Diary of a Vitality Rose: Nat Metcalf

Hey there, Nat Metcalf here in Stellenbosch ready to share some insights with you on our first 3 days out in South Africa!

Nat Metcalf in her bespoke Nike travel outfit

Day 1

Travel Day! A very exciting day, as we all met at London Heathrow Airport in our bespoke Nike tracksuit (which went down extremely well with the team!). We also got told that there were only 15 of these made in the world, so a very special moment and ensuring we were very comfy whilst on the 11.5h flight to Cape Town. It was an overnight flight and after a slight delay on the runway, we were off… a few films were watched on the flight, for me it was a decision between the “Back to the Future” or “Jurassic Park” trilogy – BTTF won! We landed safely in Cape Town as we headed off the plane and through to collect our cases where we discussed the obvious post long-haul flight questions “soo… how much sleep did everyone get?” I managed about 4h whereas we had some strong contenders getting 7-8h (Fran Williams, Laura Malcolm).

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On the coach we got and off to Stelly we went! Our pre-world cup camp is based in Stellenbosch, a beautiful part of South Africa where we did some of our prep this time last year ahead of the CWG. Once we arrived at the hotel we were reunited with our overseas gals Eleanor, Helen & Jo Harten in her new role as a Support Coach (how lucky are we!) it was a quick un-pack as we needed to start our recovery post flight. So we jumped into the mini-bus and headed to the beach for recovery… the ocean although PRETTY cold, was stunning, and it was a really nice moment to be united on the beach, in the sunshine with the whole squad and staff! We played Ted Ball (imagine a mixture of volleyball and tennis) and it obviously got quite competitive, but after an MVP performance from Team Manager Paul Dring our team won!

With thanks to Ringtons, This Works, YuYu, Spacemasks and Boots UK

Day 2

Waking up today I just broke my biggest ever sleep record (sleeping an entire 11h – wow, a heck of a lot of sleep I know right!) Off to breakfast it was and then we had a light weights session into a straight line running session. We brought back Ted Ball – however this time we did a Staff vs Players Ted Ball, I won’t say who won… but I was very happy after the game finished hehe. We spent some time today away from the court reviewing what we had been working on whilst back in the UK, on court and off court & it was really great to share the progress we’ve been making and hear everyones thoughts in the room, a really powerful moment. We finished the day with a team dinner and one thing to highlight was thanking the staff for the goodie bags in our rooms at the hotel, those guys had worked really hard behind the scenes to get the team set up with some ‘sleeping strategy’ goodies from eye masks, pillow sleep spray, to a hot water bottle, they really wanted to make us feel special when arriving in Stelly – so a big thanks to the staff for arranging all that for us!

For more information on rest, REM and recovery, check out the NETBALLHer website.

Day 3

So Day 3 in a landing plan block is always known as “Blow-Out Day” which means the court session is aiming to get our HR up, and blow off the travel lungs from the flight.. everyone attacked the session really well, got stuck in and the intensity people have been bringing to training is great to see! We’re looking forward to getting stuck into lots of netball in the next block now we’ve got over the flight and travel. It’s been good vibes in camp, we’re all really excited with what’s to come and the opportunity to represent the country at the World Cup! We just want to thank everyone for their support and coming on the journey with us – keep it coming!

Stay tuned for the next blog out soon!

Nat x

Both Sky Sports (all matches) and the BBC (from day four) will show this summer’s Netball World Cup so fans won’t miss a minute of the action! The Vitality Roses start their World Cup campaign against Barbados on Friday 28 July at 7pm live on Sky Sports Arena and YouTube.

Make sure you’re following England Netball on social media for the latest news and updates (Twitter), photos (Facebook), behind-the-scenes content (Instagram) and fun (TikTok) as the Vitality Roses continue their preparations.

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