Author Topic: Win or lose, players must learn from their experience to improve - Tim Watson  (Read 1195 times)

Offline one-eyed

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Win or lose, players must learn from their experience to improve
By Tim Watson
The Age
April 7, 2006

RODNEY Eade and Terry Wallace both faced problems during the week although it's fair to say you would rather be caught up in the mood at Whitten Oval than at Punt Road.

Eade has had to keep a lid on it and chaperone his young team through the heady days of mass adulation, while Wallace has needed to find a key to unlock some of the form he thought he had glimpsed in the pre-season. Can Richmond possibly be as bad as the team we saw last Friday?

Wallace would have had to address a dispirited, directionless and almost skill-less display, but also balance how much he wanted to dwell on negative street. Particularly with an eye to what lies ahead.

He said before the season that people would be well-placed to assess the Tigers after the first month. The reality is the first month can make or break his season.

Tonight Richmond plays St Kilda off the back of an eight-day break before the dreaded trip to play the Eagles, then up to Brisbane ó a trip that remains a difficult assignment, if not as bleak as it once was.

Put onfield bickering and early acceptance of defeat aside ó the most frightening thing confronting Richmond on the evidence presented on Friday is its inability to play modern-day tempo football.

Tempo Footy is the ability to switch from fast-breaking play to flow control. In the old days, teams might send a bloke or two back behind the ball to shore up the defence, or if you go back further still, it was a matter of starting a fight or giving away a 15-metre penalty. Now it's about taking time off the clock denying the opposition the ball and resetting your own play.

To do this, you need strong onfield leadership, highly skilled players and solid decision makers. None of this was evident for Richmond. The Tigers couldn't execute under pressure and although they had some brave warriors, the possession game dictates that keeping hold of the ball is just as important as winning it.

Wallace is a very good coach, one who gets inside his players' heads. After one season he will know his players and how to draw out the best from them individually and collectively. He has also been around long enough to know a season can head into a downward spiral quickly.

One loss doesn't initiate a crisis or force the abandonment of plans and strategies drawn up and worked on over a six-month break. The past week would have involved spending time on rebuilding shattered egos.

Inadvertently, Bulldogs youngster Ryan Griffen helped him. Nothing shames a team more than an opposition player saying you gave up. Worse, the inexperienced Bulldog also painted the picture of Tiger discontent less than two hours into the new season.

Wallace would have filed that for the next match against the Dogs, but there is also valuable mileage in throwing the quotes into his players' faces, too. The football world awaits Richmond's every move.

The Tigers have taken a public beating and there is only one place to redeem themselves. They can slink away and hide and confirm what Griffen said, or stand up and be counted.

Put your last dollar on them baring their teeth tonight. It should be an explosive opening, particularly given there has been a bit of feeling between the Tigers and Saints in recent years. It's a situation Wallace loved when he was coaching the Bulldogs.

Helping him, too, would have been the search for how confidential information found its way to the Bulldogs. Punt Road has been a testy place this week and the players are on edge. Perhaps more fascinating, though, will be how they control the ball and the pressure that comes back to them.

http://www.realfooty.theage.com.au/realfooty/articles/2006/04/06/1143916657207.html

Offline Tiger Spirit

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Put your last dollar on them baring their teeth tonight. It should be an explosive opening, particularly given there has been a bit of feeling between the Tigers and Saints in recent years. It's a situation Wallace loved when he was coaching the Bulldogs.

I donít know where some people are coming from sometimes.† And from someone whoís played at the top level too.† Where and when have we done any of that in recent memory?† And whereís the evidence that suggests any of this will happen as soon as tonight?

If it does then fantastic, but Iím not holding my breath.† Teams take years to get to a level where they can deliver on those sorts of things and people are expecting it from a team thatís just started working its way from the ground up.

Up until a couple of seasons ago, teams were brushing Geelong and St. Kilda aside, yet they now want todayís Richmond to deliver something they havenít even begun to learn.

And if we come out worse for wear after tonightís game, the press and media will jump on us because itís fun to do. :sleep
Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.  --Martin Luther

The time you enjoy wasting isnít wasted time.

Offline Tiger Spirit

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Don’t know if we exactly bared our teeth, but guess I was wrong just the same.  When you’ve repeatedly been belted around the head and kicked in the guts and teeth enough times, you get a bit gun shy.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.  --Martin Luther

The time you enjoy wasting isnít wasted time.

