A mid-season break in the Suncorp Super Netball season is an opportunity to take stock and reset for a physical second half.
For Sunshine Coast Lightning they enter that break with the knowledge that they are sitting at the top of the ladder, having just beaten one of the SSN’s most dominant teams of 2021 in GIANTS Netball.
Head Coach Kylee Byrne admits it’s a strong position to be in and allows the players time to step away from the Club, albeit briefly, to recharge the batteries.
“To take that positive energy into the break is massive and when they come back to training on Friday they will be ready to go and hopefully ready to go to yet another level again,” Byrne said.
“We’ve all chosen to try to have some time away – and for our athletes that’s a real priority.
“It certainly has that feel that we’ve been working hard for quite a long time so a short break has come at the right time.”
While the athletes are encouraged to take time away from Lightning headquarters, Byrne doesn’t have quite the same luxury – wanting to ensure her players have the required information and tools at their disposal to be competitive in the second half of the season.
“Feedback is important at the moment and I want to give them the tools to be better in the second half,” she said.
“I haven’t stopped thinking at how we can better and play to our potential so we can perform under pressure and secure further wins.”
Lightning defeated GIANTS by 6 goals in Sydney on the weekend in what was a highly competitive hit out.
The 2 sides went largely goal for goal across the first 3 quarters before Lightning were able to break free of the stranglehold and expand the lead in the fourth.
But Byrne said there were obvious areas for improvement that need to be addressed if Lightning want to be centre stage in the SSN Grand Final on Sunday 29 August.
“We put out a great performance on the weekend, and to beat the GIANTS we had to do that,” she said.
“However, there are areas that we can be a lot better at and that’s the exciting thing about this group – we haven’t hit our potential yet, we are still building as the season goes on.
“There are some areas in attack that we do need to sort out – that transition to convert goals and decision making under pressure will be focus areas.
“Being able to transition the ball from one end to another – we can do that when we have speed but we have to look at the defensive strategies that teams are putting on us and how we quickly adapt.”
While there are still areas to iron out in the Lightning game plan, the Coach is equally excited by the quality of netball played so far and how that could influence the second half of the year.
Sitting atop of the ladder with 10 players who can be relied upon to produce a competitive showing against any opposition, Byrne is confident that the team is capable of success.
“I’m happy with where we are,” she said.
“The versatility in our team is still a massive strength.
“We saw that on the weekend with Peace Proscovia and Binnian Hunt, they both put their hands up and made me really look at them.
“How we utilise all 10 players is going to be not only a challenge but an exciting challenge.”