One of my Clients sponsored Natalie Miller the Co Captain of the indoor netball team otherwise known as Nets.
The team went into the World Cup as reigning champions which is always a hard place to start as the expectation of a result is heavy on the teams shoulders.
We have closely followed the team’s progress and worked with them before they left on having a great mind set and adopting winning behaviour.
The team missed out on a medal, however the journey and the values they shared are winning in the minds of many. I interviewed Natalie recently to get an insight as to how an athlete returns to life after a tournament with the memories of highs and lows.
Leading up to a tournament there is the training and the abstinence from partying and alcohol and the missing out on family events. The discipline of being constantly in training is tough.
Natalie explained that when she returned it is hard to make that transition. Mentally it is tough to understand what has just happened. Knowing that it is over and you have worked for a year and half and been so focused. The recovery is slow as the emotions run high. The reality of a gear change takes a while to adjust to.
Freddie Flintoff’s podcast was something Natalie could relate to, he talks about how it feels to return home after tournament. The harshest part is knowing that you will never play with that team again. The combination of players is very hard to replicate.
Natalie explained that the team have not seen each other since the World Cup, however this feels natural as everyone needs space after such an experience.
The team experienced a tremendous high when they won against New Zealand and personally very special to Natalie as her parents witnessed the victory. This match showcased the team, they all came together and there was total cohesion.
Another special moment was one team member was not going to play again and understandably was feeling sad, so as the Captain, Natalie asked “What would really make you happy?”. At the time of asking the team were in an ice bath, and heroically Natalie offered to dive head first into the ice bath. The reaction after the dive is something the team will never forget.
Everyone has a contribution and that is why being part of a team is so special.
The high of being part of a team to represent your country and being Captain cannot be minimised. Natalie took advantage of going to South Africa by having a holiday afterwards with her parents who went out to support her. This time was very precious being one of four to have exclusivity with her parents was a wonderful reward.
Natalie’s story continues…she has been promoted at the school she works at. She is now the Head of Netball, Seaford College. She brings her passion of the sport and shares that with the children. She is playing for Sussex Thunder as the Captain and has her heart and eyes set on the Masters World Indoor Championships in 2020.
The sponsor invested in Natalie as they had shared values and the journey to the World Cup has only highlighted and exaggerated how relevant they are.
Values are your anchor in life and you will always be a winner if you stay true to them.
Congratulations to all the Nets team and to Natalie for being a part of the World Cup and for sharing their story.