Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Big Month of July!!

Well, every 2 years the NWBL breaks for the month of July while either the Paralympic Games or in this case World Champs occur! This is a tough time for some NWBL teams as they lose their best players and sometimes the work ethic and attitude withers away during this time. I can also imagine that many teams do not even train during this time, but not the Perth Wheelcats. We hit the court harder than ever during this period to make sure when the business end of the season begins we are ready to take care of it! Sure, there is no doubt that the tempo at training has a higher likelyhood of going down but with the experience and knowledge of some of the players not attending thw World Champs we can navigate easier through the hard times! We know what this is like, the Perth Wheelcats have had this challenge contnuously throughout at least the past 6 years. We also know what lays ahead on the other side of this break and how easy it can be taken away from us if we don't train hard!

Western Australia is represented 6 players attending this years World Champs, 5 of which are apart of the Perth Wheelcats 2010 playing squad! Justin Eveson, Shaun Norris, Mike Hartnett and Brad Ness will be suiting up for the Rollers and Clare Burzynski and Amber Merritt for the Gliders! All with the exception of Ness will join the Wheelcats in late July to help the team prepare for the final charge towards the 2010 NWBL Championships!

July 24th and 25th see the Wheelcats take on Adelaide away from home before they return and play Dandenong Rangers the next weekend at home! Two great weekends which gives us plenty of opportunity to ease back in to the season and get our finals campain underway. The weekend after will see the Wheelcats undertake the biggest challenge thus far in 2010, a triple header away. Two games of which we play against the very strong Wollongong Rollerhawks at their home ground Shell Harbour Stadium! These 2 games will be by far the most challenging aside from the finals for this year, we will be taking our strongest side possible to go up against the likes of Knowles, Stibners and Rouillard! After we return home we have a week off before taking on the young and very tenacious West Sydney Razorbacks in a stand alone game on Sunday 22nd of August at our home "The Cage". 28th and 29th of August will see us fly out to Brisbane to wrap up the regular season against the Spinning Bullets!

After that it is full steam ahead on the training court for about 3 weeks before we head back over to Shell Harbour for the NWBL Finals! 10 games in the matter of 5 weeks for the rest of the NWBL season, it is amazing what these committed athletes can do!

As for the World Champs about to get underway in Birmingham, England, good luck to all Australians taking part in the games. It will be a tough challenge, the Rollers have Turkey and Canada in their pool. I have no doubt the Rollers will take care of business and finish top, on the otherside of the pool will be power houses Great Britain and the US! My tips for the semi finals will be Rollers v US and Canada v GB! For the final Rollers v GB! Finally, Rollers by at least 20 to bring home the gold!

As for the girls they have a tough challenge ahead, they have Canada and the Netherlands in their pool, both of which are teams the Gliders have lost to this year but are both teams that the Gliders are capable of winning against if the girls play well! I have no doubt that the Gliders will pull it together and finish within the top 2 of their pool, in the other pool Germany and the US will be waiting. The US are seeded number 1 and that is where I think they will finish in their pool! The Gliders will have to do the hard work early as I know they will want to finish as high as they can in their pool and take on Germany in a semi final! Germany is definitley a team the Gliders can beat, but it will be up to them to take care of business!

I will be watching all the stats live and cheering for Australia from all the way back home.

Til next time,


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Always Check Your Shoulders

Today is a historic day in Australian history, Julia Gillard is now the first female Australian Prime Minister! This is undoubtedly a game lost by Kevin Rudd rather that an out right win by Julia Gillard. Let this be a lesson to everyone that no matter what you feel you must do in your position you have been put there for the good of the people, not for your own glory and success! It doesn't matter what position you are in, Prime Minister, CEO, Head Coach or Leading hand on a construction site, you are put there because people believe you have what it takes to lead a country, a business, a team or a construction site!

