Australian Diamond and Collingwood Magpie netballer, Kim Ravaillion and Collingwood Magpie AFL player, Adam Treloar share their thoughts on coaching, mindset and sportsmanship. Both have played at the highest level in their chosen sports and now offer one-on-one coaching and mentoring with PlayBook.
Adam, you experienced a freak double hamstring injury in round 22 and had to have surgery but all reports this week are that you’re pain-free and feeling confident for a final return. How have you managed such a speedy recovery?
I was initially given a 12 week time frame to get back, but I have had fantastic support from the medical team at Collingwood and Kim has been sensational, so we are ahead of schedule and we are only looking at 8 weeks now, which will make it in time for finals and I get to start running tomorrow. The coaching team have been great, they realise that athletes are people first and have been working with me really closely to ensure I am keeping on track from both a physical recovery and from a mental side also as this has been my first long term injury.
Kim, we interviewed you for our blog some time ago and you shared the amazing story of how you missed a selection and how that propelled you to chat to your coach and make a really personalized training plan to ensure you didn’t miss out on the next selection you wanted. How did you approach this?
That was a really tough time for me. I was devastated to miss the NSW U17 team. I got in contact with my high school coach, Jo MacDermid and we set about building a plan and schedule for the next 6 months, so I didn’t have a reason not to be ready again. We had one on one training sessions and she would come and video my games so she could give me feedback on how I was going. I think having those one on one sessions with my Jo was a catalyst for me going further in my netball career. We are still great friends and she is a definite reason as to me making it to the next level.
You’ve both come from other cities to join the Collingwood Magpies, how has the transition to new clubs been?
Adam: For me coming back to Melbourne was coming home. I am close to my family and friends and that is really important to me. I was fortunate enough to be part of something great at GWS, being a foundation player and we were able to create a great culture and I will always remember it fondly. But coming home to one of the biggest clubs in Australia has been awesome.
Kim: It has been two years now, one of the positives was meeting Adam. I do miss Brisbane’s warmer weather but Collingwood has some of the best facilities which has been amazing. As a team we have been underperforming at the moment, but it means us working harder together to begin achieving what we are capable of.
PlayBook is all about coaching so let’s talk about coaching, who are the coaches that have had the most impact on you and why?
Kim: It would have to be my high school coach, Jo MacDermid, creating the plan and working through the disappointment of missing out on selection was probably the most influential to me. I have also been lucky enough to be coached by Roselee Jencke (QLD Firebirds) Kristy Keppich- Birrell (Collingwood Magpies) and Lisa Alexander (Australian Diamonds) who have all given me the opportunity to hone my skills and develop as a player. They all have different coaching styles and for me as an athlete I have been able to adapt and learn as an athlete.
You’ve both experienced coaches. Adam you coach the Under 12s and Kimmy you have done netball and fitness clinics for many years. What have you both taken away from your playing experiences that you incorporate into your coaching style now when you coach?
Adam: I coach my under 12 team and I try not to make things too serious. I make sure I stick to basics like kicking, marking and passing techniques. I do like discipline though, so arriving on time is really important. I make sure I can build confidence in the players and make sure they are having fun.
Change is an inevitable element of sport and netball at the Australia level is currently in a state of transition with Roselee Jencke (Australian Diamond’s Assistant Coach) stepping down and then 3 new faces in the squad, as a center player what’s your approach to fostering the team dynamic when you’re got new team members?
Kim: Relationships are extremely important. You need to know your team mate inside and out before you can start demanding things from them. It comes down to culture, and you need to buy into the new culture. If you don’t buy in, it is never going to work. That does come in the pre-season, building those relationships.
We are very thankful to the players that have come before us. Laura Geitz, Sharni Layton, Madi Robinson and Susan Pettit have just retired. They have left a massive impact on the group and the culture they have set. ‘Sister’s in arms’ is very strong, and the new girls coming in have to build the culture, and add their own authority and stamp on it. There are a lot of new girls coming into the squad, which is exciting. We get to build new relationships and add to the amazing ones that we have already created.
We think mindset and sport is a really important conversation, Adam what is your take on mindset and performance and what do you do to prep for a game?
Adam: It is obviously massive nowadays, I think they spend quite a bit of time trying to find something that makes you click in terms of mindset. It is something that wasn’t that big back in the 70’s and 80’s. Sport in general was different. If you go to a game, with a clear mindset or a mindset that is focused on achieving a goal then you are going to perform.
For me, I do struggle with mindset sometimes. Being an athlete and having high expectations of yourself. You are your own harshest critic most of the time. I feel like as a team or individually you aren’t up to the standard you want to be at then you do find yourself wrestling with your mind in a game. It’s about limiting that and staying with the flow. That is was sport psychologists talk about; being in the moment, where everything comes to you naturally, you are going to perform. For me, that is what I try and do, make sure I am in the flow and I am confident in what I need to do. It comes back to what you practice. If I go into a game saying ‘I want to have 8 tackles.’ If I go in with the mindset, that this is what I do at training, I do this all the time, it is in my DNA and it is how I play the game, and I have the confidence that I will do that. Not only will I do that in a game, but I will get the ball and I will be impactful and I will be setting the standard for my teammates. At any level, preaching a good mindset is happening everywhere. When I coach my U12’s, I also focus on mindset and make sure I keep it really simple, like ‘stay on your man’.
We also love to talk about sportsmanship because a lot of PlayBook athletes are young players and they look up to professional athletes like yourselves, Kim what do you think is important in fostering the right approach to sportsmanship when playing sport?
Sportsmanship is key. You need to respect every opponent you come up against and you can never take them lightly. Win or lose, it is a game and you need to congratulate them. I come up against some of my best mates, once you cross that line it is white line fever. You want to win for your team.
I remember a time playing against Laura Langman, who was my arch rival in Netball. In the 2016 Grand Final, we were just both playing really hard, and pushing each other, it was mid last quarter and the scores were even. I remember saying to her “I am exhausted” and she said “So am I”. I think that what sport is about, they are the moments you play for and the memories you play for. Laura is my idol. I think sportsmanship is massive and if you don’t have it then you shouldn’t be in a team sport.
Adam, we hear you’re a big collector of basketball jerseys and basketball is a big love of yours outside of footy, has there been any basketball moves that you’ve brought into your AFL game?
Adam: You can’t really implement anything. You can kind of as a midfielder, you can do some of the post moves. If I could choose a sport other than AFL to play it would be basketball. If the Chicago Bulls came to the door right now, and said “You are the 12th man, you won’t play a minute.” I would go! I am a massive basketball fan. I love playing NBA 2K18. I am pretty good, on a 25-game winning streak.