December 25, 2022 3:40 am


How to promote pelvic health in your netball community

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Knowledge and awareness of the pelvic floor is low, but England Netball is helping to drive better practice up and down the organisation.
So this is your guide on how to help peers and colleagues, and answer any questions that come your way as you support your community with their pelvic health.

1. Talk about it at the start of the season

From existing evidence it’s safe to assume that 50% (or more) of netball players will leak during training or competition. A minority will have prolapsed and the rest may simply be worried about their pelvic floor. The act of just acknowledging the pelvic floor and best-practise ahead of the season – and normalising it in conversation – will be hugely helpful for the team.

2. Research and connect with local services

Research the specialists and practitioners in the area so you can confidently signpost peers, colleagues and netball players towards local solutions. You can go even further: why not connect with a local Women’s Health Physio and invite them to do a workshop for you and the team/ club.

3. Incorporate pelvic floor exercises and relaxation into the cool down

The cool down is such an easy, logical place to fit in relaxation work and to encourage the team to connect in with the pelvic floor. For guidance, here’s how to do pelvic floor exercises and you can browse our FAQs for more.

4. Host a bladder and bowel quiz

A great way to find out who knows what, our bladder and bowel quiz can break down the taboos around poos and the closed door on the pelvic floor. It’s fun, it’s for everyone, and what a way to start the conversation. You can even set homework and ask they watch this bladder and bowel video.

5. Discuss how players manage pelvic floor issues

Many of your clubmates / teammates will be suffering pelvic floor issues, most likely in silence, and they’ll be self-managing their issues. Try to start a discussion with them about the actions they’re taking. We expect you’ll hear about them using multiple pads, taking numerous toilet breaks and/or reducing their fluid intake. Get to know people’s reality and how much headspace the management effort is taking up. It’s a really worthwhile conversation to see where they’re at and talk next-steps.

6. An accountability WhatsApp group

Do a shoutout and see who’d join you in a pelvic floor/ health WhatsApp group. A daily check-in with all members to encourage conversation and remind them to do their pelvic floor exercise – it’s a great way to raise the bar and embed the habit.

Make the expectation clear: ask members to do x10 lifts every day and to post DONE when they finish. You could audio record yourself doing exercises so people can listen along and follow your cues (“connect, lift, hold for 4 seconds … relax and let go”).

So long as such groups have a driving force behind them they can be a great way to engage the community and promote a healthy and consistent routine.

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