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©2019 by Darling Downs Panthers.

Practice What You Preach 

Towards the end of the 2019 season, I was feeling a little flat and unmotivated. Very rarely will I tell
anyone when I’m struggling……it’s just the way I am. I take the phrases “leading by example” and
“practicing what you preach” very seriously, so crumbling in a heap or walking away is just never an
option.


However, my Sissy knows me too well. She had seen me cop a few hard knocks, and knew it was
starting to take its toll. She called in one afternoon with a copy of “Leap”, by Geva Mentor.
To be honest, I love reading but I don’t get a lot of time in netball season. Thanks to Corona Virus, I
just binge read Geva’s book, and thought I would give you a little review.


I recommend this book to any parent or young athlete. It’s a book that will resonate with many;
Geva keeps it real. It’s honest, and it’s raw….. And it relates specifically to netball. I’m not going to
ruin the story for you, but I did take some important key messages out it.


Respect coaches, even when sometimes you don’t like them or agree with them. Geva talks about
many of her coaches; times where she didn’t understand the decision making or reason behind
decisions. I loved the way she talked it out, and respectfully approached coaches asking the “why”.
There was no blaming, or playing the victim. Just good, honest conversation.


We cannot be in control of every area of our life. Sometimes our personal life is really suffering, but
we can transfer all that energy into our professional/sporting life. Often one area of our life is total
chaos, but to be able to channel that negative energy and focus into sport can be so beneficial for
our mental health. It’s ok to be vulnerable sometimes. At the end of the day, netball is just a game.
Failure doesn’t define you…..knock down doors. We need to fail sometimes to find our grit. More
often than not, it’s only 1 person’s opinion.


The relationships built through sport are special. Sport can open so many doors. The friendships built
over years of training and competition are mutually beneficial. Not just the players either…the
management teams, parents or supporters!


It’s ok to stand up for what you believe in. When you are passionate about something, and really
believe in it, back yourself and speak up.


Geva, more recently, had some very confronting conversations with people in power about her age.
You are a long time retired (just ask me!)….take every opportunity to play for as long as you are able.
Carrying age or not, trust your body, trust your gut, and don’t take no for an answer!


I also really felt a connection with the English Roses (in a weird way!). The belief that we are not
second rate, that we shouldn’t be content with what is, and what has always been. That is requires a
team to believe in what we are capable of achieving….not just a couple who have the vision of
success. It bought me back to our regional vision #yearofthepanther. We will have a winning culture,
and we will find it in ourselves to play netball for 60 minutes, working together to close out games
by digging deep for one another. The Roses have proved that, and so will we!


My favourite key message……..Family is everything.