This Is How Diamonds Shooter Caitlin Bassett Prepared For The World Cup

In news that will surprise next to no one, Aussie Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett is in fiery form at the 2019 Netball World Cup. We spoke to the star goal shooter ahead of the tournament to find out how she prepared her body and mind for gruelling competition, covering everything from training habits to handling nerves. 

What does your diet look like while you’re in a peak training period? Could you run me through brekkie, lunch, dinner and snacks?

High training loads means I need to be continually fuelling throughout the day, which sounds easy but can actually be a challenge! Our main training session whether it be court work or strength and conditioning happens mid morning. Eat too much for breakfast and you will feel sluggish, don’t eat enough and you will struggle to get through the session. Here is what I try to fit in to keep my energy levels up without getting tummy cramps!

7.30am – Breakfast – Low fat greek yoghurt and granola with honey

9am – Coffee (got to be caffeinated for training)

12pm – Post training snack – protein smoothie/bar

1.30pm – Lunch – Salad with grains, chicken or salmon

3pm – Coffee – to get me through the arvo

4pm – Snack – home made banana bread with ricotta

7pm – Dinner – veggies and protein (fish/chicken/red meat) with rice or pasta

What does your training routine involve for the Diamonds?

As we all live in different states and play for different Suncorp Super Netball teams, Diamonds training happens in the form of camps that we squeeze in when we can. As we don’t get a lot of time together we have to condense lots of sessions – skills, weights, video analysis, team meetings, treatment – into a few days. In the lead up to the World Cup we have a five day camp in Sydney where we will get to train on court as well as play some practice matches before we jump on the plane to head to Liverpool. Being together as a team is a great time to do some media (photos and video content) as well as work with Ray McLean from Leading Teams on developing our team culture. This camp will be special as we will be running a Parents & Partners program which will help educate our loved ones on how to best support us at a major tournament like World Cup.

Are there other exercises that improve your netball skills?

Strength and conditioning is an important part of our program not only to help us jump higher and run faster but to help prevent major injuries occurring. Each player gets access to soft tissue massage, (which sounds lovely and relaxing but at times can be painful!), to help keep us limber and keep on top of any niggles. Pilates is great to do in pre season when we have a bit more time on our hands to work on specific muscle groups but during the season or when we are on tour making sure we are fresh for game day is priority. 

What exercises/techniques do you need to focus on as a goal shooter?

Apart from obviously practicing my shooting at training, as goal shooter strength is an important part of my game. I need to have strong hands to rip the ball in and a strong core and base to make sure I don’t get pushed off the ball or out muscled in the circle. This means in the gym I do a lot of lower body strength exercises like leg press, squats and hip thrusts as well as core and upper body. Having long arms and legs makes it hard at times (I have to push that bar further than the shorter mid court players) but we all have individual programs specific to our body types and position on court.

Do you still get nervous before big events? How do you manage your mental strength?

I still get nervous before every game I play, which I see as a good thing. Nerves for me mean I am excited to play and care about the outcome. I have some breathing exercises for if my nerves get overwhelming but I am lucky that I have a great team of girls in the change rooms to chat to if I ever get too nervous. Mental preparation is very important for me and I work closely with a sports psych on issues like performance pressure and expectations as well as dealing with setbacks or making mistakes.

Do you have any pre-comp rituals?

No rituals as such, I like to make sure everything is organised and clean at home so I don’t have to worry. I have a dog, cat and rabbit so making sure there is someone to look after them and give them lots of love when I am away is important. I also like to go get my nails done – this is mainly so I don’t chew my fingernails on the plane or get blisters with back to back games.

Which women in sport are really inspiring you right now?

Ash Barty is a huge source of inspiration for me, I think she has such an amazing story – retiring from tennis and to come back and be fighting for a World Number One ranking is just unbelievable. I really like her approach to the game and she is such a humble and genuine athlete.

Discover what the Women’s Health initiative WinS is and how you can get involved here.

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