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Caitlin Bassett: From Sunny to Sydney, Why I Made the Big Move

In an exclusive blog for PickStar, netball star Caitlin Bassett explains her big move from the Sunshine Coast to Greater Western Sydney in the Suncorp Super Netball league, and shares her tips for a smooth transition.

Caitlin Bassett is available for guest speaking, marketing and fan experiences on PickStar

Up until 2016 I had never lived in another state - I was a one club player, the hometown hero.

People were surprised when I announced I was leaving the West Coast Fever. To outsiders it seemed like a big risk to leave the club I had been loyal to for 12 years to move to the other side of the country and join a brand new franchise based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

For me it was a calculated risk, I had been in my comfort zone for a long time and while I had experienced success at an International level, a domestic premiership was something I had never come close to. The opportunity to be a part of building a new club with other amazing athletes in a holiday destination just seemed too good to be true. I knew it would be tough packing up all my animals and leaving the familiar faces and support I had in Perth but I also knew if I did not take this opportunity I would regret it.

And here I am two years down the track, two domestic premierships, preparing to take another calculated risk. Those people who were surprised when I left the West are now probably thinking I'm crazy! Why leave a successful team in paradise?

I find the reactions from people interesting - don't people change jobs, move states, try new things in every day life? Why does it have to be different for an athlete? I am so proud to say netball is my career and I have worked hard for the last fifteen years to be in the position I am today.

My motivations to move are certainly different than they were two years ago and I had plenty of considerations to weigh up.

How long do I want to keep playing netball for? With four of my Diamonds team mates deciding to retire in 2018, it really made me stop and think how much longer I wanted to play.

What would I do when I decide to retire? I am nearing the end of a Broadcast and Journalism degree, where can I get some experience in the industry and work out what I'm good at besides shooting goals?

How can I continue to keep developing as a leader? I love being Captain of the Australian Diamonds but I know I can always learn more, who can I learn from in other sports and industries about leadership?

There were many questions to take into consideration and after talking to my support network I decided that the opportunity to relocate to Sydney to play for the GWS Giants was something I couldn't turn down. It was a tough decision and packing up my home and saying goodbye to my team mates and friends on the Coast has been hard.

My tips for managing a big move

Whether you’re an elite athlete, building your career in the workforce or studying, many people will face the prospect of a big move or relocation at some point in their life.

It is stressful, there are logistical and relational challenges, but I’ve learned a few things my experiences. Here’s my advice for the smoothest transition possible.

Find a house before you move.

This means you can get furniture sent ahead and hit the ground running as soon as you arrive. I found having a home base very settling when I moved to the Sunshine Coast and it helped a lot when everything was new and a bit scary and uncertain at times.

Location is key!

I like to pick places close to training as no doubt that's where I will always be spending the majority of my time. I don't like driving, so spending less time in the car makes me happy and also means if I forget any training gear I can dash home quickly to get it.

Make friends outside of work/sport.

I love netball but sometimes its nice to have a break from the netball bubble. Getting out and having coffee and widening your friendship circle is a great mental refresh.

Go exploring.

I fell in love with the Sunshine Coast by getting out and going exploring as often as possible. It was a great way to learn about where I was living and have fun with my team mates off the court.

The biggest piece of advice that I will take with me down to Sydney: Embrace the challenge.

There will be times when I miss my family back in Perth or my old team mates on the Coast (who I love so much!), but the best thing to do when things are tough is to stick your head down and work hard and enjoy the small moments. These opportunities don’t come around often, and getting outside of your comfort zone (both geographically and personally) is a great way to help you grow as a person. Enjoy it!


Caitlin Bassett's top 5 leadership lessons

Caitlin Bassett's top 5 netball stars off the court

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