The Ice Netballer: Maryka Holtzhausen
Maryka Holtzhausen is a South African netballer, perhaps one of the biggest stars in her sport.
She has battled serious injuries and fierce opponents throughout her career in netball.
Read about how her Ice athlete mentality has been a pillar in her stellar netball career:
For the Love of the Game
According to the International Netball Federation, over 20 million people play netball in 70 different countries.
“I know I’m getting older and I won’t be able to play netball all of my life. But I’m stretching it as far as possible. I just love it – the game, the speed – but it’s ultimately my teammates that make it worthwhile to get up early in the mornings and train three times every day,” Holtzhausen has said.
Ice Athletes Work Hard
Having an Ice athlete of Holtzhausen caliber is important for a team that’s just starting out because of their goal driven demeanor.
Ice athletes have huge impacts on other players with their never-stop-working attitudes and their hard work during offseason and practice sessions.
“It’s a good up and coming club and I’m excited about the players that are in our team,” said Holtzhausen. “We played pretty well in the Fast5 after just one training session so the possibilities and expectations are pretty high.”
While she is optimistic, the netballer has been playing professionally for a long time and knows that you always have to be on your A-game.
“We know in this league there’s not a team which you can underestimate or take lightly. We will need to play our best every game,” said Holtzhausen. “But if you don’t like it tough you’re probably not going to compete at the highest level.”
Injuries can’t hold Holtzhausen
That mental toughness has been key for Holtzhausen, who suffered a career threatening injury nearly ten years ago, “I had torn the cross ligaments in my knee during the first five minutes of a very big and important game. I thought my netball career was over. It took time to recuperate. I think it was the Lord’s way of telling me that I’m not invincible, and that my glory and success could be taken away from me at any moment. Right there, I started working even harder and appreciated all the blessings in my sporting career even more.”
She not only recovered from the injury, but has continued playing at a high level for almost a decade since.
A testament to her Ice mindset– constantly setting new goals for herself, pushing herself to stay in shape to continue playing the game she fell in love with as a child.
“The thing is,” she says, “you can motivate yourself as much as you like and believe all the pretty words, but if you don’t put on some elbow grease and work very hard, success won’t be yours. I believe in hard work and that it pays off.”
A member of the South African national team, which currently ranks 5th in the INF World Rankings, and a mentor to younger players both on her national and professional teams, Holtzhausen will continue to dedicate herself to the game she loves.