To win the National Netball Championships, teams need luck to go their way, but there are some things participants can build themselves and momentum is one of them.
That is what NSW 19/U head coach Lenore Blades thinks ahead of the her team’s trip to Adelaide for the 2018 Nationals next week.
The squad and support staff leave Sydney for South Australia on Sunday, ahead of their first games against Tasmania and Victoria on Tuesday, and Blades knows peaking at the right time is key to NSW’s hopes of bringing the silverware back.
“When you compete at a long and grueling championship like Nationals, the team needs to concentrate on building over the week,” she says.
Obviously, it is of the utmost importance that you make the top four and hence the finals, then it is about ensuring you peak for them. The whole process can be a delicate balancing act because every team at Nationals is capable of beating everyone else.”
As the strategy devised to bring National honours back to NSW is a week-long one, Blades is fortunate she can rely on a very strong squad to keep everyone on their toes as they seek to gain a Finals spot.
“A starting seven doesn’t win a National championship, it relies on the entire squad and every one of them playing a part”,” Blades adds.
“We have huge talent in NSW and when we started selection trials for this squad it was October. That will give you an idea of the calibre of athletes we have in our team.
With the NSW State Team players coming through the High Performance Pathway, Blades said it was a pleasure to coach them.
“We have spent a considerable amount of time addressing our individual skills and unit play within match play, striving to do better on each occasion. The girls have really risen to the task at training.
“Excited is the word most the players have said when asking them how they feel about Nationals and I think they should be.
“Don’t get me wrong, there are massive challenges there as the opposition is so strong, but getting there and performing is what elite sport is all about and I know next week is an important step in the players’ development along the Netball NSW Pathway.
“We’ve done a lot of work, now it’s time to pit ourselves against the best new talent from around the country.”
Netball NSW would like to wish the NSW 19/U Team all the best for their 2018 Nationals campaign.