Comfort and injury prevention is key for Kerry’s Momentum

About a year ago I wrote a blog about the new Mizuno Wave Momentum netball trainers, and how they felt after wearing them for only a few sessions. And now I’m back with an update.

I said back then that this trainer was on the verge of taking the title of my favourite netball trainer away from the Stealth V, and they actually have stolen that title.

The Momentum was my shoe of choice for the last season with my club side, Oldham. Initially I wore the blue version (which matched my kit) and then part way through the season, I had the Nimbus Cloud (white) pair, when they were released around Christmas.

The Momentum worked perfectly with my ankles braces and really helped to stabilise my ankles alongside the braces, saving me from any ankle injuries this last season. They have a feature on the sole called an outrigger, which is essentially a stabiliser on the outside of the sole which gives enhanced lateral stability.

So, full marks to this technology, as anyone who has played with me can testify to the fact that it’s not a normal season if I don’t have an ankle issue at some point!

No matter how often I wore them or at what intensity, the Momentum never lost any comfort at all, which is a little unusual for a netball trainer. After time, the midsoles and cushioning in them tend to wear down which is when you know to replace them, but these really stood the test of a Premier League season. I’ve worn plenty of shoes over my years of playing Superleague and Premier League netball and it’s very unusual that a pair would make it through 3-4 months let alone 6.

For me, the Momentum really is the perfect netball trainer.

It fits well, it’s highly supportive everywhere on your foot and ankle, and it’s soft under foot without being unstable. Mizuno really have the blend of comfort and performance down with this style and it’s not hard to see why it’s their top of the range shoe and one of the most worn trainers in the Vitality Netball Superleague. There really is a reason that the top players in the country are wearing this shoe.

And now it’s back with a colour update. This season’s hot colour is Living Coral.

This has been a very popular colour for Mizuno over the years with a fair number of their shoes being made in this vibrant colour. And now it’s the turn of the Momentum. Sure, it won’t be everyone’s thing, but for netball trainers you should really be picking on performance and what it does for you, rather than what it looks like. And this is one that I really do feel everyone should try.

We took the Momentum to the Vitality Netball Nations Cup series way back in January and this was loved by nearly everyone who tried it on. Some people tried it just because they could, it was there, and they went away with a pair because they are just so comfortable. And that’s what I hope and think you’ll feel like if you give this one a go. It is a brilliant shoe, with so much technology in it, so much comfort and stability. You will not be disappointed.

I know what I’ll be wearing whenever we’re back on a netball court.

 

 

 

 

Kerry Almond
Former England & Manchester Thunder Player
Netball UK’s Sales & Purchasing Manager

Keep Netballing – with Kerry Almond

It’s a difficult time for everyone. We hope you’re keeping well and safe.

Here at Netball UK, we’re still working and fulfiling your orders – and we know many of you want to make sure you can keep netballing (and keep your children occupied now the schools are closed!).

We have solutions for you – and if you’re not sure what to choose, don’t forget you can always contact us by emailing us or calling 0161 626 3936.

As a former Superleague player, I’ve been asked a lot in recent days how you can keep netballing when stuck at home so in the coming weeks, along with the rest of the team here at Netball UK, we’ll be sending some of our top tips.

What you need…

You could use a Crazy Catch or a Netball Post – or simply a wall… if you have any of those (and we’re sure you have a wall somewhere close by!), you can improve your skills and ball handling while also getting some good netball fitness in.

What to do…

This is a favourite of most coaches and something I’ve done with every coach I’ve worked with.

  • If you can, stick some tape in an X on the wall go ahead, if not, pick a brick.
  • When you’ve got your marked spot or brick you can practice your passing.
  • If it’s a low mark you can do your chest passing. Do 50.
  • But make sure you only count the ones that hit the X.
  • Near misses do not count when you’re going for accuracy.
  • For your shoulder passing move your mark up or pick a different brick, to a height that’s comfortable for this pass.
  • It shouldn’t be too much higher than your chest pass mark though. Again, do 50, but obviously do 50 on each hand.
  • And make sure you’re only counting those ones that hit the spot.
  • For overhead make sure that mark is higher again, high enough so that your overhead pass technique is correct. 50 more of those.
  • If that’s too easy, do 100 of each.

For more progression…

Add in some movement, whether that’s starting facing away from the wall and tossing the ball up to turn on to and pass to the wall, or starting further away from the wall so you can run on to the pass when you’ve thrown it.

There’s lots of various things you can do with this one, lots of little progressions.

You can always use a family member to be a 3ft marker as well to improve your footwork around the mark. Get creative and move those feet.

