If you’d told me, say, 20 years ago, that in my late forties I’d be just about living and breathing netball, I’d have laughed. I’d never played it – and indeed, I still never have. We were also possibly a bit wary about having our weekends tied up with sport commitments – so I didn’t really intend to get that involved.
Funny how things turn out. I only chose netball as a sport for our eldest to try because at around age six or seven the local netball didn’t travel all over the district. Same place, same time, every week. With a husband travelling around overseas all the time, and three kids, I decided that sounded like a good idea.
So she liked it, and then so did #2. And then so did # 3. A few years later #1 started playing rep – and so the mother with a conscience went to an AGM, feeling like she should contribute something. The Dad got interested (because he has a team sports head), and has even coached a couple of years, done the umpire exam, and gone to a couple of coaching courses.
And this year (as I’ve said before), they’ve all been playing rep, and the eldest has been coaching rep, and Ms 14 has been helping coach Ms 11’s junior team.
And it feels like it’s been carnival after carnival; we were in Sydney last weekend for the three-day State Championships for Ms 17, and there’s a one day carnival tomorrow for the younger two. In two weeks time we’re back down south again for State Age.
Just when I think that in July I can celebrate the end of the madness, I realise that there are two age carnivals to go to in August, and that I should be doing something for the netball association in the next week about organising teams for that – because it shouldn’t all be about rep.
I just feel like I bloody live at the netball clubhouse. (I’m managing the canteen ordering this year, so I spend Saturdays in the canteen as well as ‘being there’ for the training twice a week.)
In a bit of a twist, it’s the Daddy who is the one actively involved in the game itself – he’s coached, and played a couple of mixed comps, and (as I’ve illustrated before here) gets out in the back yard shooting goals with the girls. He has a tactical team sports mind – something that totally eludes me.
The discussion of tips and tactics often continues inside…. Did you ever see Bend it Like Beckham? There’s a scene where Keira Knightly’s character’s Dad is using table implements and condiments to explain the rules of football to his wife…
… well, we get the netball version happening here:
The glass of water and the beer bottle are the goal posts. The beer cap is the centre circle. The forks represent the transverse lines. (The hairy knee has nothing to do with it, other than to perhaps indicate the owner of the finger doing the pointing.)
I can’t see all this being over any time soon. While Ms 17 may well be going away to uni next year, there are a few years left yet with the other two…
Meanwhile this year it just feels particularly all-consuming.
Funny how life turns out sometimes.