professional netball player

A Day In The Life Of A Professional Netball Player

Elite Netball Academy ambassador Natalie Metcalf shares a day in the life of a professional netball player.

We join Natalie on a typical Wednesday during the Superleague season.

“I train with my Superleague club on a Tuesday evening, the session finishes at 10 pm and it’s a quick turnaround for the Wednesday morning session. After training, I stay over in Manchester as it’s a bit too far for me to travel home and back!

One thing I would say about being a professional netballer is that you very much run off a ‘schedule’. I try to be pretty flexible because training times may vary, meetings might get added in, as well as other things such as interview requests, coaching opportunities and school visits. I really enjoy doing school visits – they are cool to be a part of!

How many times do netballers train a week?

Netballers generally train three times a week in the UK. These training sessions are supported by conditioning sessions, weights sessions and daily mobility and skills practice.

This is my weekly netball training sessions during the Superleague season:

  • 3 x netball court training sessions
  • 2 x bike sessions (for conditioning)
  • 4 x weight sessions (featuring two main lifts and two accessory lifts)
  • Daily netball shooting practice either at home or at training
  • Daily mobility (yoga or gentle stretching)
  • Rehab/prehab before a court or gym session

A day in the life of a professional netball player:

The Morning:

My alarm goes off at 8 am and at 8.30 am I’ll have breakfast and a coffee – my breakfast is usually porridge with a banana.

At 9 am I hop in my car and head to netball training – I enjoy having the radio on to singalong to tunes during the journey!

It’s now 9.15 am and I’ve arrived at training early (something Travey Neville would always be pleased to see!) I like to be really early to training so I can get prepared and be ready to go as soon as the session starts.

9.30 am and it’s time to strap my ankles! Then I move on to mobility, prehab and activation exercises. I have a daily routine of mobility exercises, they help me to get my mind switched on, the body warmed up and the mind present. When the mobility session starts, my body and mind know it’s almost time to go!

“I am extremely grateful to be a professional netball player. It wasn’t something I was certain would be possible when I was young.”

Natalie Metcalf
professional netball player

Training kicks off at 10 am and this is the best part! Training is just over an hour on a Wednesday morning. Our main technical court sessions are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Wednesdays are our smaller court sessions. They usually focus on one or two skill areas. These could be getting to the circle edge or keeping possession in a small space for example. Although the session is shorter, the heart rate gets pumping just as much!

At 11.15 am we cool down and stretch. I’ll eat a cereal bar and drink some milk to refuel before heading to the gym.

It’s 11.30 am and time for the gym! I’ll spend about an hour and fifteen minutes in the gym finishing my session at about 1 pm.

The afternoon

Then it’s recovery time in the hydro between 1.15 and 2 pm. There are hot and cold pools there – contrast bathing is my favourite kind of recovery session!

At 2 pm I’m back in my car and heading home. The journey takes about one and a half hours.

I’ll get home, respond to emails, complete any life admin and fulfil interview requests I may have had.

At 5.30 pm I’ll start with dinner, I’ll usually have something like salmon, sweet potato and vegetables.

professional netball player

Find out what Natalie eats on a typical training day

Read more here

By 7 pm I like to be switching off, reading a book or watching TV. At 10 pm it’s time for bed, ready to do it all again tomorrow!

So there you have it, a typical Wednesday for me as a professional netball player!

Is netball physically demanding?

Netball is a physically demanding sport. Training can be intense and sometimes we have back-to-back games. On the days when I feel tired after training, I might have a nap when I get home. This depends on how I am feeling on the day, it’s important to listen to your body and let it rest.

What’s it like to be a professional netballer?

I am extremely grateful to be a professional netball player. It wasn’t something I was certain would be possible when I was young. To be a full-time netballer and play the sport I love every day for my work is super special and something I am really passionate about!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog.

Until next time, Natalie

About the author Natalie Metcalf:

professional netball player

Natalie is an Elite Netball Academy Ambassador, Superleague player and International netballer. Natalie regularly attends our netball camps and netball classes to pass on her expertise to our athletes.

After a few seasons in the SSN in Australia, Natalie returned to the Superleague. She won the Superleague title in 2022 with her team.

More from professional netball player Natalie:

What to eat before a netball game
Natalie’s 5 favourite netball drills

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