For fitness…

Do your passes and then do some shuttle runs, skipping, burpees etc. Set yourself a time challenge and really test yourself.

Whatever your doing, my message is – have fun, enjoy it and, of course, stay safe.

Best wishes

Kerry Almond
Netball UK’s Sales & Purchasing Manager

 

 

We’re supporting our community. Can you help us?

We are living through difficult times. Here at Netball UK, we are doing all we can to support the community we’re part of here in the North West. And we’d like to ask you to support us in that effort – if you can.

We will be donating to the Compassion Food Bank in Manchester and setting up a collection point here at Netball UK HQ in Oldham.

If they don’t receive more supplies in the coming days, they will have to close. That would be devastating at a critical time for the people and families that rely on them, especially as the number who need them who may well increase in the weeks ahead.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Make a donation of food at Netball UK HQ

The Food Bank needs a range of items – cereals; tinned soups and stews; pasta, rice and pasta sauce; tinned meat and fish; tinned beans and vegetables; tinned fruit; condiments and spices; oil; broth and stock; all-natural juice.

We’re putting a large basket by the shop door at Netball UK (Pennant Street, Oldham OL1 3BS) where you will be able to leave items without interacting with anyone. Hand sanitiser will be next to the basket so you can clean your hands and protect yourselves.

If you have any questions or can’t find us, you can call us on 0161 626 3936. The Collection Point will be open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Make a donation of money direct to the food bank

Every penny you give to the Compassion Food Bank will be spent on creating food parcels or meals for those in need. Any amount is welcome – large or small.

You can donate by clicking here >>

We know that some of you may be struggling yourselves and may not be able to help – if you can’t, please don’t worry. If you think a food bank might be able to support you, you can find more details on the Citizens Advice website >>

We’re here at these difficult times – for Netball, for our community, for you.

Debbie Hallas
Managing Director, Netball UK

Keep Training. Keep Active. Keep Netballing.

If you can’t be on court over the next few weeks, there’s plenty you can do to keep yourself busy, keep active and keep up your netball. And, we’re here to help.
We have a range of posts, balls and training aids that mean even if you can’t go out, there’s plenty you can do.

Netballs

Keep up your ball skills simply against the wall at home or even better with a Crazy Catch to improve your passing and reactions.
   

Netball Posts

Practice shooting at home and you’ll soon be as accurate as Helen Housby & Jo Harten.
    

Crazy Catch

Ideal for training with at home you can keep your passing and reactions in tip top condition while having fun along the way.
    

Training Equipment

Use the Gilbert Pass Developer Netball against a wall or with someone at home to improve your passing strength.

The Balance Air Cushion is ideal to use with ball work on your own or in pairs. Stand on one leg while passing between you or against a wall to improve your proprioception which in turn can help avoid injury.

               

Did you know that 44%* of women who exercise regularly don’t wear a sports bra?

In my opinion that’s insane, in a world where women invest in their looks with botox and fillers yet they’d allow their breasts to experience irreparable damage. This is an easy and very cost-effective win.

Your breasts can bounce upto 14cm** when unsupported during exercise? That equates to 40mm of average movement away from the body for someone size 34A. This can lead to breast sag. Plus let’s face it once you are 30+ and have had children, we don’t need to give our breasts any help in heading south!

Once the elasticity in your breasts has gone and the damage done, there is no going back! So, let’s discuss what sports bra should you wear?

Research has proved that Shock Absorber sports bras are twice as effective at reducing breast movement as a normal bra.

Look at this image that shows the reduced movement while wearing a Shock Absorber Sports Bra >>

It’s absolute common sense, don’t leave it too late and invest in your breasts. Here are the two new colours from Shock Absorber, give them a go or refresh your current sports bra >>

* GFK U&A 2012

** University of Portsmouth 2005 (Scurr et al)

Netball Nation is back Powered by Netball UK!

It’s back – and we’re delighted to say it’s now Powered by Netball UK!
We know many of you were disappointed when the team behind the Netball Nation Podcast said it might not be back for this season. So, we decided to step in.

Netball is our world so with the sport growing so fast, it’s crucial we grow the media and publicity around it too. Netball Nation came to the fore last year and gained a significant following with a wide range of topics covered with honest, insightful pundits.

We’re proud to be part of the show – and can’t wait to listen to the first episode of 2020 next week, with new episodes every week after that.

You’ll hear more from me and Netball UK on the podcast – and listen out for exclusive offers and discounts too.

Be empowered by Netball. Be powered by Netball UK.

 

 

Debbie Hallas
Managing Director – Netball UK

  

Have you #MadeTheSwap

Did you know that over 70% of Netballers aren’t wearing the correct shoes for the sport?

