RESILIENCE is a defining characteristic being thrown about a lot right now. Persistence, focus and determination are up there too.
Promising young netballers from across the region had a taste of what these features actually mean in a unique lesson straight from a Melbourne Vixens' co-captain in the club's Queenland hub on Thursday night.
We know the pandemic is testing athletes at all levels of sport, including right here in Ballarat where sports and group training sessions are in suspension. But what we all do now matters.
Liz Watson, who is also Australian Diamonds' vice-captain, says is in a fortunate position to be able to play Super Netball when her home state remains in lockdown. Only Watson too, had to go through training in isolation to be prepared.
It does not matter that Watson had to be ready for potential competition when for most sports in Ballarat this has been completely wiped out this year.
The fundamentals for being prepared, for looking what you can do, are important - and not just when in isolation.
What isolation does throw up is the added unknown element. There has been no precedent for how to best train or who might have been training between seasons.
Practising fundamentals help build resilience, persistence, focus and determination for 'normal' sporting times.
Watson was speaking to WestVic Academy of Sport's netball program, a talent forum for 14 and 15-year-old girls across Ballarat and the Wimmera to fine-tune their skills in preparation for academy trials.
Watson's key theme was about getting back to basics, getting the fundamentals sharp and getting them right. This goes for when times were tough and in trying to push yourself to the next level.
This is a great reminder for anyone right now; for sport, school or work.
WestVic Academy of Sport squad of about 20 netballers typically meet eight times a year for on-court sessions and lectures for broader athlete education.
The academy is all about sharpening up those basics for these youngsters. They are preparing to put their game against other talented youngsters from across the region and state.
Backyard training is the only kind of training for the girls but that was all Watson had before the Vixens went into their Queensland hub. Watson went back to basics to keep up ball skills, running fitness and even trying to simulate match fitness with cones to dodge in her driveway - just like they can all do.
No-one said it was going to be easy, but it could be fun.
This forum should reinforce to young players there are no secrets, or special methods to being one of the best netballers in Australia. It is about getting back to basics.
Relying on natural talent can only get you so far. Emerging from isolation will brutally expose this fact at any level of sport.
Those who find ways to keep sharpening their game, especially when it becomes too hard or a bother for others, emulate true resilience.
And words from Watson for these girls is handy inspiration in tough times.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.