Season 1 of Suncorp Super Netball brought everything it promised the netball world, and probably a whole lot more. Fierce rivalries, victories and villains, heroines and heartache, emerging stars and old dogs with new tricks! Whilst there was much to celebrate, there was also a fair share of disappointment too. So now the pressure is well and truly on! How does Season 2 match up to the inaugural year? The anticipation alone is exciting enough.
The season is (FINALLY!!) days away, like actual single digits (!!!), and the anticipation in camp Fever is high! When I was researching topics for this blog I read an article about anticipation in terms of skill. However, for me the main points encompassed the entire process that we have been through in our pre-season program;
1. Get in Shape
2. Observe, broaden your sight
3. Experience will make you wiser
It almost goes without saying that during the pre-season much of a team's initial focus is around fitness. Rarely at the elite level should a lack of fitness be a contributing factor, however, the elite level of sport is also about marginal gains and my feeling is the fitter, faster and stronger the better!! Needless to say, we ran, lots (and lots!) – thanks Liam! Our capacity for growth as a team is huge and a great measure of that this pre-season has been the gains that the team has made in our physical capacities. Everyone loves a personal best and we have put in a body of work these past few months that has left our imaginary PB bell in need of some R&R.
Our observations have, and will continue to be, around how we can continue to embed and develop the Fever Way. Our ambitions around the brand of netball that we want to put out on the court, and what we have set our sights on achieving this season, are clear. For me, clarity and consistency go hand in hand, and never has there been a winning team who lacked in consistency. This clarity, and our observations, have also extended to many hours spent away from the court defining and developing a culture that will enable individuals to thrive and bring West Coast Fever sustainable success.
We found form far too late and intermittently in 2017, which resulted in our disappointing final placing. When I stepped out onto court in Round 1 last season, upon reflection, I was unsure about what to expect from those around me and from the opposition. The opposition are to some extent, always going to be somewhat of an unknown. However, my confidence in not only myself but my nine team mates is rock solid because of our pre-season program.
Experience, and in turn, hindsight is 20:20 and we knew that we had much to learn from SSN Season 1. Although there is still room for growth across a season, for me, skill and confidence is built during pre-season.
In an interview the other day I was asked about our pre-season program and I responded with how positive it had been. The reporter challenged my response and said, ‘but everyone says how great their pre-season has been.’ This made me laugh and gave me pause for thought. The inside my head response was “DUH!! What fool would publicly say otherwise?!” I can only speak honestly about our experience as a team and reflect on the challenges that we have overcome and the transformations that have taken place over last few months. Time has been our friend and the Club has executed a robust pre-season schedule that has brought us to Round 1 in fantastic shape, full of confidence and completely focussed! The responsibility is really all ours now and I can’t wait to step on court on Sunday with the team and start our campaign.
SSN Spoiler Alert: it’s going to be a goodie!!