Motivation not an issue in 2021
There’s a belief in sport that it is better to be the hunter, rather than the hunted, and its something that Sapphires coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser will spur on a netball team that came so close in 2020.
In the Grand Final last November the Brisbane North Cougars proved the better team on the day, and it was a second quarter 15 point blitz that made it tough for the Jets netballers, as they fell short, going down 62-47.
But that was 2020, a year the most people on the planet would prefer to put behind him.
Now in 2021, there is a burning desire by the coach, and her players to go one better this year and take the Sapphire Series Premiership back to North Ipswich.
“This motivation allows us to have some extra energy, and identify the things that we needed to work on over the summer,” Ms Jeanes-Fraser said at the official launch for season 2021 at the North Ipswich Reserve Function Centre recently.
“Talking one on one with each player, having to go back and look at that game for our strengths, it gave us an idea of what we can improve on, and what can do differently.
“It was good to get feedback directly from each player, and now we all are adapting and improving, all knowing that finishing second means we need to tweak some things to go one better.”
With a summer season behind us that was a bit wetter and cooler than usual in Ipswich, it has meant that all the players have been able to focus on their own fitness over the break, and are now back together, raring to go.
Defender Siobhan Shirlaw said that she actually enjoys the off-season training.
“I actually enjoy running in the heat of the day in summer,” she said. “It’s been tough the last few month, but it’s clear we have a really, really committed group of girls who are doing extra bits and pieces to be ready for 2021.
“We’ve had the experience of 2020 as a team and now we are all just excited to get out there.”
Tracey believes that the 2020 Minor Premiers and grand finalists can go one better.
“As a coach I think pressure can sometimes bring the best out of people, and for me it’s all about tweaking things to improve.
“We were minor premiers…so we know, and the facts show, we have the ability, but in 2021 it’s also about knowing what we can do to get over that Sapphire Series Premiership line.”