"The Crossroads"

 

I am really struggling to bounce back from our 31 point defeat by Brisbane North Cougars on Tuesday night.

Let me rewind a little back to our match against Tigers on Sunday. Anyone who was present at the game or watched the livestream, bore testament to what these girls are capable of in the first quarter. To be 7 goals up at the end of the first 15 minutes against a class act like Tigers was an amazing feeling. It’s what happened in the next 45 minutes just leaves me with a pit in my stomach. Admittedly, Tigers were given a bit of a roast by their coach and a proverbial kick up the bum. To the coaches’ credit, she made

changes to cover our key players and disrupt our attack end. They came out and scored the first 4 goals against us and never looked back. We did not adjust, and continued to persevere with the same options and dug ourselves deeper and deeper into our hole. Gut wrenching to say the least.

Usually, after a disappointing loss, the girls to their credit always bounce back with positivity and optimism ready to take on the next challenge.

This was not to be against Cougars. Cougars were dominant and in control of the game for the full 60 minutes. Sure, we have those patches where our court work is flawless and you can see our transitions are strong and purposeful. Sadly, those moments were few and far between. Our defensive unit worked tirelessly, their statistics show they turned the ball over numerous times, only for it to be squandered and sent back down for the defenders to deal with.

Kaylin van Greunen was our shining light, scoring 39 of our 49 goals, at 90% accuracy. I am so proud of her growth as a player over the season. We still have a lot of work to do as far as bringing some variety of movement into her game, but playing in this competition has allowed her to go from strength to strength.

Now, I am at a bit of a crossroad. I read through the girls’ post-match reflections, there’s some great reflections on what they need to target as individuals for the next game. What is noticeably missing from each book is any kind of passion. There is no anger, no frustration, no remorse.

This I struggle with. Yes, we need to maintain a certain level of positivity. But I can tell you now, as a player, I hated losing. I fought tooth and nail, by putting my body on the line, communicating with my team mates and most of all, playing with pride and passion. I feel like we are just content to lose; that’s it a given. We can profess to do our best, not drop our heads and bounce back week after week to cop another loss.

On one hand, our Management team are doing all we can to provide the girls with the tools they need to be successful. But with that, comes personal responsibility. They need to be accountable to pick up the areas they know they are struggling. Fitness is one key area that we can only do so much at training when other court areas need to be covered. I will not take away from the fact that the girls work hard at training. They are committed and focused. But what extra are they doing in their own time? Are their daily habits reflecting the desire to be successful?

This is where I feel I am failing as a coach by not inspiring them to want to be accountable. But I am at a loss as how to be better in this area. It’s a real struggle in my own head. I know that no matter how much passion I have, no matter much belief I have in them, at the end of the day the ball is in their court.

We have 5 games left. The girls will need to take a good hard look at themselves and decide how this season will pan out. This is a turning point that only they as a unit can determine the outcome. Concede the losses as a given…….or switch the mindset to be hungry, passionate and leave nothing on the line.

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