The vast majority play in running shoes or generic ‘trainers’ which don’t provide the necessary grip and support required for the quick, dynamic movements needed in the game.

Once again, Netball UK are working with Mizuno and their sequel campaign asking the question “Have you #MadeTheSwap ?” in a continued bid to ensure more netballers get the most from their sport.

This time the emphasis was on the DURABILIITY benefits in choosing a netball shoe – not only for grip, traction and reduction in injury but also the cost benefit over time. Mizuno put DURABILITY to the test, to highlight key differences between a netball shoe and a running shoe after 12 weeks of equal wear between twins Caitlyn and Kahli.

Netball shoes have been specifically designed for the movements of netball. From a hard wearing X10 rubber outsole suitable for both indoor and outdoor courts, to the Durashield toe cap for protection against toe drag and Airmesh upper for enhanced hold and support. You’ll not only be more comfortable playing in shoes which provide the correct grip and support for netball but also increase performance and last longer compared to playing in running shoes!

During a regular 60-minute game of netball, players perform a vast range of dynamic movements, with up to 900 changes of direction. Players spend less than 40% of their time on court moving forward, with most activity including jumps, accelerations and decelerations involving lateral movements. Running shoes are great for running but just can’t hold up to the requirements of playing netball.

After 12 weeks testing with twins Caitlyn and Kahli, the running shoe upper has almost ripped through due to toe drag and the outsole is starting to wear through to the midsole materials. The netball shoe on the other hand has held up perfectly maintaining it’s performance benefits throughout the test with minimal wear on both the upper and outsole.

With features engineered specifically for netball you’ll find your shoes not only providing you with better support, grip and responsiveness but also lasting you significantly longer than playing in running shoes!

Kerry Almond | New Season | Who’ll top the table?

 

280 days since the 2019 Grand Final. 280 days since we’ve had top level domestic netball in the UK. 280 days since I was lucky enough to be part of that winning Thunder team.

But now, finally, it’s here – VNSL 2020.

 

10 teams going head to head to fight it out for the top prize – to be crowned the Vitality Superleague champions 2020.

Current champions Manchester Thunder will be looking to take their first ever back-to-back titles and they certainly have the squad to do it. They’ve retained 8 of their 10 from last season, losing only Liana Leota to Severn Stars and, well, me to retirement. Coach Karen Greig has recruited well in picking up the experienced Ash Neal and Lauren Ngwira both from London Pulse. Thunder start their season off by taking on their 2019 final opponents Wasps. Wasps will be looking to start the season off with a bang by taking the scalp of Thunder. Wasps have kept the core of their squad from last season and have added some youth and flair in Iona Darroch from Stars. Wasps will certainly be a force to be reckoned with again and this should be a titanic battle at 6pm.

Loughborough Lightning will be looking to improve on their 3rd place table finish from last season and with 6’7 Ugandan GS Mary Cholhok another year older and experienced who’s to say they won’t? Led superbly by Natalie Panagarry this Lightning side is notoriously tough to break down – any side coached by Sara Bayman would be! They’ve added well, with GK Sam May making the move from Wasps. Team Bath are their opponents at the Season Opener today and this team have a point to prove. The 5-time champions last reached a final in 2013 and will be looking to better their semi-final appearances of the last 2 seasons. They’ve kept hold of Aussie GS Kim Commane who combined strongly with young England Rose Sophie Drakeford-Lewis last term. The one question over Bath is have they replaced Serena Guthrie in mid court well enough? South African Khanyisa Chawane will certainly be hoping she has done. Centre pass 4:15pm.

 

Saracens Mavericks have plenty to prove having missed out on play offs the last 2 years. They have a team stacked with talent and coach Kat Ratnapala will be hoping that they gel. Mavericks have added strength in Jodie Gibson in defence but there will be questions over how strongly she returns having been out of action for over a year. The key for Mavericks will be how well the shooting pairing of Kadeen Corbin and George Fisher work and if they can find the right combo in mid-court to get them the ball. Severn Stars have recruited well in the off season but losing star defender Sam Cook will certainly be a blow to them. However, Malawian Towera Vinkhumbo and former England Captain Ama Agbeze will be hoping to cover that gap. Liana Leota has switched to the midlands-based side and will be looking to hit the ground running with her signature flair in attack. Centre pass 2:30pm

