Today I was on the selection panel for REP U13 and U15 Melbourne based netball association. It’s a tough gig!

I was blown away with the young talent out there. Netball in Australia is going from strength to strength.

It brought back so many memories of my junior netball going through the nerves and anticipation of selections.

Here are my quick tips to help up and coming netballers put their best foot forward on selection day.

TIP 1: Of course we all have had an early night the night before selections and our bodies are fuelled. Preparation is key 🙂

TIP 2: Make sure we arrive at the courts early, properly attired. If selectors say a certain attire is required, we must wear what they say. If they say “no bright clothes” or “no REP T-shirts”, we can’t wear it. I always wore my lucky pink ribbon. It they didn’t let me wear it in my hair, I would tuck it into my shorts 🙂

TIP 3: We have to show confidence – Check ourselves in. It’s our future- It’s not a great idea to let mum or dad do it for us.

TIP 4: Speak for ourselves.

TIP 5: Put down the positions we think we will be the best at, considering the level we are trailing for. Don’t just put our favourite position down. For example I loved GD but I realised my opportunity at the next level was to play mid court. So that’s where I trialled.

TIP 6: If a selector asks us to play a position that is out of our comfort zone – Jump at the chance. They are looking at us there for a reason.

TIP 7: Follow directions of the selector/ coaches.

TIP 8: Get in the zone – An average quarter at selections is 5-7mins. Focus on the now, commit to every drive and let’s back ourselves on our shots. We don’t need to be looking over at mum, dad or even the selectors. Focus on the task at hand.. eyes on the ball and be in the moment.

TIP 9: Have fun – smile, encourage our teammates – even if we don’t know their names. I find when I be myself, I relax and play my own game.

TIP 10: Selectors are looking for players with great attitudes. Let’s show them how much we want it by chasing every loose ball.

OK let’s say our name is not called out…. Never give up. Try another association or team and/or come back next year with more experience. For example, I missed out on my first Victorian state team – They said I was too slow…. And the selectors were right. So I went back and worked on my footwork until it became a strength of my game.
Too many people give up because a little hiccup along the way. Never let our dreams go because 1,2, 3 or 4 people didn’t believe in us.

My biggest tip is to ask for feedback – It’s not a good look to get our mum or dad to ask. Let’s take some ownership.

And if we DO get in!!!! Congratulations!!! Grab onto the opportunity with 2 hands and let’s never be complacent.
Good luck to all netballers during this time. – Sarah Wall