Focus on toughness, resilience
Minyip-Murtoa netballers will have a strong focus on resilience in 2018 as they try to claim an elusive Wimmera Netball Association premiership.
The Burras have earned runner-up honours in A Grade in the past two seasons and returning coach Claire Drum wants to ensure her charges are better equipped this year.
“I’m taking a leaf out of Richmond’s book and having a session on mindfulness and resilience on Thursday night,” she said.
“I think it’s important to focus on the mental aspects of the game and it will set us on a path for the season.
“Mindfulness helps you focus on what you’ve got to do and not worry too much about what’s happening outside the game. It teaches you to maintain calmness under pressure.”
A representative of Melbourne-based Engage Health will host the session.
Drum hopes the focus on emotional intelligence will give the Burras an edge over their opponents.
The club is ruing missed opportunities,
most recently a one-goal grand-final loss to an underdog Horsham Saints outfit.
“You never like to give away a game and we had a 10-goal lead in the grand final and we let it go,” Drum said.
“We made a few mistakes and things just didn’t go our way. I couldn’t have been happier with the first half, they did exactly what I said and deserved their lead. Then we made some changes and a couple of things happened.
“The Saints to their credit played very well and held their heads. That’s our focus this year – to have the resilience and mental toughness to finish off games.”
Drum said Minyip-Murtoa netballers had put in a solid pre-season and were keen for round-one action against Dimboola on April 21.
“We have a number of new girls to the club this year, which is great,” she said.
“It’s always exciting to welcome new people and it’s interesting to check out how they play and which team they are going to fit into.”
Minyip-Murtoa’s A Grade team will be similar to last year, with the exception of three key departures.
“Jess Elder is out injured. I don’t think she’ll be back this year, she probably needs another year to recover properly,” Drum said.
Midcourter Spencer Smith is also out after suffering a bad ankle injury last year and defender Stevie Bibby will play for Wycheproof-narraport in North Central league after moving away for work.
The Burras have picked up former Edenhope-apsley netballer Georgia Mclennan, who last year played in an A Reserve premiership with Kangaroo Flat in Bendigo Football Netball League.
“Georgia can play anywhere in the attack end so it will be a matter of where we need her to play,” Drum said.
Former development player, goalie Maddi Morgan, will take the next step in the A Grade.
“She’s been a part of the team for the past two years and when Spencer did her achilles she filled the gap,” Drum said.
“I’m pretty happy with how it’s all going, I’m looking to really consolidate on last year and work Georgia into the team.”
Drum said B and C grades also looked strong under the direction of Kate Cameron and Shana Miatke respectively.
“B Grade has recruited well and got a few players back. They struggled a bit last year because they were short on numbers,” she said.
“We’ve had a changing of the guard in C Grade, which won the premiership last year. We’ve had a few of our more experienced players if not hang up the boots, then at least decide to take a year off.
“It opens up opportunities for others coming though, which is exciting.”