Pre-season Wisdom from the Coach aka Where we are at

Tonight makes it 3 wins from 3 in preseason for the leith boys. A nice run out vs a young keen lions team, with some familiar faces, and many thanks to them for their participation. The Lions shot exceptionally and moved the ball well around the outside (clearly some quality coaching there at some stage ;-)) but even with the superman heroics of summertime honeybadger(!) Villaeus to keep them on their toes, the badgers played largely at a stroll and put in enough of a performance to make it a preseason clean sweep against some good teams.
….And yet there’s no great buzz of excitement yet, no swell of confidence and definitely no chest thumping in the camp. If we had to sum up the feeling at the end of the game, it’d probably be determined and a little frustrated. We’ve won all of our games this season, and last year we’d have been pleased with this but happily, now winning isn’t enough.
We’ve always said – but never really believed before – that the scoreboard’s there for the spectators. The players know, winning or losing, whether they’re playing at the top of their game or not. We now know that we’re not. And happily we’re not using the scoreboard as a way of hiding from this.
We aren’t fast enough yet. We’re not composed enough YET. Technically we’re still making little errors – handling, passing, layups.
Tactically we need to get more cohesive- of one mind, knowing what all 4 other guys on the court are doing and where they are without wasting time looking. Choosing when to pass, when to go it alone, when to gamble on D for the team’s benefit, rather than a chance for a highlight.
It’s close- the frustration comes from how close it is, but it’ll take hard work and honesty to get over the last, painful furlong. We need to buckle down over the next few weeks and grind out the hard yards in training. Already we’re seeing improvements- last year we were one dimensional and easily shut down. This year we’re much more versatile; we need to embrace this and use our heads and advantages. But it’ll come.
A team that isn’t happy just winning, that keeps pushing -and working- for the next edge, the extra points, and above all: puts the team ahead of the individual player…. is a team that’s going somewhere. A team people are proud to be part of. Lets go Badgers. Final push to the season opener. Get your running done. Support your teammates- make THEM better. Work till you bleed in training. Lets be ready in 3 weeks, and win or lose: let’s walk off the court knowing that we played our asses off.

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