‘If you are not winning, you are learning’ are words that I have reflected on from the moment coaching became a passion. Not always easy when the doubt, frustration and disappointment are the overwhelming emotions when things are not where you hoped and strove for. They are words we have stressed to our players over the year, though.
There have been disappointing losses and results over the year and a massive challenge for all, but strong clubs and strong organisations are built on learning from the tough times and then equally taking in and enjoying the good times. Resilience and discipline are required to endure both the good and bad, and these are traits that excite us with the current group at NT Thunder. They will also be fundamental pillars in what our foundation looks like moving forward.
The challenge that is the NEAFL competition, and for that matter all state league level competitions at present, is that players need to prepare themselves with a level of discipline every day of the week to be able to compete. It’s a significant commitment from recovery on Sunday and then again Monday, which also includes vision, reviews and craftwork.
With a rest day on Tuesday, there is a need to make sure the work in the gym is getting done which leads into the main training session on Wednesday and finally light skills and recovery on Thursday night.
Friday becomes a recovery day and if playing away, is a travel day. Game day is Saturday, including travelling back that night only to begin the process again.
Resilience and discipline for all are paramount, and as I touched on, we have a lot of that in our current group. They are disappointed with results and no doubt they have doubts and frustration every day, but from a coach’s perspective, I sense they are beginning to understand the learning they are undertaking, and this is no more evident than the way they have attacked training this week. They will get the opportunity to see a little bit of reward again this weekend in our last home game for 2019. That’s the exciting part.