Back to netball – after 30 years (part 3)

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We had a week off for half-term (good job as I needed the recovery time – yes, honestly), but it was back to work this week. No messing about, no conversation – well not much – just plenty of hard work.

I had to get to the venue via public transport this week and the only stop was about 15 minutes walk away from the sports centre. So I was somewhat hot and bothered by the time I arrived with just two minutes to spare (already warmed up was how I put it, hoping it may cut me some slack, but nothing doing).

A quick jog around the court and it was off we went.

It was all about passing and footwork this week.

Some good passing drills in pairs to start. All well and good. Then getting into thinking about passing. Discs set in outside and inside rings. One of the pair runs to a spot, the one without runs to one and if the player without the ball is on an inside spot the ball is chest-passed short and if they are on an outside spot the ball is over-armed long.

Adding to that, thinking about footwork – jumping and landing on the disc and moving the correct foot. Not so easy.

Then we did a drill specifically designed to help with footwork. The instructor, Val, stood at one end with the ball and we all queued up in single file in front of her. We ran towards her and Val threw the ball. We had to jump – realise what foot we landed on – step back with the moving foot, forward again and pass the ball back to the instructor.

We made several rounds. I felt quite happy with this and was pleased with getting my footwork right – the only time I messed up was when I didn’t jump, therefore didn’t know which foot I’d landed on!  I know I’m never going to get to the point where I can do it without thinking, but it’s a start.  Anyway, everyone got there in the end, and we all cheered and clapped at each successful set of moves.

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We then got into a half-court game again. This time we had to concentrate on getting the right pass and the right footwork.  I know this may sound obvious, but doing it in play is completely different from drilling – who would have thought that knowing what foot you’ve landed on could be so difficult?

I made one really good interception and went to pass the ball away.

“Which foot did you land on?” asked Val

I pointed to my right confidently.

“I think you’ll find it was the other one…”

Grrr. Looks like I can pass or make an interception or get the footwork right, but not all three in the same passage of play….. ho hum. Work to do.

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Finished off with a little warm-down jog and some stretching.

I managed to take a few photos in the first two sessions. Thanks to all for letting me publish them, especially to Jo for the shooting shot and Carol for the hands.

You also may be glad to know that although I worked really hard, I didn’t ache so much on Saturday morning.

Looking forward to next week! There’s still so much more to learn and practice!  I’m loving it!  I know I’m generally sports-obsessed, but this is generally watching and writing about it.  Now I can honestly say if I can do this, anyone can.  Truly #ThisGirlCan.

Thanks to Val and to Just Harborough for the brilliant coaching and introducing the scheme in the first place.

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