It’s a really old saying and one that gets brushed under the carpet but it really is true. Personally, I learn a whole heap at every game and training session that I attend with my league. It’s part of my job and if I leave any session without more knowledge than I turned up with then I’m doing something wrong. I also learn by attending as many games as possible whether that is watching teams we are playing in the future or just watching for the love of derbs.
I learn tons about my team in practice sessions if we are looking at something new tactics-wise and I can see if and how it’s going to work or if it’s going to need tweaks to fit into our game. I learn our strongest combos and packs (this changes quite a lot). On game day I learn that we have to adapt constantly, as we have progressed as a league and play higher ranked opponents I learn how opponents play and in turn I learn how we need to play against them. The mechanics of these situations boils down to the fact that I know we can’t afford to take a breath and relax, our sport is constantly growing and expanding and with that comes knowledge and ability.
I am glad we are in this position because as a sport derby is becoming so much more than it was two years ago, and if you’re not learning, adapting and committing then like all things in life, derby won’t slow down be polite and wait for you to catch up. Short cuts don’t exist there is no substitute for hard work. To achieve at any level within any sport knowledge is power. Ability is a massive factor but so is team work (not sure the debate of which is more important is needed here) So go watch and learn, ask questions because it’s the only way to “get” your sport. None of us were born under a derby star in a wooden bed.
by Damien, Bench Coach for the Nottingham Hellfire Harlots