Netball Position: Choosing The Best Position for You

Which Position Should You Play In Netball? Choosing The Best Position for You

For someone interested in playing a game of netball, it may seem daunting and scary at first. If you don’t know the game or what position would suit you best, it can feel confusing and frustrating. Thankfully, once you understand every position’s requirements, the process of deciding becomes easier.

When deciding which position you should play in netball, you’ll need to understand your likes and dislikes about each position. This way, you’ll have a clear idea as to what position is the best for you and suits your requirements as well as skill levels accordingly.

Netball doesn’t need to be a scary sport; in fact, it’s an exciting team game that can increase your physical health and provide many long-term health benefits. If you need help choosing the best position for you, continue reading!

Every Position Requirements (Physical Condition, Skills You Need)

Wing Defense (WD)

As wing defense, you aim to stop your opponent from getting the ball into their goal circle. You must do this by intercepting the ball and feeding it back to your goal circle.

Physical Condition

A wing defender’s physical condition must be fit and healthy. As they are required to mark their opponent for the majority of the game, WD must be prepared to run and jump for the majority of the game.

Skills You Need

  • Focused
  • Jumping
  • Marking

Goal Defense (GD)

A goal defender’s job is to intercept and feed the ball out of the opposition’s goal circle, aka- the danger zone! Thus, it requires someone with superb eye-for-detail and timing. 

Physical Condition

Goal defense must be physically fit as the position requires plenty of jumping, blocking, and running.

Skills You Need

  • Jumping
  • Catching and snatching the ball
  • Good anticipation
  • Footwork

Goal Keeper (GK)

The goal keeper marks the opposition’s goal shooter- making sure to stop the GS from scoring a goal. It can be done by intercepting, jumping for the ball, and collecting rebounds as many times as possible.

Physical Condition

Although GK requires less stamina, they must be keen on defense. They are usually once of the taller players also that can jump and use their arms when necessary.

Skills You Need

  • Jumping
  • Catching by keeping eyes on the ball
  • Marking
  • Speedy footwork
  • Using arms and hands to defend

Center (C)

The center position is one of the most dynamic positions in the game of netball. The center is allowed to move everywhere on the court, except for both teams’ inner-third circles. They have to keep a shift of movement for the ball throughout the court.

Physical Condition

A Center’s physical condition must be fit and healthy. Continuous running and throwing are required in the position, requiring a player’s stamina to be the best within the team. Centers will also be quick to move and change directions without hesitation.

Skills You Need

  • Fast-paced
  • Ball handling
  • Keeping eyes on the ball
  • Accurate catching and throwing
  • Dodging
  • Side-stepping
  • Speedy footwork
  • Throwing

Goal Shooter (GS)

Goal shooter or GS is focused entirely on shooting and scoring goals for their team. A GS works within their inner-third circle alongside the Goal Attack, who can score goals if required. They have to remain useful in remaining open for players and be a good shooter.

Physical Condition

A goal shooter’s physical condition must be healthy, able to jump for the ball, and use their upper-half of the body according to shooting a goal.

Skills You Need

  • Accurate shooting skills
  • Side-stepping
  • Speedy footwork
  • Ball above head
  • Balance

Goal Attack (GA)

Goal attack can go in the two inner-thirds as well as the goal circle. Goal attack has to assist the goal shooter in scoring goals, as well as setting goals up accordingly.

Physical Condition

The ideal physical condition of a GA player is fit, healthy, with an ability to shoot.

Skills You Need

  • Strong on attack
  • Shooting
  • Side-stepping
  • Jumping
  • Footwork
  • Balance

Wing Attack (WA)

Wing attack’s job throughout the game of netball is to provide as many opportunities of scoring by passing the ball to the shooter and GA. They can run everywhere EXCEPT within both teams’ goal circle.

Physical Condition

As plenty of running occurs throughout the position- WA’s physical condition should be fit, healthy, and steady on the attack.

Skills You Need

  • Jumping
  • Side-stepping
  • Bounce passes
  • Accurate ball handling
  • Eye-for-detail
  • Throwing

What is The Hardest Netball Position for You?

When you look at each netball position from a stamina perspective, it’s clear that the Center position requires the most physical demand. Overall, this could mean it would be the hardest netball position for you to play- specifically, if you’re not a runner.

Although every position in netball requires some sort of running, especially in professional netball- The center can easily be the most difficult to keep up with.

However, If you look at the hardest netball position from a skill point of view- it’s clear that goal-attack may fit into that category.

Goal attack requires a skill of both driving the ball into the goal circle, as well as accuracy for shooting.

Here is a list of reasons why the center may be the hardest netball position for you:

  1. There is no where you can’t run- except for the shooters circle
  2. You act as both attack and defense (depending on who has the ball)
  3. You’re required heavily to connect the ball to the appropriate people on your team
  4. Quickly observing the best person to throw to is always required
  5. You’ll be running the majority of the game

And here is a list of reasons why Goal Attack may be the hardest netball position for you:

  1. You’re required to shoot accurately (if needed)
  2. You must drive the ball towards the goal shooter
  3. Most of the hard work takes place within a small inner-circle (the goal circle)
  4. A lot of running is required
  5. You must continue to mark you, opponent when it’s the oppositions throw-off
  6. Rebounds are required

What is The Best Netball Position for You?