I also believe you must be a likable person but must stand firm on as a leader and not focus on individuals, especially yourself! If you find yourself on the outer rim and asking yourself, "What have I done wrong?", take a hard look in the mirror because the answer is usually staring back at you! Always respect all your colleague's, they are not trying to back stab you to take your position but might be trying to steer you in a better direction because they feel you are veering the wrong way, if you don't respect or communicate with them they may feel the need to challenge you! But you had the chance, don't be arrogant, take all the advice you can. It is better to take advice and sift through it rather than take none at all!

In wheelchair basketball we talk about checking your shoulders in defence so you can keep an eye on where the offence are positioned and most importantly so they can't get past you and get to the basket! We are one of the hardest pushing teams if not the hardest in the NWBL, we know that, but we always keep an eye on what is coming thus respecting what they are capable of doing. Individually, point for point and pound for pound we are great, but we still practice to improve our skills, always knowing that if we don't we could get knocked from the top! As a team we are striving to get stronger knowing that if we don't we could get knocked from the top and as champions we are always pushing harder, smarter and stronger with everything and giving every piece of our blood, sweat and tears knowing that if we don't we could get knocked from the top!

As a coach I use all the very limited resources I have to make sure I am fulfilling my role, elected to steer the team in a greater direction. I use all the knowledge and experience of the senior players to make sure we have all bases covered, I would be mad not to listen to the people around me that have greater experience! I take their advice, sift through what I'm given and use what I think is useful!

There are many leaders in all facets of our community, they are all put there by someone who believes they will do a great job in being a leader, whether it is leading a nation, business, team or work place! If you are too focused on your own individual success you will fall hard and like Kevin Rudd this morning you will make a great exit speech, the door will be shut behind you and a new leader will be elected and the faith of the people will be shifted to the new leader! A team, a wheelchair basketball team is no different to Australia, the PM is the Coach, the Deputies are the Assistants and the people are the players!

No matter who you are or how well you think you are doing, their will always be a Julia Gillard by your side. Listen to her and always, "Always Check Your Shoulders"!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

NWBL 2010 - Perth Wheelcats v Wentworthville Wheelkings

The beginning of the Perth Wheelcats 2010 season got off to great success defeating last year's grand finalists the Wentworthville Wheelkings 122-24! In front of over 300 fans the reigning NWBL champs got off to a great start putting up 34 points for the first quarter! Big men Justin Eveson, Shaun Norris and Adam Deans kept the score board ticking through out the first half coupled with some impressive defence as they tore apart the young opposition! Michael Hartnett was unavailable for the 2 bouts over the weekend leaving Clare Burzynski and Nang Nguyen the responsibility of getting our tall timber in the paint! The low point players did a fantastic job working with the highs and mids which saw the Perth Wheelcats score 94 of their 122 inside the keyway!

Halftime score 64-17 after the Wheelcats rotated all players re-energized for a very defensive orientated 3rd quarter! Keeping the Wheelkings to 1 point in the 3rd while stacking on another 28 points! Impressive performances from Brant Garvey with 19 points in 11 minutes of total game time play, such a skillful player hits the floor plays well and shows what he can do is exactly what the Wheelcats need coming off the bench!

Full time score was 122-24, Justin Eveson (20,14,15) finished up with an easy triple double while Shaun Norris (25,7,11) and Adam Deans (22,17,2) proved dominance with some great figures!

Game 2 saw the Wheelkings step up and play some decent basketball, although going down 107-51 they put up a good fight making the Wheelcats earn their money!Once again for the Wheelcats the usual suspects got the score board ticking, Garvey again with 21 in 21 minutes played a great part off the bench, Eveson picked up 25 and big man Adam Deans with 19! The Cats kept the Kings to 10 point quarters in the first 3, but in the 4th the Kings stepped up while the Cats struggled to contain them defensively!

Overall a great start to the year, it won't be as easy as previous years with other clubs recruiting international talent but as always it is going to be really tough to knock this experienced team from the top!

The Wheelcats next take on Adelaide away before they return home to take on the Dandenong Rangers! Come down to the CAGE and be part of all the excitement as the Wheelcats hunt down their 5th consecutive NWBL title!