It’s easy to identify what went wrong last week for Leeds Force – absolutely everything. That helps us in a way, since we don’t have to look hard to figure out what needs tweaking – everything has to improve, and we know last week’s performance was not at the right standard.
We had time some time to look back and reflect on the Surrey game, but we’re starting afresh this week since you can’t spend much time dwelling on the past in professional sports.
It’s a shame Sunday’s game against Leicester was postponed, since it’d would’ve given us the chance to rectify the mistakes we made against Surrey. Instead, we carry that baggage into this week, but it’s our job to prepare properly and give our all up in Newcastle on Friday.
There’s no magic potion, we’ve just got to play harder defensively because we know we can’t let teams score 100 points and expect to win basketball games.
If we make mistakes offensively, we can’t stand around complaining or arguing with the ref, we must make sure we’re getting back and defending the opposition.
After last week’s game, I spoke to the team thinking we’d have the chance to bounce back against Leicester 48 hours later, so I told them to leave that game behind and focus on the positives.
There was an open discussion in the locker room amongst everyone on the team, and plenty of thoughts and opinions were aired – honesty is important so that discussion will benefit us in the long run.
No matter how badly Leeds Force may be struggling at the minute, it’s important that we go into every single game firmly believing that we can walk away as winners.
In professional sports, you have to go into every game with that mindset, otherwise there’s a big problem.
Nobody goes into battle expecting to lose, otherwise there’d be no point and you’d be setting yourself up for failure. It’s vital that we travel to up to Newcastle and tackle that game with positivity and a will to win.
Quite simply, we’ve lacked pride and heart this season, and that has unfortunately been obvious to see for everyone who’s watched the team this year.
Our teams in the past have had fewer talented players yet have had a lot more success than we have this year – even making the play-offs so there’s no excuses.
I honestly don’t think it’s to do with our personnel, or the skills and quality our group possesses. It’s down to attitude, effort and commitment.
No matter how talented you are, if you don’t apply yourself, then you’re not going to succeed. Losing is contagious, and the same is often said about winning.
When you’re consistently losing games, there’s a negative atmosphere that blankets the team, and when new guys come in to replace those who’ve left, they feel it too.
That negative energy has been a part of this team for too long, and we know we have to fight back, no matter how bleak things have been so far for us.
A mark of a great team is being able to escape even the longest of losing streaks – it’s also the mark of great coaches and captains, so I feel like I have a shared responsibility to help Leeds Force turn things around in the coming weeks.
That’s it for this week’s column, thanks for reading and we’re looking forward to seeing you down at Carnegie Sports Arena for the last few home games of the BBL season to cheer us over the line. #FeelTheForce