2019 did not go exactly as Sam Sinclair had hoped, missing out on the Silver Ferns World Cup squad and having to watch as her former teammates went on to lift the trophy. She spoke to sports reporter David Beck about silver linings and how she plans to bounce back.
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Like any top athlete, Rotorua's Sam Sinclair knows that playing sport at the highest levels has its ups and downs.
In 2019, that hit home more powerfully than ever. She was named in the Silver Ferns squad for the Northern Quad Series last January after being an integral member the previous two years. However, her luck turned when she missed out on the squad that won the Netball World Cup.
But she has not let that disappointment get her down, quite the opposite. During the second half of the year, she was able to travel, organise her wedding which took place in December, and focus on her ever-growing leadership role within the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic.
"I've been able to do things this year that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. For the last three years, the second half of each year has been dominated by international stuff and before that I was studying.
"This year I was really lucky to be able to do some travelling and see the world, we tripped around for about five weeks overseas. That was just awesome and you don't get to do that very often.
"There's a silver lining to everything so despite missing out on a pretty amazing World Cup campaign there were things I was able to do and I think that's pretty cool."
She said being able to find the positives in any situation was crucial to not only developing as an athlete but also as a person.
"If netball just became everything to me then winning or losing would define my day-to-day existence. There's so much more to life than just playing netball but having life ticking along nicely in the background means that my netball will be going good too.
"I fell like I'm in a good place at the moment and I'm so excited for the next year and being back with the Magic and I guess taking on more of a leadership role. I've learned a lot this year and grown a lot despite not being in the World Cup winning squad."
Sinclair's desire to wear the black dress again is as strong as ever.
"Every time you miss out on a team you learn so much more than if you made it. I've learned a few things that I want to be better at and I want to come back into the Ferns firing in those areas.
"I'm totally passionate about netball and making the Silver Ferns is still the best thing to do so I can't wait to do that again."
One highlight on the court in 2019 was being able to play a role in the final season of one of New Zealand's greatest netballers, Casey Kopua - a teammate she has learned a lot from.
"Any chance I get to play for the Magic or the Ferns is a highlight. The international netball was a bit quiet for me but at the start of the year, I was able to finally play with Casey [Kopua] and Laura [Langman] at Silver Ferns level which will never happen again now with Casey announcing her retirement.
"Also being able to play in the Magic this season for Casey's last year was a really big highlight. She's such an exceptional athlete and to be able to learn so much from her in the last six years, I feel privileged to be able to do it. Everyone has games or days where they don't feel so great but whatever's happening in Casey's life she just fronts up and gives it all on the court.
"I'm coming into my seventh season with the Magic and this is the first time without having Casey there, it is a bit strange. It's that way for a lot of people in the Magic but it's really cool as well because we have some great young talent coming through and new players from other teams.
"I think it will shape up to be a pretty good season for the Magic and it's exciting, it's a cool team to be a part of so far."
Last month, Sinclair was named as a reserve member of the Silver Ferns squad for the 2020 Netball Nations Cup which starts on January 20.