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Building team spirit: Why we're more than just a club

Leisa Nash, President, Natives Netball Club

As the President of Natives Netball Club, I've had the privilege of witnessing the incredible spirit and camaraderie that define our club. In this blog, I'd like to share with you why Natives is more than just a place to play netball - it's a community, a family, and a nurturing ground for personal and athletic growth. Our philosophy is built on fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, where every member is valued and has opportunities to shine.

Fostering supportive relationships

At Natives, we believe that every member - from players and coaches to volunteers - is [art of our extended family. We prioritise creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed and supported. Our coaches take the time to get to know each player personally, understanding their strengths, areas for improvement, and individual goals. This personal connection helps us tailor our coaching to each player's needs, ensuring they feel supported both on and off the court.

For example, when a player is going through a tough time, our coaches and fellow players rally around them, offering encouragement and understanding. This support network is a testament to the close-knit relationships we build within our club. It's not uncommon to see teammates celebrating each other's successes, both big and small, and offering a shoulder to lean on during challenging times.

Inclusive practices in action

Inclusivity is at the heart of everything we do at Natives. We are committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their skill level or background, feels welcome and included. One way we put this into practice is through our mixed ability training sessions. These sessions bring together players of varying skills levels, fostering a sense of unity and mutual respect. It's inspiring to see more experienced players mentoring and encouraging newer members, creating a supportive environment where everyone can learn and grow together.

Building team spirit through fun and connection

While netball is at the heart of what we do, we believe that building team spirit goes beyond the court. At Natives, fostering connection and camaraderie is a priority. Our training sessions are designed not just for skill development, but also for strengthening bonds between teammates. We incorporate team-building exercises and activities that encourage players to support and motivate one another.

One of the ways we nurture this connection is through regular team discussions and feedback. These moments allow players to share their experiences, celebrate each other's achievements, and address any challenges collectively. It's in these supportive conversations that friendships are forged and a sense of belonging is cultivated.

Additionally, we encourage our teams to create their own traditions and rituals, whether it's a pre-game cheer, a post-training chat, or a simple gesture of encouragement. These small but meaningful practices help build a positive and cohesive team environment.

A club that grows with you

At natives, we're not just focused on the present; we're committed to the long-term development of our members. We offer leadership opportunities, such as coaching and umpiring, to help our players develop new skills and take on new challenges. By investing in our members' growth, we ensure that they are equipped to succeed now and into the future.

Our philosophy is simple: by fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, we empower our members to become the best versions of themselves. We believe that when players feel valued, supported and connected, they are more likely to thrive and achieve their full potential.

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