I have been enjoying a week off with stand-ins doing all the hard work this week. Much thanks goes to Colin, Dave, Mike and the lads themselves for keeping the ball rolling.
However, the previous week was the last small group session before we switch to fielding at a local school hall. My aim was to bring back the mindset theme.
After some thought, I realised a simple way of looking at it was this;
Improvement is our advantage.
I noticed this when a local rival club - one who are significantly better than us at the moment - announced on Twitter they were starting indoor nets. To compare, by their first session we had 15 team sessions. Anyone who attended them all would have had 25 hours in the nets before our rivals had one.
Even though overall they are a better side, we absolutely must be closing the gap with such a difference.
We may never fully catch them, or we may overtake them in a couple of years. Who knows? What I do know is we are doing way more than them to catch up than they are doing to stay ahead.
So, this leads to the simple message; the more we train with focus on growth, the smaller the gap will become while they continue to do the same things and develop very little.
We have the big advantage of the indoor school, where we can train almost anytime, and we should see it as a huge benefit. That is, of course, before the hours I put in that I am sure no other club coach does in the off-season.
Plus we have PitchVision.
This week I carefully noted a few stats down to show people what the standards are. The risk is putting people into a fixed mindset, so I kept it very light and pushed home the point that stats are a tool to help improve, not a way to judge ability.
It all feeds into improvement.
We have even convinced the ground management team that starting a week early might be worth a try. We have a warm up game scheduled for 15th April. This is the earliest game I have seen attempted at West. Another example of improvement being our advantage.
If we focus on improving (not proving) we are taking full advantage of our natural strengths over the opposition.
I will keep pushing this in the last few weeks before we try and get outdoors. The biggest training advantage has passed, but we are still well ahead and able to draw further away with three sessions a week (most have one) plus one to one sessions.
Next time I'll report back on how the special fielding sessions are going.