ASK A SWIFT
Have you ever wanted to ask Susan Pratley how many goals she shoots a week? Or maybe you'd like to ask Kim Green what she eats prior to stepping out on court for the NSW Swifts?
Now you have the opportunity to "Ask a Swift"Ö email your questions for the players, along with your name and your netball club, to email@example.com and we will select the best questions to ask the players and post their video responses on this page via NSWSwiftsTV.
Q: Any advice for playing WA?
A: Hi Cassandra, a couple of tips for playing WA are:
* Be patient. Donít force the ball into the shooters. Work it around until the space opens up.
* Try and be short and sharp with your leads, long runs can be easily read and intercepted by defenders.
* Be creative and communicate with your GA on centre passes.
* Remember although youíre a WA you need to defend as well. Sometimes the difference between a good WA and a great one is if they can get tips and intercepts for their team.
Good luck for the year ahead.
Q: Hey Vanessa, when I play centre or wing attack for my team I have trouble getting the ball to the shooters. Could you give me any tips to help me improve? Thanks
A: Hi Louise, itís always good to have a great partnership and good communication with your shooters. If you feel that you are finding it difficult to connect with the shooters ask your coach to add some extra drills at training to build confidence with feeding them the ball. Although itís a simple tip, eye contact is essential with feeding shooters. If they are not looking at you donít throw it, there is nothing wrong with a few extra passes with your other mid court player before getting it into the circle. Be patient. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.
Q: Iíve been playing netball my whole life, and i play every position , but i canít figure out which one is right for me , any ideas or ways that can help me figure out my strengths and weaknesses?
A: Hi Julie-Anna, it's definitely a great idea to have a go at playing all positions in your initial years in the game. As a kid I started in WA then was moved to GK/GD where I played all of my junior reps. It wasn't until I was 16 that I was finally moved to the shooting end. Don't be too concern about where you should or shouldn't be. As in my case, I find the perfect position will generally find you.......not the other way around. If you are keen to just find one area and stick with it, ask yourself a few questions.
* Am I better at getting away from my player or better at sticking with them?
* Can I shoot well (ish)?
* How tall am I in relation to all of the other players my age?
* How fit am I in relation to all of the other players my age?
* How fast am I in relation to all of the other players my age?
If you can answer these honestly you should be able to find an 'area' ie shooting, defence or centre court. Eg if you are a little shorter than most (or average height), fast and fit, then maybe a centre court position is better for you.
OR if you are a little taller and really good at sticking with your player, maybe you'll be a better defender. I hope this helps, Cath
Hi Julie-Anna, my first response would be to ask you which position you enjoy playing the best? Chances are, you enjoy playing that position because you are good at it! Write down a list of the things that you enjoy about playing Netball in general and see which position compliments those factors. In general skills which you need to develop to become a better player include the following: Ability to read the game, ball skills, footwork and agility, and vertical jump.
I hope this helps and good luck with your season! Kimmy
Q: Hey Kimberlee you are my favourite Swifts player and i was just wondering when i play WA and my team plays another team that only has 6 players and they don't have a WD what am i supposed to do?
A: That always a bonus, but make sure you aren't doing too much running around. Play like you normally would and test yourself- don't just jog around :)
Question from Molly Gee to Courtney Tairi
Q: What are some good tips on being Centre?
A: Hi Molly, one of the most important roles for a C is connecting the defence end with the attack end. When playing C you must be able to defend the opposition by working with your WD, GD and GK and this will hopefully lead to a turnover. When attacking a C must assist in bringing the ball down to the shooters by using strong drives onto the circle. When a C has the ball they must have good vision, always look down court towards your shooters. Try to use a variation of passes when feeding your shooters such as shoulder passes, bounce passes and high balls to confuse the defenders. But most importantly have fun! Go Swifts! Thanks, Courtney
Questions from Cassandra Darcy to Kimberlee Green
Q: You are my favourite player, Kimberlee. Any advice for WA players out in the world?
A: My advice is to keep trying different moves in WA so your WD doesn't know what youíre going to do next.
Q: Who is the player you get along most with. Are you best friends with them?
A: I get along with all the girls, but I mostly hang around my best friend Vanessa Ware, Cath Cox and Kim Smith.
Questions from Lisa Hunt to Kimberlee Green
Q: I love how you play and do you have any tips for me to play better this season?
A: Always train at 100%, and try new moves at training and in games. And keep smiling :)
Q: You are my favourite player for the Swifts and do you have any advice for me to somehow play for the Swifts one day?
A: Always keep giving 100% and never give up! You may get different obstacles thrown in your journey but make sure you keep smiling and work harder.
Q: Have you ever played for any other teams?
A: I have played for Swifts mainly- one year at the Canberra Darters but the other 9 years at Swifts.
Q: Do you always eat or drink something before you play?
