Nationals: Day #5

Incredible team effort! That’s a phrase I’ve utter numerous times in the last 12 hours following our 85-53 victory over Newfoundland U17. I’m sure anyone that was able to watch our game would assume I’m referring to the team defense we played or the ball movement on offense, but we actually won that game because of the prep our coaching staff did two days prior to tip-off.

This year we are fortunate to have four coaches on staff. Not only does this help with all the tedious game day tasks, but more importantly, it gives us a much greater ability to scout opponents and start preparing game plans long before we need them. In the case of Thursday’s game against Newfoundland, our prep started with assistant coaches Ryan Chase and Peter Hickey scouting their game against Quebec on Tuesday.

The notes from their scouting report were discussed and debate over and over during our coaches meeting. After discussing numerous options regarding tactical adjustments and player match-ups, a practice plan was developed. After seeing our adjustments in action on the practice court  the coaching  staff once again challenged each other on possible problems and counters. This lead to us tweaking our original plans but by the end of the 60 minutes all the players and coaches were very comfortable with the game plan and feeling confident that we were ready to show what were capable of.

So the prize for all this hard work and dedication is a quarter-final match-up with team Ontario. To say we are the underdog would be more than an understatement and there are endless sport clichés for underdogs in our position, but we’re ignoring all that. Instead we’ll take comfort in our preparation. That preparation began on Wednesday when our assistant coaches were in the stands watching Ontario play Alberta three days ago.