Shooting a goal

Photo: orkneysports

When the score is close, a netball player’s mental strength to maintain focus, control nerves and avoid distraction from the pressure can be tested. In this situation, a team’s ability to stay focused and react quickly is what will win them the game.

This ability comes from the practice done at netball training, where you develop your technique and skill to perform on court.

Develop your shooting technique

This is the first crucial step to any shooter’s game and is done in consultation with your netball coach. A coach can observe your action and help you tweak what's necessary. Some techniques to remember:

  • Elbows and wrists are to point straight, in the direction of the goal post

  • The netball is to be held above the head

  • The shooting hand needs to have the ball resting on the top finger pads (not the finger nails)

  • As the hand drops slightly behind the head, bend the knees to power up for the release

  • The ball’s trajectory should first go up and then drop down into the ring. It should not be thrown flat or on a straight trajectory.

Practice, practice, practice!

When you are at netball training, practice your stance, the position of your arms and how you are holding the ball - the finer details.

As there are only two players within the team who can score, a good success rate is important. Arrive early to training and or spare 30 minutes per day to train - your technique must become second nature to you during play. The more shooting practice you do, the easier it will be to score during high pressure situations so try:

  • 30mins before netball training

  • 30mins every other weekday at home

  • 20–30mins on game day to help you focus on what you need to do, and help you to feel settled in your shot

  • Include stationary and movement shooting practice


    • Challenge yourself to make consecutive goals - either decide on a goal and work towards achieving it, or keep count and try to better it

    • Increase your shooting distance from the goal post - after each goal take a step back

    • Set the ball down on the ground in the goal circle - run to the transverse line and back to pick up the netball and shoot

    • Shoot in the shade and in the sun

    Here are a few Goal Shooter and Goal Attack 101s to always remember:

    3 seconds!

    You have 3 seconds to shoot or pass the ball so take your time!


    Balance is essential. Establish your stance and your proper grip/hold of the ball before taking the shot. Stand roughly shoulder-width apart and cradle the ball in your finger tips.

    Bend the knees

    The power of the shot comes from your legs, while the direction your shot is controlled by your arms and fingers.

    Focus on the ring

    In particular the back of the ring. As you release, spin the ball backwards on your fingertips by flicking your wrist. This will make the ball bounce back towards you should your shot hit the back of the ring.

    Go for rebounds!

    Be hungry for a second chance to score if you miss the first time!

    Fake the shot

    If your defensive player crouches like a cat before jumping to knock the shot from the air, pretend to release the ball. If they have jumped when you have faked the shot, you can now shoot after they have committed and are on their way back down.

    Step back or sideways before a shot

    A backward or sideways step (small or long) creates more distance between your defender’s arm and your ball. Execute once you have caught the ball and readied yourself to take the shot. Then step onto the non-grounded foot.

    Step forward for a penalty shot

    If a penalised player is standing next to you, prevent them from running in for a rebound by stepping in front of them before you release the ball.

    Take these tips to the court and good luck with your shooting!