We went behind the scenes of England Netball’s recent World Cup photo shoot at Loughborough University’s Netball Centre to find how the squad is feeling ahead of the World Cup in Sydney, which starts in just over two weeks.
The squad received a special delivery for the shoot – their 2015 World Cup dresses. The girls were once again delighted to be so heavily involved in the design of the tournament dress, working with Kukri Designer, Laura Murphy, to make sure they looked incredible on court.
We asked you for questions that we could ask the girls ahead of the World Cup and selected the best to give you an insight into the mind of an England international athlete.
First of all, Amelia Ghanbouri wanted to know what pre-match superstitions, if any, the players have.
Interestingly, Sonia Mkoloma and Vice-Captain Pamela Cookey both commented that they tried to steer clear of any superstitions or routines, because you can never be too sure what’s going to happen on a game day to stop you from doing anything.
Many of the girls stated that the way they lay out their clothes and get changed on game day has to be the same every time, with Stacey Francis going a step further…
“I’d like to say no (I don’t have any superstitions), but my teammates will probably say I’m slightly obsessive over having to do everything to the left side of my body before the right; I’ve even got a specific match day hair style.”
The Captain, Geva Mentor, isn’t without her superstitions either, she commented that she prefers to stay in the dressing room after the team talk whilst the rest of the team go out and practice, she admitted that this is likely to change…
“As captain this year that may have to change because I have interview duties to fulfil.”
Next, Rebecca Johnson asked “What do you do to mentally prepare for yourselves ahead of a big game?
Tamsin Greenway commented that having made a switch to a player coach for her Super League team, she tends to do a lot more preparation in advance of the match, allowing her to focus on the match confident of knowing what it is she has to do on the court.
The newest member of an experienced squad, Helen Housby shed some light on how a shooter prepares…
“I’m a chilled out person, I don’t like to get too stressed out, I go over the video plan to make sure I know my role and what is asked of me. I think I’m quite quiet, I sit down and relax, listen to music and stay level headed.”
Bromsgrove born Stacey Francis was one of many of the girls that mentioned how important the right food is ahead of a game…
“Food is important for my preparation. As an athlete I need to make sure I’m fuelled.”
Make sure you keep track on all of the action as England start their World Cup campaign against Scotland on Friday 7th August.
We’ll be posting more of what the players had to say on our Facebook page throughout the competition.