In the build-up to the Singapore Sevens, Blitzbok coach Neil Powell let his players do the presentations on various aspects of play
Sometimes, instead of being told what you’re doing wrong, it helps to identify those wrongs yourself.
And that’s exactly what the Blitzboks are doing ahead of the eighth tournament of the 2018/19 World Sevens Series.
In the build-up to the Singapore Sevens, Blitzbok coach Neil Powell let his players do the presentations on various aspects of play.
And according to Justin Geduld, the analysis and introspective look at their performances were just what the squad needed to mentally refresh themselves for this weekend’s tournament.
The Blitzboks finished seventh in Hong Kong last weekend – their joint worst tournament performance this season along with the seventh-place finish in Las Vegas.
The experienced playmaker admitted that it made the players realise they only have themselves to blame for an underwhelming performance in Hong Kong, where they lost both their matches on Sunday, against the USA in the Cup quarter-final and Argentina in the fifth-placed semi-final.
“We had to own up,” said Geduld (pictured).
“We had many opportunities and we didn’t exploit all of them. We were out there on the field and were the ones who did not execute. If you don’t execute and use your opportunities, you will be punished.
“Maybe we were a bit impatient at times and tried to force the issue, instead of trusting the plan. We picked up that we tended to try and do things individually at times and did not trust the plan, which was fatal.
“We had to look at the various aspects of our play, such as attack, defence and breakdowns, and presented that. It certainly gave us another angle and perspective on how we played and executed, and what we did wrong.”
Veteran forward Chris Dry agreed: “We needed to look at ourselves, not only how we performed mentally, but also our execution on the field.
“That is where the analysis comes in handy. It jigs the mind on why we did things in a certain way, and if we made mistakes, a mental note follows.
“That is how one learns.”
Clear game plans were prepared for the various opponents and these were not always followed, Dry admitted.
“We needed to look at ourselves and that is where the reviews kicked in. Why did we make a particular decision to leave the game plan and was it productive or successful,” he said.
“We were not at our best and we need to understand and admit why that happened. We need to take the mistakes on the chin.
“The focus is on the new tournament and how to be consistent over the two days of the weekend.”
Pools for Singapore
Pool A: Fiji, South Africa, Scotland, Canada
Pool B: France, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong
Pool C: USA, England, Kenya, Wales
Pool D: Samoa, New Zealand, Japan, Spain