Whatever your Netball skill or interest – be it representing your country at elite level or playing socially with other mums and dads… unless you’re playing the wheelchair variety, your most powerful asset is undoubtedly your feet.
As well as moving you around the court, your feet must perform precise pivots, propel you into explosive leaps, jumps and midair turns, and execute proper landings to maintain balance and reduce injury.
The secret to enhancing your Netball performance is to…
Strengthen your feet.
Think about it: to lift a heavier weight, you need to make your biceps stronger.
To run an endurance marathon, you need to strengthen your calves and quads.
To harness the explosive power of your feet, you need to strengthen them.
Did you know the human foot has 29 muscles associated with it?*
That’s a lot of muscles to strengthen.
Improving foot strength can help prevent injuries, improve balance and stability, and enhance your overall netball performance.
But exercising your feet doesn’t mean running around in the latest technology sports shoe. There are plenty of hi-tech shoes on the market, even for netball… but our feet were actually born for the opposite.
Our feet are biomechanically designed to be free and move dynamically – the opposite of being constricted inside a rigid shoe. Even the best shoes can negatively impact and even injure your feet. And the rules of netball require that you wear suitable sports footwear.
G8 Performance 2620 insoles are specially designed to strengthen your feet while you are wearing shoes. They have been created to allow your foot to move within the shoe as if it was bare and free.
Walk a few steps barefoot and observe your feet as you walk. They contract, then expand lengthwise, then splay (spread out a little at the toes) and then slightly pronate (they roll inward slightly to act as a shock absorber for your body).
Wearing 2620’s actively exercises and strengthens your forefoot, allowing it to flex inside your shoe as it’s naturally supposed to. (In contrast, most other insoles and orthotics are designed to limit foot movement.)
They’re also fully customizable. Over time as your feet become stronger, you’re able to adjust the insole to keep improving your foot strength – like a weightlifter adding heavier weights to their bar.
Stronger feet means more power, improved performance and increased stamina.
Strong feet mean less injury, and player longevity.
Far too many passionate senior players are faced with the decision to give up netball due to injuries. This does not need to be the case if you focus on your foot strength.
By far the bulk of netball injuries are to the lower limbs – the hips, legs, feet and ankles**. Injuries include ankle sprains, Achilles tendon damage and foot damage – these occur most often during a game – and knee pain, which is more often reported in the pre-season***. Interestingly, the bulk of injuries occurring in a game happen during the third quarter when players are beginning to fatigue or have overexerted themselves.
Whether training or in a live game, wearing 2620’s causes your feet to constantly stretch and move. It’s this movement that strengthens your foot muscles. Strong feet are able to carry you longer, are less prone to injury and better able to support your bone structure.
Don’t spend time unnecessarily injured on the sideline.
Strengthen your feet!
* Card RK, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Foot Muscles. [Updated 2022 Feb 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539705/