Prolific goal-shooter Grace Senior has revealed how an improvement in mental wellbeing is contributing to her phenomenal numbers at Corowa-Rutherglen this season.
Senior goes into Saturday's game against Wodonga having already shot 352 goals in 2021 - more than 120 more than any other player in the Ovens and Murray A-grade.
She's averaging almost 40 goals a game and shooting at 76 percent accuracy but it's how little those statistics mean to her which hint at the journey Senior is on.
On paper, she's playing the best netball of her life.
"I am in the sense that I don't care," she answered.
"A few seasons ago, I would have been like 'I'm not going to take that shot because it's going to affect my stats, I'm going to pass it off, I don't want to get below a certain number' but 50 goals a game at 76 percent, who cares? I'm still scoring 50 goals for my team.
"I can't even explain how much love I have for this club.
"It's amazing to not go to netball and be angry.
"I used to be quite an angry netballer because I felt like I had a lot of expectation on my back to perform but coming to Corowa, it feels like a weight's been lifted off my shoulders.
"After last year, I've realised netball's not everything.
The Roos are unbeaten after eight rounds and have out-scored their closest rivals by almost 100 goals.
Senior's relationship with fellow attacker Jess Bice has a lot to do with that.
"Jess and I are going really well this year," Senior said.
"Each game, we write an 'F' on our hand and if I'm about to get upset about something, she looks at me and points at it because it stands for 'don't give a ----.'
"I'll do a bad pass, I'll be like 'argh!' and she'll look at me and point to the hand. I'll be like 'true, who cares?'
"It's put into perspective that we didn't get to play last season and we missed it so much - so enjoy every game."
Corowa-Rutherglen lost the 2019 grand final to a Wangaratta side likely to run them close again. It's a day still fresh in the mind.
"There was disappointment," Senior said. "I did drop my head in the first quarter because Sophie Hanrahan came out with an injury.
"That was poor of me. I accepted defeat prior to it even happening, which I shouldn't.
"I didn't have the best mental health in 2019.
"My boyfriend living in Wangaratta, me living in Albury and constantly driving to Corowa, that affected me.
"I was uncertain as to the direction I was going. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and I still don't - but I've accepted that.
"I've got that 'F' mantra in my head constantly. I look forward to Saturday so much. I literally wake up on Sunday like 'I can't wait to play netball next week and I can't wait to see all my netball friends on Tuesday.'
"We're a big family at Corowa and it's amazing having Georgie Bruce as the coach because she gives feedback. Every team member gets a message from her on Saturday night, A-grade and B-grade, saying what we did.
"She really goes out of her way and it's amazing. I've never had that before. She genuinely cares about everyone."
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Senior may have been peerless in the goal ring so far this season but she remains her own harshest critic.
"I'll come away from a game and I won't necessarily say I've played well," she admitted. "I always say I could have done better.
"When I first got my licence, I would go to J. C. King Park after school every day and shoot 350 goals. I'd just shoot for a couple of hours.
"I didn't really enjoy school that much, so it was my time to get away and numb.
"But I've got a boyfriend now and I've got a life. That's why I'm not as tense and stressed.
"If you'd interviewed me two years ago, I wouldn't have been like this. I was angry at the world.
"But it's good playing with Jess and her having that guidance to tell me to calm down.
"We have such a well-balanced team, personality-wise, and I don't think they know the extent of how much they've helped me and looked after me.
"I'm so thankful for them helping me through a lot of things.
"My team-mates are my motivation. I want to do the best for my team and by doing that, hopefully we win a grand final.
"That's the ultimate goal."
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