So. Netball. (pt 2)

“So. Netball. It’s just a bunch of girls playing stuck in the mud basketball isn’t it? Wrong. Where did my journey begin and where will it end?” – July 2018

Remember this? This was the opening of my very first blog. So time for a little bit of reflection two years on. I’ve talked a lot in the past about my love for the sport, my own personal journey and of course lockdown and how it affected me. I have now gone back to uni and despite this not being a normal return, I absolutely love living with my three best friends and finally accessing the new kind of normal I’ve been waiting for. So this of course is another new beginning full of changes, some anxieties and going back to my sport but in a slightly different way.

In my very first post I talked about the ups and downs of being different and how I just didn’t feel like I fitted in. As I have grown older and wiser, I have now made some decisions about which particular path I want to take in my netball career. Last year, I was full of excitement about embarking on my participation in three teams and I did thoroughly enjoy it all. However, I have come to realise that I must balance not only my uni work but my mental health needs and ultimately happiness.

So, “fitting in” is not about pleasing others. It will now be about pleasing myself and doing what makes me happy. All the years I have spent in pathways and NPL tournaments have given me great experience and I have achieved so much more than I thought I would, meeting some great people along the way. I feel different and I know that this is no longer part of my plan. I want to refocus upon Prem and BUCS. I was pulling myself in three directions, balancing life’s plates in the air and I feel this was hard not only physically, but mentally too. Now I have made this decision not to trial again for Stars this season, or any NPL team, I almost feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. This does not mean I lack ambition or drive. If anything this has given me a refreshing perspective about what I actually want out of my game. Happiness.

There are always other routes that might take us to the same place. We do not all have to be the same.

“For anyone else out there who has ever been teased for their ‘giraffe like’ qualities; you can show the world how useful you can be in a place where people long for you to get one in the net. The glorious feeling of being valued, being accepted as an equal and being part of a team is the ultimate pay back.” I can get there. I will get there. I did it then, so I can still do it now.

So. Netball. Thank you NPL for those years. Have a great season everyone.

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