Choosing the best netball position for you depends on a few factors. Deciding what you enjoy- say attack or defense, as well as judging your stamina levels, is an excellent way of determining the overall best position.

To help you choose the best netball position for you, I’ve broken the positions up:

  • Center

If you’re secure with stamina, enjoy moving around the court often, and don’t mind playing both attack and defense- center is the best position for you.

  • Goal Shoot

For those who don’t enjoy running frequently but aren’t keen on the attack side- goal shoot is the best position for you.

  • Goal Keep

Individuals strong on defense, but don’t enjoy running- goal keep is the best position for you.

  • Goal Attack

If running around the court doesn’t sound too bad, and you’re up for the challenge of scoring a few goals- goal-attack may be the best position for you.

  • Wing Attack

Wing attacks carry the ball often- never being afraid to run, jump, or snatch a ball when required. They’re prepared to do what it takes to drive the ball to their goal circle. If this sounds like you, wing attack is your potential best position.

  • Wing Defense

If you’re prepared to use your defense skills, height, and running capabilities in ensuring the ball doesn’t make its way to the opposition’s goal circle- wing defense is the best position for you.

  • Goal Defense

Rebounds, jumping, and marking your player is what you’re best at doing. You don’t mind driving the ball; instead- you enjoy intercepting the ball and switching up the direction of the game when bystanders least expect it. If this sounds like you- goal defense is your best position.

Overall, it may take a few times to play numerous positions to find out what the best position for you to play in netball is. However, once you find it- continue persevering, and you make it big!

The Importance of Playing in the Right Position

Improves Team Dynamics

When players are slotted into positions that complement their abilities, the team functions better as a cohesive unit.

  • Strategies and set plays are easier to execute when everyone is playing to their strengths. If the Wing Attack (WA) has great speed and ball-handling skills, the coach can design moves to utilize these abilities.
  • Teammates can have more confidence in each other. For example, if the Goalkeeper (GK) excels at intercepting, the Goal Defense (GD) can play aggressively, assured of their goal circle’s protection.
  • The midcourt players can concentrate on passing to the shooting area if the Goal Attack (GA) and Goal Shooter (GS) are accurate. Instead of taking risky shots, the midcourt players maintain possession and search for the best shooting opportunity.
  • Specialist positional players enhance overall team performance. Goal Shooter accuracy directly translates to more goals scored. A skilled Center (C) enhances movement in the midcourt. Similarly, an effective Goalkeeper (GK) increases chances for turnovers.

Utilizes Your Natural Talents

A tall and strong player fits well as a Goal Shooter (GS) or Goalkeeper (GK), where height helps in shooting and in contests for the ball in the air.

  • Players who are quick and agile excel in midcourt roles like Wing Attack (WA) and Centre (C), where speed is a key advantage.
  • Players who are natural leaders with strong communication skills are ideal for the Centre (C) or Goal Defence (GD) positions, where they can lead and guide the team’s strategy.
  • Focusing on your strengths instead of hiding your weaknesses leads to more enjoyment and fulfillment. By playing in your ideal position, you can fully use and improve your natural talents.

Reduces Injury Risk

Playing in a position unsuited to your body type can raise the risk of injury.

A few injury risk examples:

  • A shorter Goalkeeper (GK) or Goal Defence (GD) often jumps for high balls, which can lead to ankle or knee injuries due to hard landings.
  • Players with a slight build playing as Goal Shooters (GS) without strong leg muscles may face back injuries from the impact of frequent landings.
  • Taller players in Wing Attack (WA) or Centre (C) positions may find quick turns challenging, increasing their risk of ankle rolls or knee problems.

Matching players to positions that suit their height, speed, agility, and fitness can lower the risk of unnecessary injuries. If you consistently feel pain, it may be a sign to consider changing your position.

How to Switch Positions?

Changing positions in netball can open up new opportunities but also pose some challenges.

Discuss with Your Coach and Team

The first step is an open and honest discussion.

  • Talk to your coach about why you want to change positions, the new position you’re interested in, and your strengths and weaknesses relevant to it.
  • Listen carefully and be open to your coach’s feedback and advice about changing positions.
  • It’s important to get your teammates’ support because changing your position affects the entire team’s structure.

Key talking points with teammates:

  • Explain to your teammates that you want to change positions to help the team, not for personal gain.
  • Point out specific skills you have that would be more beneficial to the team in the new position.
  • Make it clear that you’re committed to working hard to adapt to the new position.

Ideally, the conversation should lead to an agreement that your skills are more suited to the new position. If the agreement isn’t reached, accept constructive feedback and work on improving the areas needed for the new position.

Start with a Lower-level Position

  • If you’re changing positions, start at a lower level, like moving from A-grade to reserve, to ease the transition.
  • This approach gives you time to get familiar with the new role and develop the necessary skills.
  • Focus on training to improve your fitness and sharpen skills specific to your new position.
  • Wait until you’re fully prepared before moving up to a higher level.

Work your way back up

  • Once you’ve improved at the lower level, inform your coach that you’re ready for bigger challenges.
  • During training, focus intensely on drills that are specific to your new position.
  • Study game footage of elite players in your new role to analyze their movements and positions.
  • Move to a higher grade once your coach and teammates agree that you’re ready.

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