I can't tell you how excited I am to see the team progress through the second half of the season towards the playoffs. The NCAA has a new tag line: "The NCAA: a pathway to opportunity". Every season for a team is just that; an opportunity to progress, get better and get closer to your goals. I am looking forward to our team seizing the opportunity before them.
This is precisely what the team is continuing to work towards: the goal of being the most consistent team both mentally and physically. Recently, I asked the team their thoughts about this. The response was almost unanimous that the team has progressed greatly from March 2017 to the end of 2017. The team worked extraordinarily hard on fitness and technique in the off-season. This led to really excellent results in the exhibition season. We beat teams that we had not been successful against before, such as King's University. Once the regular season began we continued to perform, beating GPRC on the road for the first time. We stumbled a bit at the end of November, primarily due to a few injuries, yet at the same time performed beautifully taking NAIT to 5, Kings to 5 and Lakeland to 4. We have continued to work hard through the beginning of December and look forward to the beginning of January.
The team has identified the following as principal goals for the second half of the season:
- Work hard to become mentally consistent from point to point, game to game and then match to match.
- Continue to perfect the technical skills that we have focused on, particularly blocking, spiking and digging.
- Work hard to be steady at every point in a match.
Most Canadians don't have any idea of the stresses presented to student athletes. Intercollegiate athletics is a double edged sword with tremendous opportunity for both success and failure. This team has really embraced the responsibility of stepping forward and being accountable as a competitor. It has been a tremendous honor to have been able to work with this group.