Celtic Dragons will be looking to continue their improvement of recent seasons. The questions will be if they’ve covered the loss of stalwarts Kyra Jones and Suzie Drane, as well as their shooting pairing from last year of Kalifa McCollin (Steel – NZ) and Chelsea Lewis (pregnancy). They have picked up 2 Jamaicans in Rebekah Robinson and Latanya Wilson who will certainly add some Caribbean flair and grit to the Welsh side. Surrey Storm have definitely recruited well, covering the loss of Sigi Burger (Pulse) with Karyn Bailey from Mavericks. Player/coach Mikki Austin has also added some cover in defence with former Queensland Firebird training partner Leah Middleton making the switch. Storm should be much improved this season IF they can get Bailey the ball. Centre pass 12:45pm

Strathclyde Sirens will be a familiar looking team to their fans this year, with only a few new faces, most notably South African defender Zanele Vimbela who should add a bit of bite in the circle for them. Their shooting circle is key for Sirens and if they get that right then they will definitely trouble some teams this year. London Pulse are the team that should improve the most this season. They finished bottom last year in their first season in the Superleague and this year it’s all change. New coach and an almost completely new squad – only 4 of their 15 from last year remain – but they’ve added strength in key areas. Michelle Drayne has moved from Mavericks and will be a great addition to their mid court alongside Jamaican Adean Thomas and the previously mentioned Sigi Burger from Storm. We’re looking forward to seeing how she links with Chiara Semple. When Semple is fit and her shooting eye is in she’s unstoppable. Centre Pass 11am.

The Season Opener is sure to be cracking way to start the 2020 campaign – we can’t wait for the action to begin, and I can’t wait to experience it as a fan rather than out on court.

Kerry Almond
Netball UK Sales & Purchasing Manager
(and current Superleague Champion)

Manchester Thunder – Powered by Mizuno, Delivered by Netball UK

On the 18 May, Manchester Thunder won their third Netball Superleague title, beating Wasps Netball in a pulsating grand final. Both teams have apparel deals with Mizuno but did the Thunder player’s footwear contribute to their success?

Seven out of the eight Thunder players that took to the court that day wore Mizuno netball trainers. Since launching netball as a category three years ago, Mizuno has passionately backed their belief that the grip, support and stability in their shoes helps control movement on court and improve performance.

There are five shoes in their current senior range, plus a junior shoe to ensure that whatever your budget, whatever your age, position or style of player you are, Mizuno has a solution.

Whether you’re a tall, powerful player seeking maximum stability and cushioning, or a small, agile player that requires dynamic movement, there is a shoe in the range to suit you.

Five shoes may sound a lot for a netball range but when you consider that Mizuno’s women’s running range has 15 shoes, it begins to make a lot of sense to provide for the huge differences in players’ sizes, requirements and style of play.

Here at Netball UK, we stock the whole range.

The Wave Stealth V is our best-selling shoe and also the most popular among the Thunder athletes, closely followed by the Wave Phantom 2 – both lightweight, stable shoes.

Since that final, Mizuno has launched three new models:

  • The Wave Mirage 3 – a very aggressive shoe for mid court competition and the first ever to feature a stabilising external heel brace when changing direction.
  • The Wave Momentum, a highly cushioned, higher cut ‘basketball style’ shoe with an adjustable lacing system to enhance fit and improve support.
  • Plus the superb value Ghost Shadow with its lightweight comfort.

 

Can you guess the top two at Super 10?

Yesterday, we looked at the brands Superleague players are choosing to wear. Today we can reveal the top two netball shoes worn at Super 10.

  1. The Mizuno Wave Stealth V Netball Trainers
  2. The ASICS Professional FF Netball Trainers

On the left below is Manchester Thunder centre and Northern Ireland captain Caroline O’Hanlon who wears the ASICS Professional FF.

I love these new ASICS Pro FF trainers! They look great and feel great. These are the first trainers I’ve worn with the comfort of a running shoe and security of netball trainer. The grip allows confidence to push off and change direction quickly. Like most netballers, I’ve had a number of lower limb injuries over the years, but this shoe provides structure and stability without feeling bulky. Love them! ❤️

View the ASICS Professional FF here >>

On the right above is Manchester Thunder’s dynamic defender (and Netball UK’s office manager 🙂) Kerry Almond.

The Sky Sports player of the match on Saturday wears the Mizuno Wave Stealth netball trainers and this is what she thinks about them:

The Stealth V is by far the best netball shoe I’ve found. It’s incredibly stable underfoot whilst still being flexible enough on the sole to work with the quick change of direction that’s essential. For a sturdier shoe that’s designed to protect and support it’s very lightweight and breathable due to the mesh upper. The grip is also amazing. Probably the best I’ve come across in my time! And it looks good too.

In short, supportive, responsive, durable, lightweight and stylish. What more could you want from a netball trainer?

View the Mizuno Wave Stealth here >>

So there you have it, the best two netball trainers as voted for ‘with their feet’ by the country’s top players.