EVER wanted to ask an elite athlete a question about their life?
When out and about at clinics, netball games or through social media, players and spectators are curious about what it's like to be netballer in the Trans Tasman Championship. Netball's profile is on the rise, more people are playing at the rgrassroots and with the come more interest in my sport.
Here are some of the questions I get asked:
How often do you train?
Six days a week with a minimum of three hours a day dedicated to netball. That can vary from recovery, court work, weights, conditioning and yoga. The three-hour commitment doesn’t include time dedicated to meetings, video analysis and club commitments that are required from all 12 Vixens.
Do you follow a strict diet?
Yes, I stick to a few simples rules. I consume six small meals/snacks a day, drink plenty of water, consume very little processed foods, eat mostly green and purple vegetables, minimize sugar intake, eat healthy fats like avocado and nuts, and start my day with protein. It is important to eat within 30 minutes after exercising for recovery. I eat carbohydrates such as brown rice and steer clear of the golden arches.
If you weren't a netball what would you be?
A snowboarder. Wouldn't that be another great choice for my knees!
What is the average wage for a netballer?
Some find this question quiet personal. The fact is, netball is not a professionally paid sport. It is a bit difficult to give you an ‘average’ wage for a netballer given different sponsorship contracts over and above their salary. However, every team in the ANZ Championship’s salary cap is a minimum of $252,000 and maximum of $262,000. So if you divide either of those by 12, you’ll get a good idea of an ‘average’ wage. Not so glamourous.
Who is your idol?
Mum. Not because she is a famous netballer, but because she makes everything fun and always believes in the good. She is the most honest reliable person in my life who inspires me to always do my best.
Who shaped your netball career?
Eloise Southby-Halbish. Many of you may remember Carlton hero Geoff Southby, who is Ella’s dad. I always admired when watching Ella play for Australia as a youngster. She first selected me to play for the Melbourne Phoenix in 2004 and has been my role model and player mentor ever since. I will never forget in my first year with Melbourne Phoenix she invited me to her house for dinner and she had my player card on her fridge. I have never forgotten that. She has believed in me from the start, offered advice and inspired me to keep going no matter the obstacles. She visited me and worked with me when recovering from my knee injuries and instills in me such great confidence. I have been so lucky to have her in my corner.
What do you do outside netball?
I am a qualified teacher but I have recently launched my own business Jeanieboy which is a netball fashion accessories label. I have also developed Dream Catchers Netball Academy endorsed by the Victoria Police which will begin in October this year where we aim to engage young girls in sport as a vehicle to work on the serious issues that surround adolescent females in multicultural communities.
What is it about being part of elite sport that drives you?
I love the challenge everyday. It is about pushing myself to new levels. It has taught me some great lessons about dealing with pressure, organisational skills, achieving life balance and respect for others.
Is it success or the fear of failure that drives you?
I heard Chris Judd answer this question once and he explained it like this. If I am in a 100m race would a specific time inspire me to cross the line, or a bull charging behind me that would push me to victory? So he believes fear. I think I agree. My fear would be to finish netball holding any regrets.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming young netballers?
Never let someone tell you you can’t do something... but that takes hard work and the ability to work harder when things don't always go your way. It is important to surround yourself with positive people. But most importantly, it has to be fun!
I would love to hear from you if you have any other questions through Twitter: @sarahLWall
The most creative question will win four tickets to this Sundays match against one of the leading New Zealand teams, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic at 12.10pm.