sports psychology in netball

Sports Psychology Consultant joins the team

Rebecca Hickman, founder of Empowering Excellence, has joined the Elite Netball team as a Sports Psychology Consultant. Rebecca will work with Elite Netball Academy players delivering online and in-person workshops. There will also be workshops for parents and coaches.

sports psychology in netball

I got into sports psychology because it combined two elements I was passionate about – sports and helping people. Sports psychology is about helping athletes, teams, and organisations achieve their potential through improving performance and well-being. I love being able to play a part in that journey!

I founded Empowering Excellence to create a space where athletes felt supported, and empowered to take control of their mindset in competitive sport. Empowering Excellence was born from a passion for working alongside and helping elite sportspeople achieve their goals and developing a business that reflected my values.

I’m currently the sports psychologist for an NSL team, I have been with them for three seasons. I am also the programme lead for sports psychology with England Touch Rugby. Currently, I’m helping the Men’s open team prepare for the World Cup. It is being held in Nottingham this summer!

sports psychology in netball
sports psychology in netball

I have a huge passion for working with young athletes, I believe that the earlier they can be exposed to sports psychology, and the associated benefits, the better their growth and development will be. Elite is an organisation that emphasises holistic development in their athletes, whether technical development, S&C, nutrition or general well-being. These are characteristics I look for when working with youth academies.

Players will benefit from sports psychology sessions in many ways. It will be great exposure to the benefits of sports psychology in general and why it is important to engage in mindset development alongside physical development.

I hope to help them develop skills and knowledge to navigate different situations that can arise when playing sports, specifically when moving through netball pathways.

Amongst other things we’ll be looking at:

  • Developing confidence
  • Handling pre-match nerves
  • Dealing with de-selection
  • Dealing with missing pathway selection
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Learning how to maximise team cohesion
  • And much more!

The skills learned in these sessions will apply to netball and challenges in everyday life.

I often liken sports psychology to going to the gym.

We go to the gym to improve physically which will help us on court, for example, increasing strength to reduce injury incidence, or working on your plyometrics so you can jump higher etc.

Sports psychology is the same. We work on certain elements which you can practice that lead to increased performance e.g., increasing your confidence so you’re more likely to go on an intercept, or helping with nerves so that you’re able to keep your communication high with teammates. It will also help you nail processes consistently (e.g., shooting).

I grew up playing netball – it’s a great sport! Challenging in so many different ways – physically you need to be strong and possess endurance fitness. Mentally you need to work well in a team and make split-second decisions. Netballers are so committed and dedicated to being the best version of themselves. The different factors involved in the game, and the unpredictability of it, can make it such an interesting space to work in! I also love working with female athletes and helping them realise how amazing they can be.

I love anything sports – you can often find me watching all sorts of sports on TV! My main sports now are Touch Rugby and horse riding (eventing). I’m currently rehabbing an ACL injury so I can appreciate how hard it is for athletes to be on the sidelines. I love going to the gym or getting out in the sunshine on a walk – I will always talk about the benefits of exercise for our mental health, whether playing sports, going on a dog walk or hitting the gym.

On the rare occasion I’m not watching or playing sport, I can be found reading a good book!

sports psychology in netball

Empowering Excellence uses cutting-edge, scientifically based research to inform their work. They cater for everyone’s needs hoping to create an environment in which clients can excel professionally and personally. Sessions and workshops can be tailored to a variety of areas to match the needs of the client, common areas of work can include team cohesion, leadership, confidence, mental health and well-being, team culture and performing under pressure.

To find out more about working with Rebecca and Empowering Excellence get in touch here.

Follow Empowering Excellence on Instagram.

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