Heat face tough mental ordeal
TOWNSVILLE Heat coach Rodney Anderson believes this weekend’s brutal southeast Queensland triple- header will test his side’s mental toughness as much as their physical endurance.
The rewards could be great with top spot on the QBL ladder still within reach, but they face three tough matches to round out the regular season.
It all starts with the USC Rip City tonight before taking on the Sunshine Coast Phoenix tomorrow night and finally the Brisbane Capitals on Sunday afternoon in a match that was rescheduled from last month due to delayed flights.
The Heat will have a massive workload with three games in less than 48 hours and Anderson has picked the brains of coaches from other Townsville sporting teams and even Perth Wildcats mentor Trevor Gleeson to see how to best manage his players.
He joked that the team’s masseuse could be their MVP after this weekend but the coach said ensuring the Heat were mentally prepared would be crucial.
“We’ve talked about it already because we control our own destiny and we need to make sure mentally we’re prepared for each game,” Anderson said.
“The masseuse is a big thing t to get our bodies ready, but you don’t get a lot of time to think about a scout for the second two games so mentally preparing and remembering the game plan is up to the guys.
“I know it’s not a long way to go to Brisbane.
“But for us three games in three days could mean top spot so we’ve tried to put as much into this weekend as we could.
“We’ve won nine of our last 10 games so we’re on a pretty good roll already, but we’ve just got to keep on winning.
“It sounds simple, but going to be difficult to do.”
Townsville veteran Peter Crawford ( pictured) was confident they have the squad to win all three games – with a full roster of 12 players on deck – but he said the Heat had to stick to what works for them.
“It comes down to your structures and how good you are at executing.
“I think we’ve got all the pieces there so we might have to rely on that a little bit rather it’s than athleticism and speed,” Crawford said. “It might be a case of us trying not to get caught up in their style and playing our own style. ”
Meanwhile, the Townsville Flames will have their depth tested with just nine players available for tonight’s clash with USC Rip City.
They’ll have a full complement of 10 players back on court tomorrow, but Flames veteran Rachael McCully expected the team’s bench to play an important role.
“We need to make sure that our rotations are on point.
“You don’t want anyone playing 40 minutes each game because by the back end of that they’re going to struggle,” McCully said.
“Our bench have been fantastic this year.
“The intensity that they bring every time is really good and they really showed that last weekend.
“We’re hoping that they can bring that for the next three games.”