Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Room For Improvement: What Does the 2011-12 Team Need to Do Better?

Please feel free to elaborate on your answers in the comments section, especially if you voted "other."


Stanimal said...

Mental toughness is obviously our number one area that needs improvement, but how do you "improve" mental toughness? I would argue that an off-season of hard work with the knowledge that you and your teammates have a lot of experience and/or talent should translate into "mental toughness".

I think, if you want to get right down to it, we need to be more tenacious on defense, which goes mostly to our perimeter D. With the addition of Parker, we could have a very pesky perimeter grouping with Fuller, Taylor and Parker. If we experience even a modest increase in our TO %, we should see major benefits.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving Stanimal's reborn contributions. Keep em coming.

Seamus O'Toole said...

I definitely think you can improve mental toughness. A lot of it has to do with how you practice, what the coaches require you to go through (especially when gassed), etc. It's why football teams go through three-a-days in the scorching heat. That being said, I think the story with this team is not so much an issue of mental toughness as it is an issue of playing with confidence and swagger. Our problem in 2010-11 was less a matter of hanging in there when we were losing, it was more a matter of not tensing up and playing nervous when we were winning.

Teams with Byars and Foster at the helm were less talented but truly believed they were going to win every single game. (They pronounced as much to the press.) You couldn't really say that about this year's team. Here you have three guys, any one of whom can be a Foster/Byars/Freije on any given night. With another offseason for everyone to figure out their place in the puzzle and find that team identity, it's entirely possible you will see guys who are more confident of their roles and better able to feed off each other.

Maybe the "get a collective swagger" vs. "get mentally tough" distinction is splitting hairs, but that's my take.