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Shelby Mallon gives advice to South Coast players

Shelby Mallon gives advice to South Coast players

Shelby Mallon, who played for Shoalhaven Netball Association as a junior, is one of our many proud local players. Her poise, tenacity and long range shooting accuracy has been essential element in the Blaze Opens attack for the past two seasons and she is dedicated to helping to grow Blaze’s grassroots netball talent on the South Coast.

With lockdown continuing, we asked Shelby about her most memorable moment as a junior, how she’s coping in lockdown, her tips for those looking to stand out at trials and improve their shooting, and what it means to play for a local Premier League team.

What is your most memorable netball moment as a junior playing for Shoalhaven Netball Association?

One of my most memorable experiences was having the opportunity to be selected and play as a part of the 12 years SNA State age team. I always enjoyed going to State Age, however, the 12s was particularly special as it was the first time I travelled away to play a netball competition over the course of multiple days and experienced playing against a variety of different playing styles. I was so lucky to have great coaching mentors from a young age who motivated me to continue to develop and grow as a player.


What would your advice be for South Coast Players who want to be recognised at trials?

The preparation you do prior to trials is so important because it provides the opportunity to develop your skills and work on the areas you need to improve so when you go to trials you can play to your strengths and leave everything out on the court. Coaches look for a variety of skills and assets at trials including things like speed, agility, spatial awareness, teamwork and good passing awareness, However, I’ve often found that one of the main things coaches look for is Coachability. Coaches really want to see how a player with potential is able to receive constructive feedback and how they implement it into their game and as a team. Being coachable is a great asset to have and is one of the best ways for you to grow and improve as a player. Also, enjoy the experience, you are much more likely to perform well if you are relaxed!


How have you been managing your time in lockdown, including training and working and what are you doing to stay positive/motivated?

At the start of every week, I plan out everything that I need to do between work, university and training to stay organised and manage my time well. For me, this helps me stay motivated and productive in my work and university studies, as I have a setlist of tasks I need to tick off and achieve to feel a sense of accomplishment. I always make sure that I allocate time daily to self-care (e.g. going for a walk, ringing my friends or relaxing) to make sure I have time to relax, stay connected with my friends and family and stay positive during this time.

In terms of netball, I have been completing my home training program only following the same pre-lockdown schedule and routine, participating as a demonstrator in Blaze online clinics and TIP programs as well as participating in informal online zoom training with the team to ensure we stay connected and fit in preparation for 2022. 

What is your tip for shooters playing against a tough defender?

I think every defender has a different set of skills that can make them difficult to play against, so find out what your opposition’s strengths and weaknesses are, and use your skills to your advantage. Seek feedback on the game from your coaches and teammates as sometimes they may see something that you don’t and enjoy the challenge!


What is your favourite drill to maintain your accuracy?

I have two drills:

– The first one is really great to develop your consistency and accuracy. You have five cones spread around the circle at various distances and you have to shoot five goals in a row from the same cone. Once you have shot five goals from that cone in a row you can remove the cone from the circle. Make sure you have some spare cones on the side because if you miss one goal, you have to add an extra cone into the circle and shoot another five goals. The aim is to have no cones left at the end.

– The second one focuses more on your accuracy under fatigue. You have three cones (one at 1/4, one at 1/2 and one at 3/4) placed directly in front of the post. Each cone is worth an additional point as you get further away from the post (cone 1 = 1 point, cone 2 = 2 points, cone 3 = 3 points). You run from the 1st transverse line to the circle, choose a cone to shoot from and run back to the transverse line. Repeat this for two minutes continuously and add up your points as you go. Once you’ve had a rest you can repeat the two minutes to try and beat your previous score.

What does it mean to you to be in a Premier League team based on the South Coast?

After travelling over two hours each way to Sydney for training and games multiple times per week, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of such a high calibre of players and coaches, great team culture and high-performance environment so close to home. It is great to be able to play in the New South Wales Premier League competition with the girls I grew up playing with and being a part of Blaze has allowed me to give back to the South Coast Netball community and grassroots netball. I am so excited to see what next year holds, bring on 2022! #OurBlaze