Netball is All About the Fundamentals

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Netball seems like a very simple game with just a few types of moves—throwing the ball, catching the ball, shooting for goals, and blocking shots. And if you’re not a goal defender, then only the first three moves matter. Master these, and you’ll master the game. That’s all there is to it.

Too many young players try to emulate the flashy players they see on TV, but going for the big moves and fast breaks doesn’t work if the player doesn’t have a solid foundation based on mastering the fundamentals.


Throwing, of course, should be second nature by the time players get past the early levels of the game. Passing and receiving passes is what most players spend most of their time doing, and while there is a lot of strategy behind passing, all the strategy of the world is not going to help if the basic moves aren’t sound.

And in the end, the only way to become a great netball passer is through practice. It takes sheer repetition and close work with teammates to make sure the mechanics and the timing are right. Some players are talented enough to become perfect passers right away, but others need to work at it.

Catching and shooting

Catching, meanwhile, has to be thought of as a defensive move. Most turnovers occur when the ball is being passed, and the best way to prevent them from happening is to go to the ball, rather than waiting for it to come to you. It’s as simple as that. The fundamental principle of going to the ball is something that needs to be drilled into young players’ heads.

With these fundamentals in place, only then can players begin to learn the trickier moves involved with passing and catching. And let’s not forget that the basic moves are sometimes the most effective, especially when performed in a fundamentally sound way.

Shooting is where things start to get really advanced, which is why the shooting and attack positions are generally reserved for the most talented players on a team. In order to become a good shooter, one needs talent in addition to dedication. The cliche you always hear about great shooters is that they’re the ones who stay out on the court when everyone else has gone home, just shooting again and again, perfecting the motion and working out all of the kinks. This is what makes a great netballer.

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