2020 Match Report – Panthers V Tigers


I am not going to beat around the bush here (do I ever?). We have the team to win games this year. Consistency is our biggest hurdle, coupled with the fact that I don’t think we know how to win.

We have been so content the past few years “being competitive”. Sometimes using the excuse that we are young and inexperienced. That we are a “development” team.

I am just not going to use that as a cop out anymore.

What are we going to do about it?

Our physical preparation has been excellent. Trainings have been specific and targeted, and simulated in a match play environment. We are confident in our ability to back ourselves with the structures, and contingency plans are in place when certain areas break down.

Why can we not transfer this into a full 60 minute game? Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with about 60-70% of what the girls are delivering. It comes down to not converting our turnovers, and having what we affectionately call our “brain farts”. Silly runs of errors that these teams will quickly convert to a 4 or 5 goal turn around. Have the brain farts 3 or 4 times throughout a match, and one can see how the margin can blow out. The past two matches we have pulled back deficits by 7 to 10 goals. We make it so hard for ourselves.

It has got to do with our mindset. This will be our focus this week as we prepare to take on Wildcats. Rather than focusing so much on our team goals, we will break it down to start the girls developing their own pre-game mental routine. Every player is different, so they can tailor it to suit their needs. We also need to start building in strategies to deal with stress on court, and how each player respond’s to the stress. Some will crumble under the pressure, through fear of failure; others will view it as a challenge, which will create motivation and confidence.

We will keep it simple, and focus on the process. We have reiterated the process over and over, so by keeping this focus, and not worrying about the “win”, it will hopefully reduce the pressure and keep it task orientated.

We have to believe in ourselves. Our language and self talk is key.

We will remind ourselves of our successes. And there have been plenty of successful moments in the last three matches. We know we are capable, we just have to believe we are capable of more.

We will develop our mental routines to prepare for matches. The players need to be in control of their thoughts; visualize and plan how they will manage their performance; most importantly, reduce the overthinking once they hit the court and trust their preparation and instincts.