So you’ve got the ball from another member of your team. You’re facing in completely the wrong direction to pass to anyone in any useful position, and those pesky rules say that you can’t run up the field while you hold onto the ball. But those same rules say tell us that we can, among other exciting things, make one step in any direction.
Legal movement while holding the ball means that you can make conjure up a scoring opportunity out of nowhere. Choosing the right legal manoeuvre is difficult though, and probably only huge amounts of experience and practice that empower you to make the correct choice every time. For now, we’re going to introduce you to one of the very basic and most regularly used on-the-ball techniques: the Pivot.
Balance is one of the keys to netball, and as always you need to adjust your stance to give the maximum possible. Before attempting the pivot it you must regain balance; it may seem like a waste of time when you need to keep the ball flowing and you want to pass to a team mate. But if you try and execute a pass while not fully in control there’s a distinct chance that an opposing player will intercept. And it will be all. Your. Fault.
In reality it takes but a fraction of a second to make sure that your weight distribution is correct and that you’re full in control of your body.
So once you’re fully balanced, you can start the manoeuvre. Choose the direction you want to be in and move one of your legs to make it point that way. The rotation is done on the ball of your stationary foot, while swinging the other leg around. If you’re not happy with your position after the first pivot, then do it again.
Remember: the rules dictate that you can only move one of your legs, so once you’ve pivoted, you must continue to keep the stationary leg still.
Your upper body should be kept as stationary as possible during the pivot. Keep your eye on the game at all times, and be ready to execute the most appropriate pass once you are stationary and under control. Your stationary foot must remain in contact with the floor until you have released the ball: this is easy to forget.
If you’ve jumped for the ball and know you’re going to be landing in the wrong direction, then when you land with one of your feet, consider using it as the stationary pivot foot, and turning quickly. A natural move like this could open up opportunities before the opposition get a hint of what’s going on.
You need to keep your eye and mind on the game when pivoting, and you need to be able to do it in the blink of an eye. The only way to achieve this, and to make it effective and useful in a real game situation, is to practice and practice. Then, when you’ve done that, practice some more.
- Netball (Steps to Success S.) – “Netball” by Wilma Shakespear, published by Human Kinetics