You might have heard once in a while a coach, parent or teammate say “be confident!”… then you’ll play well.
But what does that actually mean? Confidence can’t be taught, it merely comes from experience, self-talk and some serious “fake it till you make it” attitude.
We sat down with Elite netballer Rahni Samason and asked her questions about her ability to play confidently at the highest level in Australia as a young athlete. Better yet – how does she sink those super shots?
What do you like to tell young netballers that look up to you?
No one can tell if your confidence is real or fake. It’s like air, you know it’s there you just can’t see it. It really just comes from within, so I begin to tell myself “of course I can do this.” I tell myself that if my teammates gave me the ball anywhere on the court, I can really help the team win. Even if I ever slightly doubted myself, I kept on believing and “self-talking” that I could truly do anything. This slowly began to flow through my body and come out naturally for me, I didn’t have to force myself to believe I was confident, I actually just was. It began early in my childhood, watching how athlete’s in different sports carried themselves as confident players. I love to tell young, aspiring netballers to find someone they look up to and practise their best qualities. But better, add in your own flair and style and create your own, confident playing style.
How do you react and respond from a missed shot or a loose ball on court?
I try not to go back into my shell and avoid the ball. That’s the worst thing you can do. Your confidence hasn’t been lost because you missed a shot, it’s still there 100%. I immediately think, get me that ball back because I’ll get it in for you. Get me the ball again and I will do my job as a goaler and get it in next time! It’s easy to say don’t drop your head, don’t be sad just try again. But it really comes from trusting yourself and giving yourself another opportunity to show your teammates and coach that you’re on the court for a reason.
What are you thinking about on the court and while you are shooting?
I always think positively. It’s really a feeling. An instinct, or muscle memory. I really try to never think, “what if I miss?” or “there are so many people watching!”. Those intrusive thoughts do come into your head from time to time, but you’ve got to turn it and flip it to “this is going in” or “I’m going to get a swish”. Knowing you have put in the work at training, communicated with your teammates and listened to your coach is one thing, but having the confidence and positivity that flows through your body is the driving force that creates a consistent and successful season for every player. I like to have a saying in my head that makes me laugh, like “I am the Steph Curry of netball”, because why can’t I be? The only person that’s stopping me from achieving my goals is myself, and that seems like an easy barrier to overcome. I am my biggest obstacle, so if I’m backing myself 24/7, I know I’ll be able to not only reach my goals, but bounce back from downfalls and mistakes.
Want to hear more tips from Rahni? You can watch the full interview on the NETFIT App here: http://geni.us/netfit