Updated: Sep 18
After a tough first two days of our preseason, a yoga session was very much needed by all of us girls. Before going into the session, I thought that yoga would be a good way to help the body relax and recover from our previous sessions. However, I did not realise that the yoga session would help the mind as well as the body. As the session unravelled it was clear that it was not going to be a strenuous hour, more of an hour that each and every one of us could use to re-focus and clear our minds.
One of my main focuses going into the session was to do with relieving tension from my body, especially in the shoulders as the previous strength and conditioning sessions had been very tough on the upper body.
It was clear to Jay, our instructor, that all of us girls were very tight and aching all over. So, he focused our yoga session on relieving the stress and tightness. This benefitted all the girls, especially the next day as we didn’t ache as much.
I think that now the new netball season is fast approaching us girls as athletes need to make sure we are physically and mentally fit. I personally think yoga would be a massive part of preparing all the girls when we know we have a tough game ahead of us.
This could be done by using all the relaxation techniques Jay taught us to help slow the heart rate down and just replenish the body. I personally think that yoga could also help with recovering the body by using the stretches individually and with one of our teammates.
I think yoga could benefit me as an athlete as it can help improve sleep, so my body is able to recover quicker. Also, yoga will help prevent injuries as it will strengthen bones and muscles that aren’t always targeted in our different sessions. This especially helped me as I am injured at the moment, so it meant that I now know different ways of strengthening my body but also strengthening my ankle. Being able to strengthen muscles, ligaments and tendons is key when being a netball athlete as we don’t always take time to relax and focus on the body to aid recovery.
Yoga will also help me with regards to my flexibility as I am guilty of not stretching as much as I should, but after our yoga session, I have a better understanding of how to carry out the correct stretches for specific body parts. I think this yoga session was also good as it showed us that yoga isn’t just an individual activity, Jay showed us partner stretches which makes it more fun and also brings the team closer. I definitely will be carrying on doing yoga, especially after a tough training session as it helped my body recover and helps relax the mind.
I don’t personally think yoga could help during a netball game due to there only being a certain amount of minutes break in between the quarters. Yoga would, however, help pre-match and post-match. It would help pre-match because the relaxation techniques could help to calm and clear the mind, this would be useful before a match because it will help us refocus on the team tasks and individual tasks before the game ahead. With regards to after the match, all the stretches would help because it would mean we are cooling down after the match properly. The team don’t always stretch and cool down properly, especially if the match didn’t end in our favour.
Now we know some of the correct ways of stretching different muscles, which Jay taught us, our post-match cool down can help us avoid injury.
Megan W (Cardiff Met Netball Team Member)