Raising a Netballer

We ask Laura Langman’s mum Christine what it was like bringing up her supersporty daughter - a loyal Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic player, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and a Silver Fern since she was 17.

What was Laura good at in school? What were her favourite subjects?

Laura enjoyed her schooling life. She was an organised, diligent pupil who enjoyed most subjects, but particularly PE and outdoor education activities. She also enjoyed Agricultural days at school, whereby she always took a lamb (we lived on a dairy farm) which she had spent months beforehand preparing for the day.

Was Laura a good eater with a healthy appetite?

What are her favourite foods? Not always! As a young child, she was quite fussy and only ate certain things, like yoghurt! As she’s got older, her taste for other foods has widened. She enjoys a wide range of vegetables and fruits – especially broccoli and peas; pineapple and kiwifruit. Laura enjoys a roast with roasties and gravy. She also at times craves for homemade scones, and loves cereal.

What things did you enjoy doing as a family?

Laura was brought up on a dairy farm (with an older sister and younger brother) and from an early age was involved, as it was a family-operated unit. So not only did we work together as a family, we enjoyed playing games like tennis and cricket, and would also go waterskiing and swimming whenever possible between farm commitments.

Who taught her to throw and catch?

Laura always loved playing with a ball – either kicking, hitting or catching. She walked at 9½-months and would spend a lot of time kicking a ball up and down the passage, either by herself or with her sister Jessica.

When did Laura start playing netball?

Could you tell she was going to be good right away? Laura started playing netball in year 4. We never really thought about her being ‘good at it’, as it was more about her being part of the team and enjoying it. She did however have great catching skills and could throw the ball a fair distance, as well as being quite accurate with her shooting.

Has she always been competitive?

I have always thought Laura has a competitive element in her personality. She would always play her best and give her utmost, whether it was training or a game. She played any game to win, so always gave 100%.

Did Laura have time for other sports/hobbies? What were they?

We (her parents) always encouraged her to try anything she was interested in. Over the years, she played soccer, indoor basketball, squash, interclub tennis, volleyball, cricket; learnt jazz ballet; learnt the keyboard; competed in horse riding events (great for memory training and self discipline); and taught herself to surf, windsurf, waterski, wakeboard and snowboard.

Who are her role models?

Roger Federer mainly – for his determination, his humbleness and competitiveness.

What aspects of Laura’s personality do you think have helped her achieve so highly?

Her honesty to herself and others; high level of self-motivation and commitment; strong mental strength (resilient/stubborn!); competitiveness; self-belief and perseverance; positive disposition; good work ethic; and strong ability to focus on her goals and make decisions.

What are the qualities you think are most important to instil in your children?

There are many important qualities that are important to instil in children, but foremost, these qualities have to modelled by the parent and be part of the family culture: unconditional love; respect for yourself and others; honesty and integrity; self-belief and self-confidence; independence; work ethic; positive outlook and a sense of humour.

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