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All about Taylah!
2010, starting at 9 years old.
Leongatha Football Netball Club in the Gippsland Football Netball League.
U/19 State Team - as Team Captain
I was too young to start playing association netball the same year that my friends did. So, I started with NetSetGO but in that same season ended up playing U/10’s.
Balancing life, study, work and netball has never been easy! It’s a challenge that everyone faces all of the time. Diaries and calendars truly are my best friend and help me to know where I have to be and when.
Making sure I dedicate time to having a social life, as well as down time is really important to me, whilst prioritising my netball and studies.
Knowing when to switch off at night to allow myself to get enough sleep, as well as being organised to priorities any assessments for school made balancing everything so much easier, and still does with my studies at uni.
With the State Team we train every Sunday morning from mid January until Nationals - in April - along with 2-3 Sunday morning trainings in the November-December once trials have finished. These training’s last 4-5 hours depending on what’s planned and the education sessions that we have after training as well.
The expectations are clear and you have to train at your best every week due to the relatively short preparation period that we have in the lead up. Along with the on court training there are numerous off-court expectations, like education sessions and courses that need to be completed, along with displaying and having an attitude towards everything you do that represents the ‘Victorian way’.
The commitment for Taylah to play netball involved being very organised with working, meal preparation, and siblings after school activities, as 2-3 nights a week and weekends either my husband or myself had to travel either to Melbourne or wherever Taylah needed to go.
The biggest difference that I found to local netball was definitely the intensity and physicality on court, which personally I love. Off-court the education sessions that we get access to help us to gain life skills that don’t always relate to netball but help us to become better people which are things that you don’t get at a local level. Along with being held accountable for everything you do, and the compliance with not only Netball Victoria’s programs but also those of Netball Australia.
Being a regional player definitely has its own struggles. We don’t have the same access to facilities, coaches or programs that those growing up in metro areas do, but that doesn’t mean anything. The extra commitment that it takes is the biggest thing I’ve noticed. Coming from South Gippsland I always allow at least 2 hours, sometimes more, to get to training/games in Melbourne.
When I was at school this meant leaving as soon as school finished and not getting home until 11pm/12am that night before getting up and doing it all over again the next day. Being organised and communication were and still are definitely my best friends. Whether it was getting up early, studying at lunch times and eating/sleeping in the car are all things that I had and still have to do when commuting from home.
My top tip is definitely to jump at every single opportunity that comes your way, say yes and then work the details out later! Certain opportunities don’t come around all the time so you have to take them with open arms and be all in or you’ll miss it.
Next, is definitely to be organised and communicate. If your teachers, coaches, parents, friends etc. don’t know what you’re trying to do then they can’t help you. Communication with these people truly is key. Lastly, if you want to succeed bad enough, and you have the drive to do it then you can, just because you grow up in the country doesn’t mean you can’t succeed.