Great sea­son for PAHS net­ball first team

Talk of the Town - - Sport - JACQUE­LINE HOL­LOWAY

FROM strug­gles with mo­ti­va­tion and team­work to vic­to­ri­ous bat­tles against tough com­peti­tors, the Port Al­fred High School (PAHS) net­ball first team has had an ab­so­lutely out­stand­ing sea­son this year, with only a sin­gle loss to their name.

As the ma­tric pre­lim­i­nary ex­am­i­na­tions ap­proach, the net­ball sea­son draws to an end, but it will be a while be­fore the team for­gets this tri­umphant sea­son.

First-team net­ball coach Michelle Smit said coach­ing the team was a very daunt­ing chal­lenge since it had been her first year with the team. How­ever, as they prac­tised and pre­pared for the net­ball sea­son, the team and their coach got to know each other bet­ter, and Smit’s ner­vous­ness around this mat­ter set­tled.

Dur­ing their first match of the year against Wes­ter­ing High School, Smit no­ticed the short­com­ings of the team mem­bers and made sure to work on them dur­ing prac­tice.

Ac­cord­ing to Smit, the girls were eas­ily dis­cour­aged once they started los­ing, and she be­gan to work with them on that.

Even­tu­ally, the team’s at­ti­tudes changed. They be­came more en­cour­aged and mo­ti­vated to per­form bet­ter as a team and as in­di­vid­u­als in matches.

“The girls re­ally blos­somed af­ter that,” Smit noted. More and more prepa­ra­tion was done for up­com­ing matches, and dur­ing the Wes­ter­ing fes­ti­val, the girls won all their matches. One of the high­lights of the sea­son was beat­ing the Hoërskool DF Mal­herbe first team, a pleas­antly un­ex­pected out­come for Smit and her team.

Elab­o­rat­ing on the vic­to­ries of the PAHS team, Smit said: “The big­gest vic­tory for me was to see how the girls had changed, es­pe­cially in their im­prove­ment of skill, at­ti­tude to­wards the game, and work­ing to­gether as a team.”

She be­lieved that the main rea­son for their vic­to­ri­ous sea­son was the fo­cus on en­cour­age­ment.

Some of the big­gest com­peti­tors that the team faced through­out the sea­son were Vic­to­ria Girls High School, Hoërskool PJ Olivier and DF Mal­herbe.

The new PAHS first team is said to be just as good. Dur­ing a fes­ti­val at Li­ly­fontein, the team won all five matches with four new team mem­bers.

Smit be­lieves there will be a lot of pres­sure on them to also do well.

“It will def­i­nitely be a chal­lenge to give a per­for­mance of the same stan­dard,” the coach re­marked.

De­spite the pres­sure, both the coach and the new team are con­fi­dent and ex­cited about the new sea­son. The PAHS net­ball first team had not ex­pe­ri­enced such a win­ning streak in a while, and sup­port­ers hope it con­tin­ues with the new team.

Pic­tures: JACQUE­LINE HOL­LOWAY

COACH­ING THE WIN­NING TEAM: Coach of the vic­to­ri­ous PAHS first net­ball team Michelle Smit is ex­tremely proud of what her team has ac­com­plished over the sea­son

UP IN THE AIR: PAHS first net­ball team mem­bers play­ing against each other in a prac­tice match at the school last week

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