University of Bristol's Netball Club kicked off preseason on the 4th September 2017. Over the following two weeks the girls were put to the test with a busy schedule and challenging fitness programme.
Members were immediately welcomed back by PT Troop who treated them to a hard and gruelling fitness session on the Durdham Downs. PT Troop's sessions are infamous within the club for being both mentally and physically tough. He tests and improves fitness, stamina and strength. This first session focused on strength and conditioning, engaging muscles that had been neglected over the summer! Squats, press ups and interval training made up the majority of the session. Following this UBNC spent the rest of the afternoon with a recovery swim and had their first netball training at Coombe Dingle.
The rest of the week followed a similar structure with three varied activities a day. The club had organised sessions for members at the SEH Gym such as Body Pump, Yoga and Dance Fit which ran alongside further fitness sessions with PT Troop and netball training. It was really great to see such good commitment from members in the first week of Preseason, numbers were high and attendance was positive. Highlights from the first week include stepping out of our comfort zone in Dance Fit by learning a dance routine to Glee's 'Proud Mary' and surviving the uphill sprints from PT Troop's Friday session!
The second week brought an even greater number of girls, all enthusiastic to improve their fitness ahead of team selections. This week had a slightly different timetable as it was part of the University's Preseason programme. The Monday morning began with the SEH Gym holding a Motiv8 circuits class. This provided fitness not just for netball, but also for many of the different University teams. It was a great warm up ahead of another PT Troop session in the afternoon. With higher numbers PT Troop really put us to the test; we completed 10 sets of 30 second interval training combined with 600m timed sprints. It was encouraging to see how much the girls' fitness had already improved from the first week, evidence clearly shown by quicker times on the 600m sprints.
Each evening the Club held netball training. We worked on skills and drills and despite many of the girls not playing netball over the summer it was fantastic to see such a high standard of play. After working on new drills both defensive and attacking, it was important to utilise the time with match play to ensure that players quickly rebuilt relationships on the court. It was a brilliant foundation with which we can build on for the rest of the season.
Other University gym classes were provided such as Animal Flow Conditioning and SAQ fitness which enabled us to socialise with other clubs that had returned for their own preseason.
Spinning and Pilates classes were also on offer and utilised by the girls.
Finally UBNC ended their two weeks of preseason with an intense two hour session with PT Troop. This particularly hard session was designed to test our new levels of fitness and showcase the improvements we'd made over the Preseason. The bleep test and a mini-circuit proceeded the feared Quarry Steps challenge. Members had to dig deep for this test and complete uphill step sprints for a total of 903 steps each. The girls performed incredibly well and were continually supported by their fellow team mates.
All our hard work of the past two weeks has not only set us in good stead for the season ahead, but has also allowed us to bond as a club. It has been great to see such good commitment and enthusiasm from each and every girl. So thank you all for your dedication, positivity and most of all determination. The Club would also like to say a special thank you to all the Instructors as SEH, in particular Paul Reay who continues to work closely with the Club to aid our improvement. Also to PT Troop for the incredibly challenging yet satisfying fitness sessions (see videos below), we hope to continue to work with you throughout the season. Finally, a big thank you to our Club Captain Lynda Onuoha and our Vice Club Captain Ellie Brown for organising such a successful preseason.
UBNC members still managing to smile after a tough PT Troop session in heavy rain