Grover is a good scout for squad

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Slammers stalwart Ebony Bilcich is guarded by Warwick Senators rival Caitlin Jones.
Camera IconSlammers stalwart Ebony Bilcich is guarded by Warwick Senators rival Caitlin Jones.

It might be an hour following the latest game, but Printsync South West Slammers women’s coach Nathan Grover already has his mind on the next opponent.

Coaching a program at SBL level is tough enough as it is, but throw in family and full-time employment commitments? You have to be on your game all of the time, according to the Slammers boss.

“After the game on a weekend, assistant coach Darren Austin and I will generally have a catch-up over the phone on either a Sunday or Monday,” Grover said.

“Just to go over what happened. Generally, there is a 24-48 hour turnaround before the weekend’s game gets uploaded to the sharing program, so everyone can watch them.

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“Generally, once it is uploaded, I will start to put together training plans for the week ahead. I look at who we are going to play and start watching our upcoming opponent’s previous game.

“From there, I formulate the training plan from things we needed to work on from the previous game as well as anything else we need to be ready for.”

During the season, Thursday night is typically the biggest night of the week at the Eaton Recreation Centre, as Grover distributes his scouting reports to the team.

And for any player who may try to cut corners on their game preparation? Well, it is quite easy for coach Grover to work it out.

“It is an expectation each player watches the game tape of not just our game, but our upcoming opponent’s last game,” he said.

“They need to have an understanding of what the other team’s set plays are, their strengths and weakness and most importantly, the match up they are due for on the weekend.

“So if they are in the starting line up, they will be made aware of who their match up is for the game — and also of those players who are coming off the bench in their subsequent position.

“The good part is, I can see who does or does not watch the tape. So if they tell me they have, I can check it. But the girls are pretty good with it.”

For any regional SBL program, travel is unavoidable. However, there is a big difference of comfort between a Friday night or Saturday night tip-off.

While players and coaches have more time to prepare and drive to a weekend game, arriving at 5pm for a road game in Perth on a Friday night can cause havoc for those who hold down full-time jobs outside of their playing commitments.

“Some of the girls have to arrange with their employer to finish at pretty much lunchtime on a Friday,” Grover said.

“It gets really tough, especially when we have to play north of the river. I remember last year, we had to be at Mirrabooka on a Friday night and it was an absolute nightmare. Not only did we have to get through the city but you also had to deal with Friday night airport traffic.”

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