Wise words help calm captain's grand final nerves
USED to winning, Goodna Sapphires skipper Robyn Walsh concedes she'll manage some anxiety preparing for tomorrow night's netball local derby showdown.
"You would think after all these years of playing and even for my country that I would not get nervous,'' the highly respected team leader said. "But it is the total opposite.
"I get extremely nervous and just try to relax and make sure that I internalise it.
"I had a coach once who told me that 'being nervous is good, it means you respect your opposition'.
"That is something that I have never forgotten. The nerves don't normally hit me until an hour or so before the game, so I basically just stay calm and repeat to myself 'it's just another game'.''
Walsh said the defending champions had no extra pressure or expectations on them heading into the grand final against the peaking Ipswich Flyers.
"We have won the competition back-to-back and were state champions in 2018, so we do not have anything to prove to anyone,'' she said.
"We know what we are capable of and if we perform on the court like we have been all season then we will be fine.''
Although the Flyers were the first team to stop Sapphires' three-year winning run, Walsh said her team expected such a tough challenge.
"The Flyers have always come for us,'' she said.
"We beat them by 20 in the first round and in the second round, we only went down by four, with three regular players unavailable.
"They are a quality team, but we will not make this anything it isn't.
"We know what we can do so we just have to go out and execute it right on the night.''
Having played in many grand finals, Walsh offered a final piece of wisdom as captain.
"I have learnt that a grand final is just another game and to treat it like that,'' she said.
"I like to keep the team settled and have a casual vibe pre game.
"I will make sure that there is plenty of talk on the court and keep the girls' heads in the game and if changes need to be made etc, that I am aware of them.
"I make sure everyone is relaxed and knows what they have to do.''
Tomorrow night's grand final is at 7.50pm at the Queensland State Netball Centre.