Kristina Brice on managing lockdown and playing elite netball
You’ve probably heard of Kristina Brice (a.k.a. Krissy). A seasoned shooter with Super Netball experience, she dominates in the circle and is a key player in our IMB South Coast Blaze Opens attacking line up.
We’ve been fortunate to have Kristina play for Blaze for the past two seasons and during that time she has been a great role model for all our players.
With the current lockdown, we took the opportunity to ask Kristina how she has been managing it, and her tips for playing at an elite level and being a leader.
How has it been juggling uni, training and work during the season and with COVID-19 lockdowns?
Uni has been the biggest struggle so far in trying to get through it all during lockdowns. You never realise how hard something is to study when you’re trying to do it from home. Training and work on the other hand have been relatively easy as I’ve been able to organise my work schedule around training and uni which is super handy.
During this current lockdown, I have mostly been working night shifts, so this gives me plenty of time in the day to study parts of the human brain (I am currently studying neuroanatomy), as well as get in some training before heading off to work.
What tips could you give someone who is juggling uni/school, work and training?
The most important part for me has been getting on top of and staying ahead of all my uni work, which allows me a little more freedom during the week to get everything else done.
Another thing which I have recently found helpful is saying no. This includes that extra shift at work, another training session or even taking a trip down to the shops for essential purposes. This has allowed me to make time for what I deem important and gives me that little extra time to get that distinction instead of a pass on my next assignment.
What is the best advice that a coach has ever given you?
The best advice that I’ve ever gotten from a coach is that there is going to be good days and there are going to be bad days and what matters is what you do on those bad days.
This has been helpful when I feel like I’ve been having a bad game and allows me to look at the other things I’ve been doing well. I may not have shot at what I know is normal for me but when I look back at the games I can see I helped set up my GA and those rebound stats.
What did you learn from your Super Netball experience that you still use to this day?
The most important thing that I learnt was how best to organise my time to get what I want out of my body on the court, as well as still doing everything else that needs to be done. Life at the Super Netball level can get pretty hectic with all the training, travel and games but it was also important to me to get uni done as well.
Another thing I learnt from playing at that level is how something as simple as a routine can help get a handle on those game-day nerves. There’s no better feeling than a game-day nap to get you in the mood for some netty.
Finally, you need to take the time to enjoy your life when the season is finished but to also get yourself ready for the next year. I particularly enjoy getting in some extra swimming or boxing sessions in the offseason to prepare me for another big year of netball.
What is your best tip for shooters?
At the end of the day, shooters have one of the hardest jobs as we have the added expectation of scoring goals to win games. But let’s be honest, we love the feeling of scoring that winning goal. I’ve found that having that little cue word helps particularly in those games where I find myself in my own head. It can be something as simple as “lift” to take yourself out of your head and back into the game.
There will be those games where you can’t buy a goal – and trust me I’ve had those days as well – so in these instances try to focus on the smaller things that you have done well in the game. For example, you may not be scoring goals on the first try but you’ve been getting all the rebounds, therefore, your team hasn’t been losing possession. This will also help you get your head back into the game.
As the IMB South Coast Blaze Opens Vice Captain, can you share some tips and insights on being a good leader?
I find a good way to be a leader is to empower the players around you. Let them feel that their voices can be heard and that everyone’s opinion is valued as much as the leaders’ ones are.
That being said, there is no one real way to be a leader. Your teammates want you to be in that position, so make sure you continue on leading in your own way. The way your leadership shows is different for everyone, whether that may be your work ethic at training or the way you conduct yourself during the game. Don’t worry too much about trying to be someone else as there is only one you so just be you.
Kristina is sponsored by