What a start to our year, especially the disruption to our defensive end.
We knew we wouldn’t get to see much of Temalisi this season, but losing Erikana as well is a double blow, that’s for sure.
Change is happening whether we like it or not.
Yes, it is and has been tough, there’s no real way of sugar coating it, but we can choose to dwell on the negatives or adapt and focus on the things we can control.
I think I learnt some of the sorts of skills that help you adapt to change a few years ago, when I first left the Tactix and headed to the Southern Steel.
Things hadn’t been going overly great for the team in my first 3 years there, but more importantly for me, they hadn’t been going that well for me personally playing either.
Off the court I was pretty happy, I’d finished my degree in Bachelor of Recreation Management in Sport at Lincoln University and Primary Teaching Degree and had been doing some relief teaching at a number of schools around Christchurch.
I was spending quite a bit of time at lower decile schools and found this work quite rewarding. The feeling you get from some of the kids, their appreciation that you were there and interested in them was a feeling I wasn’t getting from my netball at the time, which led me to give some serious consideration to what I wanted from netball and whether I needed to be going teaching full time.
And when the Steel contacted me about an opportunity with them in Invercargill, I had to think twice about what my future looked like.
I decided I wasn’t ready to give up netball just yet and headed south.
That was the first instance of accepting change and being excited by the challenge of it.
I left my family and friends behind and shifted in with a very welcoming family in Invercargill. I had a new coach, new team mates, new colours, new fans, everything was new and required me to adapt.
Living in the same house as my good friend Sophia Fenwick helped with the transition, but ultimately the decision to accept change was up to me.
Over the next few years change continued to happen, and often in areas I didn’t have a say or control in.
A handful of players changed each year, the competition did too and so did my coaches. I had 3 different coaches in 3 years at the Steel. Starting with Janine Southby, then Noeline Taurua in my second year and finishing with Regina Bloxham, who had been the assistant coach the year’s before.
What didn’t change though was a desire to win and be better than the week before. Both in me and the team around me. We made the finals each of the three years I was there, eventually winning the competition in 2017. That in itself was a massive change from finishing at the bottom of the table the 3 years before at the Tactix.
I learnt to accept change and ultimately tried to turn it in to something I benefited from.
One of the best things amongst the changes was Wendy Frew. Her unwavering desire for success for the team, the fans, the region and for herself was contagious. She is an outstanding lady and someone who I learnt a lot from.
She was probably pretty unlucky not to play more for New Zealand that she did, but despite that, she continued to play at the very best of her abilities every single week for her team. Regardless of what was going on around her she fronted up and played her heart out.
She adapted to change every time it happened to her too and contributed immensely to the environment that ultimately led to success.
I hope I can bring that to the Tactix environment and the girls around me get that same feeling and inspiration that I got from her.
I know it won’t be easy, it certainly hasn’t been over the first few weeks, the results wise anyway, but hopefully my teammates can see the opportunities that change can offer and that their captain is choosing to embrace it rather than be scared or frustrated by it.