If you're a dedicated netball player, then the off-season should be used to focus on improving your fitness base and getting yourself in the best condition possible for the upcoming season. Skills shouldn’t be a huge focus until a few weeks before the season actually starts, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add balls into your fitness and conditioning drills.
Many netball players play basketball or another sport during the off-season. While this will keep you a little bit fit, and will prevent your skills from dropping off too much, it isn’t enough – especially if you are a centerline player who is required to run a lot during netball games.
1. Strengthen your core stability and balance
This helps with almost every aspect of attack and defence. Whether you're a shooter standing on one leg, a defender leaning in to guard the ball, or you just like to be able to leap and change position quickly, balance and core stability help improve your game and help you avoid injury. To improve your balance and stability, do strength exercises for the arms, chest and shoulder while standing on the opposite leg, do a twisting lunge holding a medicine ball or dumbbell, perform exercises on a Swiss ball or stand on a wobble board (or on one leg for 60 seconds, building up to doing it with your eyes closed). Make sure you include holding the plank position for up to 60 seconds at a time in your strength regime.
2. Increase your speed
Explosive speed is needed to sprint into position, change direction suddenly and to leap up to intercept a ball. For this you need to include plyometrics in your training - jumping up stairs, leaping sideways or jumping over low hurdles. It's all about improving your power and your leg strength.
3. Build your endurance
Endurance is essential if you want to maintain your pace for the whole game. Train by building up to running continuously for up to 20 minutes, only slowing down when you need to, then speeding up for a sprint.