Kalifa Mc Collin, Shooting Through the Netball World
Mc Collin, as a child, was heavily influenced by her parents’ involvement in the sport both as players and coaches and as such she began playing as a child. Domestically, she represented Soul City Sports and Cultural Club, that’s where she grew up under her parents. She has also played for Police and UTT when Soul City wasn’t involved in the competition. Internationally, she has played in three countries as she has represented Celtic Dragons, Mavericks (both in the UK), Southern Steel (based in New Zealand) and at present she’s with Collingwood Magpies in Australia where she has also made her SunCorp Super Netball League debut earlier this morning. The goal-attack has also represented T&T in the 2015 and 2019 Netball World Cups.
The twenty-five year old do admits though that being a professional is certainly not glitz and glamour as she noted some of her challenges as a player. “I’d say the biggest challenge for me, is not being able to live a ‘regular life’. From ever since I can remember, most of my time has been invested into netball. I’ve missed out my friends’ weddings, christenings, reunions you name it and sometimes that’s hard to explain but I’ve come to the understanding that you just have to make some sacrifices and this is what I chose to do, because I absolutely love it” Mc Collin explained to T&T Sport Diary.
These challenges though are all welcomed though as she explained that one of her personal strengths is that of grit. “I have a lot of grit! When things get extremely hard I tend to really enjoy that.” She stated. “A lot times people say that I have a bit of mongrel in me, because I never back away from a challenge, I’m very persistent and determined, because I always want to be the best version of my self ...” She also noted that another important attribute and ability that she has is that she’s a very creative player and can think through situations very quickly whilst on court.
Every super hero has a super hero and Mc Collins is very much inspired by her mother. “I look up to my mom as a coach because she is passionate about what she does and that really shines through in her craft. I see how she dedicates her time to learning and growing and that really impresses me about her. Two players that I’ve always loved and patterned some of my plays from would be Cat Tuivaiti (Latu) from New Zealand and Pamela Cookey from England they both were tremendously creative players. Cat brought so much flair to the game and Pam brought the most fancy footwork that I’ve ever seen in the netball.”
With this being her first season in Australia with the Collingwood Magpies, Mc Collin sets her goals as having a shooting average of 85% or more and just basically representing well on the court. “This season I plan to play with a lot more freedom. This is a new environment and I’m still sussing things out. So as long as I can maintain my shooting average of 85% and over for the season, step out on that court and show myself in my craft I’d be a happy camper. I tend hold myself to a very high standard and that causes me to put a lot of pressure on my game. I struggle with anxiety a bit and I’ve come up with ways to overcome that by accepting what is and enjoying the moment. Think it, feel it, see it - is what I say!”
At the end of it all - her playing career - the mentally tough and committed player plans to retire as the best in the game in her position and afterwards venture into coaching.
“I’d like to retire being the best GA in the world. I always speak it and I’m in the right place for that to come into fruition. Just like my mom I’m very passionate about coaching. So by the end of this year I’d like to attain my final coaching certificate and be able to bring something different to our national teams. I’d also like to start an elite clinic where I can foster the growth and develop athletes for long term success in the sport.”
All the best to you Kalifa!