Hello, welcome and thank you for taking the time to check out my page!
I'm always so awkward with introductions in real life so why should online be any different!
My name is Nikala Smith and I am from Perth, Western Australia.
You’re obviously here because you love a bit of netty and want to take the next step in improving your mindset – mastering the mental game. We spend so much time working on the physical aspect of our sport, but it’s not very often that we have an ongoing approach to training the mental aspect of our game, even though we are very aware that it all starts in the mind.
As a former professional netballer (you can read my story here) that struggled with performance due to anxiety and negative self-talk, I now understand how powerful our mind is and the importance of building our mindset muscle. And just like anything we are trying to achieve (build muscle, eat healthy, learn something new), it doesn’t take just one effort but takes daily consistent practice in order to gradually work towards what you want.
It wasn’t until I stopped playing (mostly due to the anxiety) that I really began my self-development journey. This included reading many books, listening to podcasts and attending many workshops. I also joined a self-development company that allowed me to grow in many ways, including teachings and hosting workshops. I loved hosting workshops, which is a BIG step for someone that is very introverted. Standing up in front of everyone and sharing information, can be (IS) very daunting, but this was an opportunity to have open conversations and connect with people. For me, the connection is what I loved about it and why I continue to put myself very much out of my comfort zone. It really surprised me that the minute you open up and share something vulnerable, others do the same, and you realise that the way you have been feeling, or the insecurities that you have, are no different from everyone else. All of a sudden, you don’t feel so alone and you have just built a deeper connection with a stranger (or even someone you have known for years but had no idea what was really going on for them)!
Building my mindset muscle was not an area that was a priority when I was playing and it certainly wasn’t something we spoke about often. If you did, the answer was speaking with a sports psychologist when things got really bad, which I certainly believe this has its place. I’m hoping to bring normality to these kinds of conversations and by sharing tools and information, we can reduce how often we get to this point. By consistently implementing the strategies and mindset tools, we can help players learn to become more self aware and manage their mindset in a positive way.
The best thing is that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, if you play competitively or social, or whether you have a desire to be the best netballer or not, all the tools and information can be applied to your netball world and your life away from the game.
I often wonder what could have been if I was able to manage my mindset in a positive way on the court and this is why I am so passionate about sharing this information.
The ball is in your court.