Its the end of the world........Or is it ?

This Covid-19 business, has really hit hard in many ways. The global health crisis, loss of income and impact on the economy. The news headlines each morning are just flat out depressing, so much so I made a conscious effort to not watch the news and remove all news outlets off my social media accounts.

For me, when this all started, I felt like it was like the end of my life as I knew it. I felt a sense of loss. I work in schools; that was ceased. I spent countless hours at netball; that was ceased. I actually felt like I had lost my identity. I realise that sounds really silly in the midst of all that is going on the world, but Bec the netball coach and Bec the school nurse and immuniser ceased to exist. Safe to say, a little bit of mild depression set in for a few weeks, followed by some mild anxiety.

My brain felt like a freight train. Planning for a netball season starts October the previous year. Coordinating Regional events, such as Panthers, Futures, Cubs and competitions takes so much time. Not only fitting into NQ timelines, but avoiding clashes between programs here on the Downs. Then there is my role as HDNA Representative Convener. Planning trials, squad trainings, carnivals, State Age logistics, liaising with coaches, managers and the committee……the list goes on and on, and all that months of planning went Poof! The anxiety set in thinking about how I was going to reinstate all this once we got the green light, tough to do when there is no magic date for return and the uncertainty of anything actually going ahead!

My thoughts were on my Panthers. We had a magnificent team bonding day. A strong focus on developing our winning culture. I had researched and strategized, and felt a great sense of control and positivity towards our season moving forward. For the first time in a few years, I felt that little negative cloud completely lift and I had clarity. There was nothing holding us back for 2020! We were ready to go.

The Futures……I know how much it means to those girls to be selected in this program. The work they put in the over the off season, and to be a part of something that supports their goals and aspirations.

Then there was my State Age team. This team is special. I took this team on in 2019, and our goal was to make Division 1. They not only made Division 1, they were in the Top 4. Losing to the top team by 1, beating the second place team and drawing with 3rd place. They far exceeded my expectations, and showed me the commitment, grit and comradery it takes to be at the top. I had mapped out our season plan, planned training sessions around strategy against certain teams. We were ready to go.

Poof!

Safe to say, I was very flat. I wasn’t looking forward to the home schooling for three of my kids. I hated being stuck at home. I missed my weekly breakfast and shop with my sister. I missed seeing my girls, and having the social interaction of my netball family on Monday nights and Panthers sessions, and my work environments. And no netball on TV!!!

Quite frankly, I was being a sook.

A friend of mine (obviously sick of my whinging and whining), suggested I do things around the house I never get time to do in netball season. I strengthened my resolved, and made lists. Many lists! I started in the garden, like a demon possessed. My poor husband came home from work and had 3 loads of green waste to take to the tip. I painted my 9 year old son’s room. He never actually had his own room, even though there was a perfectly good purple coloured room vacant (it’s anything goes in this house!). So we got to work, and now he has his own lovely room he can call his own. As I stood back and admired my work, I thought right…….I’m going to start downstairs. 16 years and five kids running through this house, it has definitely seen better days. I’ve ripped up carpet, smashed out walls, painted walls, pulled up tiles. My poor husband had more trips to the tip!

All in all, it has given me a sense of purpose and achievement. I had purpose in those other areas of my life that were suddenly no longer there. I needed that to get out of my funk, and gain some perspective.

Most importantly though, I have got to spend really great quality time with my kids. My 12 year old, Evie, has never had me coach her. She asked me to take her to the netball courts and work with her. It has been lovely (even with the eye rolling), to put some effort and guidance into her netball journey. She just loves her netball, and I had pangs of guilt knowing I spent so much time with her sister, and other players, that I never noticed that she wanted a piece of me too. We head to the courts twice a week, her cousin Ella meets her and they do their fitness and ball work sessions together. I have really appreciated and valued this time. Poor old Braith who gets dragged from pillar to post (but loves it and is the biggest FOMO ever!), has spent time doing his art and has really enjoyed the down time. For those of you with 16 year old boys, I don’t need to tell you how fun that is (not). But, it has been nice to have slowed down and appreciate my kids’ personalities and quirks.

My teams have been connected through social media, with fitness challenges and general banter. There are Zoom meetings, Messenger fitness sessions (I’m sure they really missed my voice ha!) and uploads of individual sessions. I feel it has been effortless keeping connected, and will only strengthen our bonds once real training resumes.

It has been wonderful going down to the courts and seeing so many Highfields girls doing their home programs. It shows their commitment and love of the game. I love to see their faces and give them a wave. It’s great to see the parents, and their wonderful support of their girls. Sometimes, there’s so many Highfields girls training, it’s easy to forget our social isolation. It’s those small glimmers, I believe, will get us through this.

With the carrot of State Age dangling for September, and Panthers season in October, we have hope. Out of all this, I believe we have learned how important our netball family is. Not only for the sport, but all the added benefits of social interaction, confidence building factors, and mental health wellbeing.

What I have learned is that netball itself doesn’t define me. I am grateful for my husband, my children, and my family. I am grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my fridge.

I know many people are doing it very tough right now. I feel guilty for being so despondent over really insignificant issues, when I know there are people out there with real problems. This was just giving you a little insight into the world of Bec, and what coping mechanisms I put in place.

Know this…..at the end of the day, our netball community is family, we can reach out to one another for support, whether it be big or small, and know that we will all get through this together, and come out intact on the other side.

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