Offline mightytiges

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I don't think you were wrong TS. You have to ask where was this hunger and desparation last week and why did it take a week of scorn and ridicule for us to deliver the required intensity. The next question is can we back it up on a consistent basis. Only doing it once in a blue moon means we haven't improved.

As much as Watson was on par with Spud as a coach he was right about us playing tempo footy. We did that pretty well last night playing one-on-one when the Saints had the footy then switching to run and carry when we had it then back again. St Kilda really struggled to get any run into their game themselves and were forced to stop and kick short. They only got some run when we did stupid things like over-handball to flat footed teammates and we turned over the footy too easily.
All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be - Pink Floyd

Offline Tiger Spirit

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As far as last night’s game is concerned, I wasn’t all that confident we could put up that sort of effort MT.  So I suppose I was wrong on that.

But yeah, you do wonder why it takes a humiliating loss like last week to motivate players.  As you say, the query now is can we repeat last night’s effort on a regular basis.  The only way to look at it is that, regardless of what happens, it’s all a learning curve – a necessary one.

I think the good thing to come from the first 2 rounds is that even though we copped it on and off the field last week, TW was able to keep things together and have the players produce what we saw last night.  Guess TW was able to do that last season as well, but we were never up against anything like that build up.  It’s a long way from what we’ve experienced in previous seasons, under similar circumstances, where once the team got into a negative mindset, we just couldn’t get out of it.  Hence us having lengthy losing streaks that, with proper coaching, just weren’t necessary.

Just on the Saints, they reckon their fitness levels aren’t yet where they need to be, so will improve in the weeks to come.  If that’s true then maybe we were just lucky to catch them this early in the season.  We’ll see what happens as the season progresses.
Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.  --Martin Luther

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Offline mightytiges

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I think the good thing to come from the first 2 rounds is that even though we copped it on and off the field last week, TW was able to keep things together and have the players produce what we saw last night.† Guess TW was able to do that last season as well, but we were never up against anything like that build up.† Itís a long way from what weíve experienced in previous seasons, under similar circumstances, where once the team got into a negative mindset, we just couldnít get out of it.† Hence us having lengthy losing streaks that, with proper coaching, just werenít necessary.

Agree TS. It was good as a club we didn't panic and make silly decisions based on emotion. Nor did we come up with stupid cliches like "we're got to stick fat" or "that performance was un-richmond like" through the week.

Still we lost so I'm sure Wallace will be reminding the boys that we play to win; not lose honourably. 
All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be - Pink Floyd

Offline tiogar

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There is a kind of formulaic way of writing up the tigers after a bad set back which is more full of cliches than the writing on any other club.

You know the stuff i mean. The Tigers will "bare their teeth and claws" and "rip the opposition" lifted by the "noise and fanaticism" of the loudest crowd in AFL which if the team fail again will "turn on the failing team' and "jump off the bandwagon"

it is a formula. in truth we need a team which will play uptempo footy to get the crowd going and get some results just like any struggling team and it will happen.

Offline H Tiger

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Agree TS. It was good as a club we didn't panic and make silly decisions based on emotion. Nor did we come up with stupid cliches like "we're got to stick fat" or "that performance was un-richmond like" through the week.

Still we lost so I'm sure Wallace will be reminding the boys that we play to win; not lose honourably.†

Great effort by the boys on Friday.

LOL at stupid cliches "un-richmond like' that would be what? displaying fantastic skills??

Offline Tiger Spirit

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Still we lost so I'm sure Wallace will be reminding the boys that we play to win; not lose honourably.

You’d think so MT.† Doubt TW is one for honourable losses when a win is on the cards. :nope

Even though there’s a lot the players can take from the game, there were a few things that could’ve been done differently.

After keeping the game within reach, right up until the last 10 or so minutes, once Thursfield went off, it just felt like we lost some momentum and that our intensity wasn’t to the level it had been up to then.†

Not sure whether it was because of the major re-shuffle that had to happen after the injury to Thursfield, or because we had a reduced bench for a chunk of that quarter, or a combination of the two.  Who knows, but the players had worked really hard for the whole game, and it seemed a waste to let things slip in the last few minutes.  Maybe a better organised/more experienced team could’ve handled the situation a bit differently.

Apart from that though, it feels good to think the players finally seem to have some proper direction and that they will actually learn from each game.† Sheesh, we might even improve. :pray

Nor did we come up with stupid cliches like "we're got to stick fat" or "that performance was un-richmond like" through the week.