A: At the moment I'm eating a lot if sushi before the game- as it has lots of carbohydrates in the rice and I love WASABI to give me a bit of fire in the belly :) I also drink lots of water on game day and a coffee about 3 hours out from the game.
Q: What are some tips on how to be a good Wing Defence?
A: Hi Molly. Thanks for your email. To be a good wing defence, you need to have good footwork, since normally the wing attacks are the fastest players in the team. To work on your foot work do some small drills moving between two cones as quickly as possible. Work forwards and backwards and then side to side. Good luck with your netball season, Kimmy
A: Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day! I mostly have cereal in summer, generally with fruit and yoghurt on top and toast in winter. I also have a cup of tea nearly every morning.
Question from Louise Parker to Kimberlee Green
A: The best advice for a Wing attack would be to have variety in your game, try different moves and keep the defenders guessing. Also drive hard to the top of the circle as it is the best position to feed the shooters. Keep smiling :)
Question from Caitlyn Harvey to Rebecca Bulley
A: To become a NSW Swift is quite a long process but basically it takes a lot of hard work, extra training and making the most of every opportunity that you get.
Hopefully one day you will play for the NSW Swifts too!
Questions from Bianca Robertson to Cath Cox
Q: Do you eat a snack a bit before your game if so what is it?
A: Will have something light like a piece of toast/crumpet or some piklets about a 1 and 1/2 hours out from a game. Otherwise I find I'm starving by the end of the game!
Q: And how many goals do you shoot a week?
A: I shoot around 30 minutes worth (not sure of exact numbers) around 3 times a week during the season. If I havenít shot for a while (ie during the off season) I will shoot everyday for a while to get back into it
Q: How many days and hours do you train a week?
A: During the season, I train with the Nsw Swifts team 5 times a week. Each session goes for about 2- 2.5 hours! We do 3 courtwork sessions and 2 weights/fitness sessions. In the off-season we also train this many times a week, but we do 3 or 4 fitness sessions a week and 2 weights session. In the off-season, we don't go on the court very often, its more about getting really fit and strong!
Question from Kayley, to Kimberley Smith
Q: Does it matter how many years of experience you have playing netball?
A: You will find that the more you play, the more tricks you learn and the better equipped you are to handle difficult situations which arise during a game. For example, you will learn what to do in a close game, the ways certain players move and the way your team mates like to play. In that way, experience will help to improve your game and make you a better player.
Questions from Monique, Cobras Netball Club, to Rebecca Bulley
Q: How do you make sure you stay on a healthy diet?
A: Basically I just try not to eat junk food! I always eat home cooked meals and take my lunch to work rather than buying it. Also a good idea is to take plenty of healthy snacks when Iím not at home so I donít get tempted to buy unhealthy snacks. If I have been good or training really hard, I will treat myself with a small chocolate.
A: Usually I try to have a meal about 3 hours before the game and then eat something about an hour before our game. Usually it is something light such a piece of toast or a muffin.
Question from Leesa to Catherine Cox
Q: How many goals did you shoot during the 2009 ANZ Championship?
A: Cath shot 389 goals for the NSW Swifts in the 2009 ANZ Championship.
Q: What is your trick to keep a really tight defense throughout the game?
A: To maintain tight defence throughout the whole game you need to work hard and be persistent in your efforts. Try to predict where the GA or GS is moving to and block their path. Tight one-on-one defence is hard work but it can wear down your opposition and cause them to make errors which will result in intercepts later in the game. Goodluck!
Question from Julie, NSW Swifts member to Rebecca Bulley
Q: How many times do you train a week?
Questions from Annalisa, NSW Swifts member to Susan Pratley
Q: How many goals do you shot a week?
A: I shoot about 200 goals a day, four days a week. Plus I do a lot of shooting at our training sessions.
Q: What level do you get up to in the beep test?
A: Most of the girls in the team get level 10 or above. My beep test result is 11.3
Q: How did you get to play for the NSW Swifts? What was your pathway?
A: I have played for the Swifts (Sydney Swifts and NSW Swifts) for four years. Prior to that I played for the Canberra Darters at the AIS for three years. I first made a NSW State Team when I was 15 (17U team), since then I have made all the NSW Teams (17U, 19U, 21U and Opens).
Q: What do you eat prior to a game?
A: I have a nice big meal about six hours before the game and then a little snack (crumpets or toast) a couple of hours before the game.
Q: Do you have any superstitions (e.g. straightening your hair)
A: Not really, I usually straighten my hair before I play though. I am pretty relaxed before the game.
Question from Annalisa, NSW Swifts member to Samantha May
Q: Are you left-handed? If you are, is it harder to train and play with people that are right-handed?
A: Yes I am left-handed but I am one of those people that can use both my left and right hand for a variety of activities. For example, I do throw right-handed but if I was to ever shoot a ball, I would shoot left-handed.
When playing you don't really notice much difference whether they throw with a certain hand but it can be handy when defending so you can be aggressive over their throwing arm.