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Tshina Mdau © SuperSport.com

Mdau has been through the worst and best with the Jaguars

When it comes to playing for the Jaguars in the Brutal Fruit Netball-series Tshina Mdau can lay claim to having been there, done that and got the T-shirt to prove it.

Over the last four years, the Tuks player has become a regular fixture on the team list which means she has been through the worst and best of times with the Jaguars. She was part of the team that was runners-up for two years in a row and who eventually triumphed last year to become the Brutal Fruit Champions.

The past weekend the Jaguars had a good start to defend their title when they beat the Diamonds 81-12 and the Stings 51-43. But it being the Brutal Fruit-series means things are not going to get any easier. On Saturday the Jaguars will be playing the Fireballs at Ellispark in what is considered to be one of the big derbies.

The Fireballs is also unbeaten boasting with victories over the Sunbirds (44-25) and the Aloes (53-28). Playing experience made Mdau realise that it would be foolish to try and predict a possible outcome.

"The important thing is to remain only focused on what we as players can control on the court and let the result take care of itself,” said the Tuks-player.

She ascribes the Jaguars success last year to her and her teammates managing to find a balance between mind and body.

“In the past, we tended to overdo things which led to us being fatigued when it mattered. Last year our bodies and minds were in sync which led to us consistently playing well throughout the series.

“Another thing that made a big difference is that Jenny van Dyk our coach got us as players to take responsibility for what happens on the court. For one thing, we need to be able to adapt if a game plan does not work. No coach can ever have a full idea of what is happening on the court by watching from the sidelines.”

Another definite highlight for Mdau last year was captaining the Gauteng team beating Western Cape in the final of the National Championships.

Sports has always been a big part of her life.

“I grew up with sports. I come from a very active family where we did every possible sport there is to do. While at school I played cricket, badminton, football, water polo and netball. At first, athletics was my real passion. I used to be a sprinter, but when I came to Tuks, I battled to find a coach that I could relate to, so I decided to play netball. It is a decision I never regretted. I am still an avid athletics fan. I consider Usain Bolt as one of the true heroes of the sport.”

Getting to play for the Proteas is the one thing she still wants to tick off as a netball player. Mdau is currently part of the national squad.

Another big dream is to one day own a farm. Last year she completed her BCom Agriculture Economics-degree.

“I decided to specialize in agriculture as my dad advised me to study something that everyone will need. Agriculture pretty much covers it all,” said the Tuks-player.


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