To be honest we didn't meet our expectations in Milton Keynes. It was disappointing losing three out of three games. We travelled to the tournaments highly ambitious and well prepared.
That was the initial feeling, when we left the field after the last game of the day. But now with a few days to reflect there is a different feeling about the tournament. This is the feeling of realising how much you learn at a weekend of 7s.
Sometimes things develop so quickly, that it is difficult to put them in the right context. And sometimes expectations and reality fade apart. But it is vital for us to ensure that our expectations are as realistic as possible.
We entered our team into the elite competition of the tournament. And we still believe we belong there. We gave the teams in our group a good game. However at the same time we need to ensure that our performance are not becoming demoralising. As a consequence, learning from any experience is essential.
There are three things that we learned this weekend.
1) Not quite there yet: The hardest lesson first. Understanding that you haven’t arrived where you want to be. As mentioned, we have high expectations and we work very hard to provide the best possible environment. In return we all want results that justify this work. However very often you have to learn that anything worth doing in life takes time. Becoming a top-class 7s team certainly takes a lot of time.
2) Preparation is king: Ask any top-performer, no matter if a sportsperson, business person or any other industry. Everyone will tell you that preparation is everything. If you don’t perform in the moment, you haven’t prepared for it correctly. As one of a few 7s teams in the country that train regularly, we strive hard to find optimal preparation. But if preparation is king, consistency is queen. And it will take a while to find consistency within a squad.
3) Many smiles: Finally something positive. Despite the rather disappointing results, we noticed that our team didn’t return devastated from Milton Keynes. There was a lot of optimism within the boys and the good feeling to reflect, look forward and knowing that we will come back better and stronger.
The next opportunity: On the 12th of July we will travel to our next tournament, the Seabass 7s in Ledbury.