Hone your netball skills with first-hand advice from netball’s elite players. We hear from Sunshine Coast Lightning’s Steph Wood, Queensland Firebirds’ Tara Hinchliffe, GIANTS Netball’s Sam Poolman and Adelaide Thunderbirds’ Hannah Petty, on their top tips for the court.

When it comes to sport we all know practice makes perfect, so we’ve asked netball’s elite athletes for exclusive tips to help you during your next training session. There’s no better way to prepare than with advice from the pros themselves.

As Australia’s most popular team sport for women and girls, netball has a huge community of players nationwide from grassroots to elite.

If you’re familiar with the sport, you’ll know it’s not just about winning. Even at the most competitive and elite level it’s important to keep the fun in the game. Netball’s top athletes fiercely challenge one another each week for Suncorp Super Netball victory. They say enjoying yourself and being confident are key.


Steph was the first player signed to Sunshine Coast Lightning when they formed back in 2017. She’s also a current representative in the Origin Diamonds national team. Known to be creative in attack techniques, Steph mostly plays Goal Attack (GA) and occasionally Wing Attack (WA).

“The best piece of advice I received was to do the basics really well,” Steph says. “Netball is a game of catching and throwing, so it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can even fine-tune your skills by throwing a ball against a wall. When it comes to playing, always remember to have fun.”


Hannah joined the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2016, bringing along a strong set of full-court defence skills. As a powerhouse midcourter she mostly plays Centre (C), Wing Attack (WA) or Wing Defence (WD).

“Make sure you enjoy yourself, definitely have fun whilst on court. Don’t be afraid to go for it, back yourself, you never know what you can do till you try.”


Tara was elevated from training partner to the Queensland Firebirds roster in 2018 and is now a four-season Firebirds veteran at just 21 years old. She mostly plays Goal Defence (GD) and Goal Keeper (GK).

“Do the extra work when no one else is watching!” says Tara. “On top of the weights and running sessions we all do, I always add in something different and fun, like Pilates and swimming. Extra fitness sessions in the off-season have helped me get to where I am.”


Sam is an inaugural player of GIANTS Netball, where she became a leader in defence for the team both on and off the court. At 189cm tall, she undoubtedly is a force in defensive positions, Goal Keeper (GK) and Goal Defence (GD).

“Be confident in who you are,” says Sam. “One of the great things about netball is depending on what position you play, it requires different skills. We’re an inclusive sport, so be confident in what you bring to the game and you’ll love it.”

So next time you’re heading to the court to shoot some goals, practice passes, or even just for a quick game – don’t forget to keep these top tips in mind.

For more info on how to play netball next season, head to Netball Australia’s official website

Words by Zoe Stournaras
First Published April 2020


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