Captain's Column: The importance of having inspiring role models

PUBLISHED: 10:53 24 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:53 24 March 2016

Layla Guscoth looks for a pass

Layla Guscoth looks for a pass

Archant

In the week she became a doctor, here Herts Mavericks captain Layla Guscoth writes her fourth exclusive column for the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

Another weekend of no netball to report!

I am not sure what we have done to deserve such a luxury but a second weekend in a row allows the perfect opportunity to rest and recuperate ahead of the onslaught of games on the horizon and the opportunity for most of the team to celebrate a significant birthday of Mavericks shooter, Sophie Hankin.

With no netball to talk about it’s given me a chance to reflect on the role models that have been influential in my career so far - there have been many, and not all I have the space to name in this article!

Whilst obviously being constantly inspired by household names such as Jessica Ennis-Hill and Allyson Felix, my sporting role models lay quite close to home and most have originated from Mavericks itself.

Ex-England netball captain Karen Atkinson, a former team-mate, coach and “netball mum” of mine was a huge inspiration to me in the early stages of my career.

She taught me that you can never push yourself hard enough, and if you didn’t feel on the brink of vomiting during a running session then it wasn’t even worth doing.

During my first season at Mavericks I sustained a significant knee injury requiring an operation - it was then I found a new role model in ex-England defender Naida Hutchinson who had rehabilitated back from a huge knee injury. Her continual guidance was instrumental in me fighting through the difficult period and emerging a better player as a result of it.

Lastly of course, and definitely the most important credit has to go to my parents. They have instilled a fighting and determined spirit and a hard work ethic in me.

Their support, praise and cheering from the sidelines of games is always greatly appreciated and it would be a very different story without them.

As we look forward to a busy next six weeks in the countdown to the finals and start to hope and aim to earn a place in that coveted final, it is nice to reflect back on the people and moments that have brought me to this point.

We’d love to see you at our next home game against Team Northumbria on Saturday at Hertfordshire Sports Village. You never know, you may find some inspiration or your own role model there…

Layla

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