OK so we might be biased but netball is a great sport. Fact. And in this blog, we’ll prove why we think everyone should play netball, and how it does wonders for your fitness, accuracy and your friendship circle. Netball isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life. And everything we do in netball helps us make small steps towards larger life goals. We believe netball also teaches life lessons that simply can’t be taught in the classroom.
So if you’re thinking of taking up netball or have been playing it for years, this blog is for you. There are seven players on the court for each team during a netball match, so here are our seven reasons why netball is the best sport:
No. 1 – you don’t need a backboard to get the ball through the hoop
That’s right netball demands 100% more accuracy compared to other court/hoop sports with no aids to get the ball into the hoop. Hours and hours of practice mean shooters often have a shooting percentage of over 90% per game. These hours of training tell players how much weight to put behind the ball to make sure it goes through the net and scores valuable points for their team.
Want to improve your shooting? Check out this blog from International netball player Natalie Metcalf on perfecting the shot.
No. 2 – You’ll be sure to make new friends
Netball merges women, men, girls and boys from all backgrounds, of all ages and abilities. Sharing the highs and lows of sport will undoubtedly build strong bonds that are sure to last a lifetime. From the laughs on the court to road trips for tournaments, you won’t even realise you were making memories and forming friendships, you’ll just think you were having fun.
ENA coach Ebony is part of the England Men and Mixed team and runs our Back to Netball sessions in Leeds for anyone looking to get into netball.
No. 3 – It’s a great workout
When else would you do 60 minutes of short sprints, changes of direction, jumping, leaping, need we go on? It’s one of the most physically demanding team sports and the speed of the game often impresses bystanders – just another reason why netball is a great sport! The average number of calories burned during 60 minutes of netball is 507 (it’s important to remember everyone burns calories differently). It’s also a contest sport so overall body strength matters, especially when you’re leaping up to win a ball against your opponent – strength and physical presence now play a massive part in the sport. So just how fit do you have to be to play netball? Find out here.
No. 4 – There’s no i in team
Unlike other court sports, you must pass the ball between several players to get it down the court in order to score points. There are no one-hit wonders like in basketball running the length of the court, netball is strictly a ball-hog-free zone! This need to pass the ball across the court and through the team to score points helps to build team spirit. You learn to trust, rely on and even predict your teammate’s next move. You’ll learn respect for your teammates and will move mountains to see the team do well.
No. 5 – Split second decisions are the order of the day
Netball is a great sport because it will put your quick thinking to the test. The three-second rule, footwork limitations and player zones amongst other restrictions mean there is a lot for each player to think about all at once. Throw into the mix the fact you’re dodging away from your opponent, sprinting onto the next ball and jumping for intercepts. Your mind is subconsciously processing a lot of skills. If you’re new to netball, don’t let this overwhelm you. You’ll soon pick up the rules and a few weeks in you’ll wonder what on earth you were worried about.
Elite Netball Academy offers Back to Netball sessions – find out more here.
No. 6 – goal for goal
The netball scoring system makes for nail-biting matches with teams getting one point per goal scored. This is another reason why netball is the best sport – it is not unusual for games to go goal-for-goal and have nail-biting finishes. Matches can be high scoring with teams regularly hitting the 40-plus mark and this goal-for-goal scoring often leads to drawn matches and extra time in championship finals. Take England Netball winning the Commonwealth Games in 2018 for example, where it went down to the final shot at goal, with ten seconds to go. It was epic, tense and emotional all at the same time. I don’t think many people will forget how England Roses player, GA Helen Housby slotted that final goal to give England their first-ever Commonwealth Gold medal.
No 7 – It’s truly universal
Regardless of age, gender, ability or skill, anyone can play netball. From walking netball to men’s netball, local leagues to international leagues there is something for everyone. The latest participation figures from England Netball reveal that 3.1 million people played netball in 2019 with more than 850,000 taking to the court weekly to take part in the sport. If you want to have a weekly run out there are plenty of good local leagues around and if you want to improve your game and reach for the stars, Elite Netball Academy can help you get there.
We’d love to hear why you think netball is a great sport, contact us on Instagram to let us know.