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Lightning focuses on team psychology

Via Suncorp Super Netball

HOW ATHLETES COPE WITH THE ADDED EXCITEMENT AND PRESSURE AROUND FINALS WILL DETERMINE SUNSHINE COAST LIGHTNING’S SUCCESS IN THEIR MAJOR SEMI FINAL AGAINST THE MELBOURNE VIXENS.

The team has been guided by Noeline Taurua, who has coached 16 finals games since 2008, including one premiership title (Magic, 2012).

Lightning is spending time with their team psychologist this week, to ensure they are fully prepared for Saturday’s final, according to midcourter Kelsey Browne.

“We’ve been doing a lot of team stuff and group work with our team psychologist around the headspace that you have to get into for finals,” Browne said.

“Noeline was really adamant that we needed to sit down and talk out a few things that might come up that you might not deal with in a regular season and how to get through that.”

Lightning have a mix of experience within the team, with veteran netballers Laura Langman and Geva Mentor having played in numerous finals campaigns across the past decade.

“For me that’s been really beneficial, to talk to some of the older girls and some of the more experienced ones about where my head is going to be at and how to get through some of those nerves,” said Browne.

“I’m not normally a nervous person, but on the weekend (against Giants) I did start to feel that. It’s figuring out ways to deal with the nerves that are going to pop up.

“Having the team psychologist and Noeline has been really helpful in figuring out ways to get around that.”

Aside from the additional psychology sessions, it’s business as usual for Lightning according to Browne.

“For a lot of our squad this is very new. We’ve been keeping things relatively the same, our schedule hasn’t changed much at all, the way that we have prepared for all our games,” she explained.

“There is that extra bit of excitement and extra little bit of push at training because we know that finals will take it to another level,” she said.

“I haven’t played finals before. It is really exciting, there’s going to be great crowds and a lot on the line.

“I’m really excited to see how I’m going to take all that on.”

And how will the Browne parents be supporting their daughters? With Kelsey playing for Lightning in Melbourne, and older sister Madi (Robinson) playing for Magpies Netball Club in Sydney this Saturday, there had to be a negotiation.

“Dad is staying in Melbourne and mum is going to Sydney. I think they tossed a coin to decide who was going where,” Browne said.

The Melbourne Vixens will host the Sunshine Coast Lightning on Saturday June 3 at 4.00pm AEST. Get your tickets, or if you can’t make it to the game, tune in live on 9Gem or the Netball Live mobile app.