Diamantveld netball skipper wants her team to aim for top five finish, but above all, enjoy the competition.
Netball captain for the Diamantveld High School’s Under-19 first team, Anliné Brunette, said that they have been training hard this week and have been putting in the hours, but said that the loss of their main goal scorer, Marie Duraan, who will be representing South Africa in the Under-17 Africa Schools Tournament, will definitely be felt this year.
“A lot of our game is around her, because she is so tall and plays a very good game, and when she gets the ball, we can be sure of the points. It will now be a little difficult to get that self-confidence back,” Brunette said, but added, “But we have been playing with our current goal scorer since last year, and we are sure that she will fill that gap for us.”
When asked how she motivates her players when things are tough, Brunette said that she works together with the vice-captain to motivate the players and to make them aware of areas they need to work on and look out for, but the one thing she does as a captain without using words is to smile and be calm. Brunette explained that when the players see you calm, they will be calm as well.
Speaking about pressure, Brunette said that music has a big influence on how they handle pressure as a team.
“Before a game, we listen to loads of adrenaline-pumping music to get us going and to get us in the mood, but right before we start the game, we will listen to one or two gospel songs to put our minds and hearts at ease.
“We will then form a circle, give thanks to the Lord, and ask for guidance,” she said.
Brunette said that being on the court and under pressure is something you learn how to handle through experience, and last year they had a lot of pressure on them because they were a very young team. But this year they are prepared because they know each other well which takes a lot of the pressure off, making communication and cooperation easier between them.
“I am so proud of my team; I wish I could let people see from the outside into the team how much they have improved since last year, not just physically but more emotionally, and also for them to see the bond we have as a team; it is something very rare.
“I personally think that we will be able to make it into the top five this year, and it is something we have worked for, but anywhere in the top 10 we will be happy with,” she concluded.