Coach Erin looks at what pre-season is and why it’s an important time for netballers.
What is pre-season in netball?
Pre-season refers to a period of time dedicated to building both mental and physical skills required for netball. This is a particularly good time to work on fitness, strength and conditioning and injury prevention.
Why is strength training important for netball?
As netballers, we can prevent injury by increasing strength in muscles for the complex tasks we ask them to perform during netball training and matches. For example, a squat replicates the deceleration of the knee. So you could say squatting is vital to prevent knee injuries when jumping and landing.
Increasing our strength will increase the ability of our bodies to be in control under contest for the ball. We’ll be quicker at escaping defenders, stronger in defence and able to go for the full 60 minutes.
Strength training is important for netball because it increases power. Power allows an athlete to generate more force meaning they are more explosive and have better elevation.
Netball fitness with Nat Panagarry – read how a Superleague netball player gets fit CLICK HERE
Why does a netball fitness program help you stay focused?
I enjoy following a fitness program because you can see improvements week after week. Eg. lifting heavier weights or being able to do more reps. Following a set program also keeps you accountable and challenges you to be at your best.
4 essential Strength & Conditioning exercises for netballers to do in pre-season:
- Squat – good for deceleration mechanics, compound lift that improves strength, helps landing mechanics
- Hip thrust -hip drive in running mechanics which helps increase speed, posterior chain strength, pelvic and trunk stability
- Single leg pogo – ankle stiffness which increases springiness in jumping and running
- Hammy box to box – replicates hamstring and glute activation during running, while increasing the strength of the posterior chain
Pre-season training plan:
A pre-season training plan for netballers should last for around 4 weeks. Per week, be looking to do the following sessions:
- Running x 2
- Weights x 3
- Off-feet conditioning x 1
- Injury vaccination/mobility
- Active recovery