Coach Damien blames the fact that his players lose their fighting spirit “too quickly” as the main reason his team lost all their games. In a tournament taking place at the International School of Lausanne, in which rivals CDL and LGB were also participating, the girls came last out of six teams.
The Nations Girls going for a block against ISL - Picture curtesy of Esther Nordlund
They started each game quite strongly, with all the half-time scores almost tied. In fact, against CDL, the girls had the upper hand at the break. However, as Coach Damien pointed out, the team lost their morale as soon as they went behind in the second half. This is shame, especially for a team with so much talent and will. This result is not a true reflection of the team’s past successes — they have improved immensely in terms of skill and technique. As Ana Di Filippo, captain of the team, said in a post-game interview:
“This result does not reflect our team’s full potential. We always struggle with keeping our motivation up when we’re playing, our fighting spirit. The game mentality needs to change. We will only truly better ourselves once we not only become better players, but better teammates.”
The coming tournaments will be extremely important for this team if they want to achieve the heights that they are capable of. Captain Ana must ensure she holds the team together in moments of fragility when morale is low, and coach Damien will need to keep key players like Julia Dela Rosa performing at the highest level.
The team is full of talented individuals, the task now is to gel the team together, for each player to exploit her teammates’ strengths. The result gives a good opportunity for the team to step back a moment and reflect on their performance. If they can find a way to keep their heads high when they go behind, this team is capable of bringing home many trophies.