In the third post in this series, we chat to one of Elite Netball Academy’s coaches Chloe Smith to find out why a diary is an essential part of her kit bag and what she eats before a match – the answer might surprise you!
What’s your earliest netball memory?
My earliest netball memory is from when I was playing in a high five tournament at a high school close to me. I was playing C and I got a shot in from outside the circle, I was so proud of myself, all my team ran in excitedly and gave me a hug. But obviously the goal was disallowed because a C can’t shoot! I was really upset at the time – it was such a good shot!
Who inspired you to chase your netball dream?
There are two key people who have inspired me to get to where I am today. the first person is my old Regional Performance Academy coach Alex Kirk (now known as Alex Young). Alex changed my game and triggered my love for netball. She worked me hard and ALWAYS made me finish every single repetition to a high standard no matter how long it took (sometimes the full 2-hour session!). I always say Alex was the best and worst coach I ever had, she was brutal and challenged me with some of the hardest fitness sessions I’ve ever completed.
The second person that inspired me to get where I am today is my mum. My mum always made sure I got to training and that I was on time, she waited at every training session, came to every game, and dealt with the tears along the way. My mum taught me that hard work never goes unnoticed (she proved this herself in our home and her own professional career) and that if I keep working hard and pushing on I will reap the rewards.
What has netball taught you?
Netball has taught me so many things, one of the most transferable skills is probably that it’s taught me how to manage my time and be organised. Thanks to Joan Young who made a diary an essential part of my kit bag. It has taught me that being part of a team, part of something, is so much more enjoyable than trying to battle through things on your own. Netball has also taught me how to keep positive and have a positive mindset. I feel like this is one of the most important lessons I have learned to date, especially in lockdown and with the pandemic. Some days I really don’t want to go and train but I know that if I do I will feel so much better physically and mentally.
If you weren’t a netballer, what would do?
That’s a tricky one, I honestly don’t know! Netball is my life! I can only relate this question to different types of training that I enjoy to do so maybe a CrossFit athlete?
What’s your favourite netball moment to date?
Most people would probably say winning a medal or a huge tournament or a big game but for me, it was having all the girls back training together after the first COVID lockdown. The vibe was so good, we were so excited to be back. It was so nice to have some of my closest friends and the most amazing athletes all in the same place at the same time after what felt like a lifetime of not seeing each other! Just IMAGINE what the first game back is going to be like… I CANNOT WAIT!!
Any pre-game superstitions you can’t drop
I do have one pre-game superstition, I have to have a piece of cake before a game, or I won’t play well. It’s a good excuse to have a piece of cake every week right?
And finally, what would you say to your ten-year-old self in relation to life goals and netball?
Make sure you balance netball and your life goals as evenly as possible. Your future is important and so is your love for this game, work hard and find the time to do both, don’t make excuses.