From the Coaches Desk
Preparation for the game against the Bond Bull Sharks was fantastic leading into this game. Off the back of last week's narrow loss to Thunder, the girls were really pumped to get back out on court.
We looked at our warm up routine and adjusted it to be more more dynamic, and focused on our activation pre warm up.
Again, we were off to a slow start. Down 7-2 in the first 8 minutes. Felt a little like Groundhog Day....I called a time out, we refocused and off we went, playing our own game and focusing on looking after our ball. We pulled back to 1 down at quarter time.
The main discussion at quarter time was not allowing Bond to come out and score unanswered goals. We were our own worst enemy, allowing 4 unanswered goals straight up.
To the girls credit in true Panther style, we regrouped and bought the deficit to 3 at half time.
Quarter 3 is still bugging me. 19-7 to Bond is just unacceptable and downright heartbreaking. Talking through it after the game, we can't put our finger on it. Some of the girls feel it's our mental fatigue. I don't believe Bond came out and did anything different, it was our own errors and our own thought processes. We agreed as a whole that it was not something we can go back to training and "fix". We will need to delve deeper into strategies to apply in game to combat our mental state in matches.
Final quarter we only went down by 3 again. We cannot afford to have these slumps. We waste so much physical energy and I believe mental energy, in fighting back from unanswered goals.
Many positives have come out of the game. Our full court transition into attack is really building. We are trusting each other, our timing and leads are really coming together and we are working as a unit to be able to feed the ball from the circle edge. Our full court 1 v 1 defence is causing turnovers by the other team. We really shut down their middle channel and caused them to go wide, and play the ball parallel or backwards. Our defensive unit in the circle is also coming along nicely. They are working their split circle, communicating well and contesting the front ball. 3 of the 4 defenders are very young, very coachable and lifting the standard week in and week out.
Our team culture is also something I am so proud of. These girls love each other. They are open but respectful. They are also accountable. As I coach I could not ask for more.
Upon reflection, I do believe we are too outcome driven at the moment. We are only focusing on the process 50% of the time. We need to break it down further into smaller, 15 minute processes to minimise our "slump" time.
Despite the final score, I believe in this team, their ability and drive to keep improving, and as a whole we can work together to believe we are capable of more, and expect nothing less.