Head Coach Bec talks Panthers 2019
We have worked hard over the past few years building our Team Culture, not only within the Panthers environment, but in our pathway programs of Futures and Cubs. We have the continuity of our Management Team, myself, Hein Pretorius (Manager), Caitlin Fry (Assistant Coach), Kim Boland (Apprentice Coach) and Gio Davies (S and C) working together again in 2019.
Our “Team” has clearly established roles and structures, which is based on mutual respect and trust. Every person on our team is valuable. We are grateful for one another, and for the opportunities we are given. By being open, honest and transparent, we all continue to grow in our roles, and challenge ourselves to be better than we were yesterday.
Every player in the squad is accountable to not only themselves, but the team as a whole. We will work harder than everybody else, and we will not accept anything less.
As a coach, I cannot be prouder of the support given to each and every player, by each and every player. The support given to the one that is smashing goals, to the support given to the one struggling to complete conditioning. As a coach, I respect my players, I respect the 100% commitment to each set task by players who have rushed from work or university, or hopped out of a car after spending 4 hours on the road to training, to be able to switch off, love what they are doing, and strive to keep building those relationships that will see us through when times get tough.
We have a good solid core of players who have been with Panthers a number of years. These girls set the bar for our rookies, and the expectations are set from the first time they set foot on the training court. The old girls also know, that I am a fair but very competitive person, and those young ones are chomping at the bit to get a start. They can never take anything for granted.
I feel my greatest strength as a coach is that I have been there before. I know and understand all the emotions and feelings that the players are having. I know the feeling of pushing myself through one more rep, or one more sprint, even though I felt like I could pass out. I know the feeling of a having a crappy day, and needing to turn that switch off as soon as I get to my game and get focused. I know the feeling of the sisterhood, trusting my team on court, knowing they have my back, and being respectful and honest with one another, even when it’s not all unicorns and roses.
Our preparation is key. We build our base of conditioning over the pre season working towards those 15 minutes quarters. We prepare with high intensity drills, mimicking match play, and power plays to better prepare ourselves to play a full 60 minutes of netball. For those of us who have been here before, we know there is nothing more disappointing than being in a match for 50 minutes, and losing it in the last 10 minutes because we have nothing more to give. We know we have to get better at that. Kim (Boland, Apprentice Coach) and I have researched and developed our conditioning programs to best mimic the on court intensity. We will continue to raise the bar, and the girls will reap the benefits once competition starts. By setting up our unit work, Caitlin (Fry, Assistant Coach) and I use realistic strategy and intensity to further enhance this development. We are currently planning a few trial games against other Ruby teams to gauge where we are at, what we are doing well and what we need to continue to work on before the season commences.
Being a part of this Ruby Competition is so important to us all. It gives the players on the Darling Downs real goals and pathways. It is also a fantastic platform for players to be identified by Sapphire Coaches for future recruitment.
As the competition is new this year, there has been a fair bit of player movement between clubs in Brisbane and the coast. I have been keeping an eye on squads, and the announcement of Sapphire Teams to give me an idea of what we will be up against, and how we can prepare for each match. All 6 teams we meet in the competition will be tough. We have our challenges that other Regions don’t have, such as travel, but we will never make excuses. We will prepare physically and mentally, keep allowing our Team Culture to grow and evolve, and get out and play 60 minutes of netball. Year after year, we grow more competitive, our score lines growing closer, get a win here and there........but I see 2019 as the year of the Panther.