>:( And if I never ever have to listen to another one of those bleeding cringe worthy :banghead, mind numbing :banghead clichťs again, I’ll be a happy Richmond supporter. :yep
Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.  --Martin Luther

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Offline mightytiges

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Doubt TW is one for honourable losses when a win is on the cards. :nope

As he said in the "year of the dog" he'd spew!  :thumbsup

Even though thereís a lot the players can take from the game, there were a few things that couldíve been done differently.

After keeping the game within reach, right up until the last 10 or so minutes, once Thursfield went off, it just felt like we lost some momentum and that our intensity wasnít to the level it had been up to then.†

Not sure whether it was because of the major re-shuffle that had to happen after the injury to Thursfield, or because we had a reduced bench for a chunk of that quarter, or a combination of the two.† Who knows, but the players had worked really hard for the whole game, and it seemed a waste to let things slip in the last few minutes.† Maybe a better organised/more experienced team couldíve handled the situation a bit differently.

We were down to one man on the bench and Riewoldt cut loose after Thursty went off. Poor Chrissy Newman had to mind Riewoldt in the end. So it was a major factor in our loss IMO. Given that we weren't polished enough to take advantage of our hard work. We were continually busting our guts out while they seemed to always get that crucial goal to keep their noses in front all night.

One thing we need to do differently is not be so nice. In the first half we'd tackle a Saint then let go almost straight away once the ball spilled or when a Saint took a mark we'd hardly touch him. Good sides physically hurt their opposition. Now I don't mean seriously hurt them but wear them down over the course of a game. If you don't do it the opposition will run over you. What happened to Sarge was bad luck (a ground that had some give in it might have helped  ::) ) but Hamill slamming his opponent into the turf in a tackle is what our blokes need to aspire to. We started to do it in the second half when you could see our guys getting totally ticked off by the umpiring. They took their anger out on the ball and the Saints  :clapping. Unfortunately we played catch up all night and with the injuries we tired towards the end.   
All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be - Pink Floyd

Offline Tiger Spirit

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No denying that Thursfield going off was a major factor in the outcome.  Our skills and decision making cost us in any game, but probably not a whole lot we can do about the Ďpolishí right away.  We saw the difference, from one week to the next, that effort can make though, even if the skills arenít quite there.

Had they been anywhere near their best, I doubt we couldíve got within 6 goals, especially as we havenít been able to get within 7 goals of them, the previous 5 times weíve played them.

But the way this game panned out, I think we lost it in the last 10 or so minutes.  Up until that point, we pretty much stuck with them, even though we had to come back from a 4 goal deficit at one stage.  There was a time when it looked like we could even get on top of them, after that.  All things considered, I donít reckon the loss came down to skill.

Instead, we can probably put it down to experience, because it seemed more like a slip in concentration and/or intensity, late in the game, that let the opposition in.  The players handled most other things really well, right up until that last few minutes.  Hard to judge, but maybe a steadying influence couldíve made a difference at that stage.
Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.  --Martin Luther

The time you enjoy wasting isnít wasted time.

Offline DallasCrane

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There is a kind of formulaic way of writing up the tigers after a bad set back which is more full of cliches than the writing on any other club.
You know the stuff i mean. The Tigers will "bare their teeth and claws" and "rip the opposition" lifted by the "noise and fanaticism" of the loudest crowd in AFL which if the team fail again will "turn on the failing team' and "jump off the bandwagon"
it is a formula. in truth we need a team which will play uptempo footy to get the crowd going and get some results just like any struggling team and it will happen.

How true.

One thing we need to do differently is not be so nice. In the first half we'd tackle a Saint then let go almost straight away once the ball spilled or when a Saint took a mark we'd hardly touch him. Good sides physically hurt their opposition. Now I don't mean seriously hurt them but wear them down over the course of a game.

Oh yeah you're speakin my language there mt. That's why I like Raines' game this year. He dumps them hard into the ground after a tackle. In a friendly, sportsman like and totally legal way of course! :shh
Experience is a good school. But the fees are high.
Heinrich Heine

Offline mightytiges

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Oh yeah you're speakin my language there mt. That's why I like Raines' game this year. He dumps them hard into the ground after a tackle. In a friendly, sportsman like and totally legal way of course! :shh

The others will get there but it may take 2-3 years. At the moment a number of our younger guys get bumped off the ball too easily.
All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be - Pink Floyd