flies in the netball world.

Our Diamonds squad camp at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra was short and sweet – but I felt it was very productive as we start to look towards the start of our international season in August.

While the athletes are still very much focused on their ANZ Championship campaigns, it was great that they could quickly switch attention to our camp and what myself, the coaching and support staff wanted to get out of it.

From what I saw first-hand, the remaining few weeks of the ANZ Championship season will be hotly-contested. It’s amazing how fast the first 10 have flown by.

We were fortunate that Ray McLean, from Leading Teams, paid us a visit.

The Diamonds have been working with Ray for four years on our trademarks and developing leadership. An important part of this process is to continuously review our practices.

Our leadership group from January’s England Tour were reviewed by their peers, face-to-face. Though this seems like a daunting experience, it forms part of our squad’s high performance culture.

The Diamonds’ support staff also had a valuable session with Ray, re-affirming our commitment to the team and how we conduct ourselves.

I also invited Melina Saunders come in and speak to the entire squad about National Reconciliation Week and how important it is to her. Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 1.29.42 pm

I’ve know Melina for a long time. She was a former elite player and now a member of Netball Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group.

Melina spoke about the impact that our sport can have on young women, particularly in indigenous communities. It was wonderful that she came in and shared her stories.

I think it’s wonderful that this Sunday’s ANZ Championship game between the Adelaide Thunderbirds and West Coast Fever will also celebrate our Indigenous culture.

Both teams will wear dresses designed by Indigenous artists from their respective states and the ball being used in the game will feature the `Gather As One’ artwork of renowned Indigenous artist – and passionate netballer – Sarrita King.

When I mentioned earlier how time flies quickly in the netball world, I’ll be reminded of that when I’m in Darwin this weekend as part of my state and territory visits.

I look forward to connecting with Netball NT and running coaching sessions with their athletes.

As it happens, my trip coincides with the 30-year anniversary of the Victorian team – which I was a part of – winning the Open National Championship – which was also played in Darwin. FullSizeRender

That team, pictured left, was full of talent and many – namely Roselee Jencke, Simone McKinnis, Sue Hawkins, Di Honey, Gillian Lee and Jane Searle – went onto become coaches in their own right.

That team was coached by the iconic Norma Plummer.

Another of my teammates was Shelley Haynes – who is now Netball NT’s executive officer. So I’m sure we’ll have plenty to catch up on and reminisce about while I’m up north.

Finally, don’t forget National Netball Day is this Saturday, June 4. So get together with your club or association and celebrate the growth of netball in the community while raising money for the worthy Confident Girls campaign.