Mdau advises Tuks team to keep a clear head

netball13 September 2023 12:58

Tuks's netball team is one game away from repeating a fantastic feat: to remain unbeaten throughout the Varsity Netball Tournament.

In the history of Varsity netball, it only happened once that a Tuks team managed to go through their whole campaign without losing a match. It was in 2019. Tshina Mdau was the captain.

Mdau described that moment when the referee's whistle had blown for the last time in the final against Maties, indicating that Tuks had won as a ''sacred moment". It is a memory that will last for a long time to come. It was the last game she played for Tuks.

The Tuks Alumni have the distinction of being part of both of Tuk's victorious Varsity Tournament campaigns. In 2017, when Tuks won for the first time, Mdau was the vice-captain.

So it is no surprise that she is excited that the Tuks netball team could make history again on Monday in the Rembrandt Hall when they play UJ in the final.

"Seeing the next generation on the verge of being unbeaten throughout is special. It proves that hard work and dedication do pay off.

"Whether the team wins or loses to get to the final of any competition is a big deal. I fully understand where the 'Girls' are at the moment. It is all mixed emotions. It is normal to be nervous. But don't let it get out of hand.

"At the end of the day, it is only a netball match. The title you are playing for does not matter. Netball stays netball. All that matters is for every player to be at their best and trust the coach.

"The best advice I can give as having been in the same position is to make sure you know exactly what to do.

"In 2019, we had a sit-down and went through the what-if scenarios of what could play out during the final. We went through all the positives and negatives we could think of . . . what if we were in the lead . . . what if we were behind . . . what if the umpires were against us . . . what if my teammate is not on . . . what if I am not on. . .

"As soon as you play it in your mind and get answers, it is easier if you find yourself in such a situation during the match. It is as if you have done it before. So, every player must ensure their mind is sharp and in a good head space.

"During the final, your body should do what it has been doing for the past couple of years: play netball, the sport we all love.

"Lastly, from Friday until after the game, don't go onto social media. It is easy to get caught up in the hype and get confused by all kinds of advice. It could lead to you doubting your abilities.

"I will certainly be rooting for you "Girls" on Monday. Play for the "Stripes".