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Pulse Coach Embracing The Challenge

Being a natural troubleshooter has come in handy for Anna Andrews-Tasola while navigating her way through an unpredictable first season as head coach of Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse in the ANZ Premiership netball league.

With the loss of four front-line players to lengthy injury-enforced spells on the sidelines, it hasn’t been the smoothest of rides for Andrews-Tasola, but a collective all-hands-to-the-pump response has proved a key ingredient.

``I love a challenge, really enjoy it,’’ Andrews-Tasola said. ``I enjoy problem-solving and working together as a group to find a solution and spend a lot of time focussed on that, so yeah, I do enjoy it when things are tough.

``What’s happened is just one of those things. This is sport and high performance sport at that, so things happen and we just focus on making sure that we get better every time.

``There’s been lots of experiences for me this year and I’ve just taken them in my stride. But it wouldn’t have been possible without all the support at hand where we’re all on the same page with what we want to achieve.’’

With new challenges unfolding almost on a weekly basis, a cast of many, including the performance staff, the mindset team, the leadership group, who ensure the new players coming in are looked after and understand the requirements, and the unwavering support from those injured, have all conspired to leave the Pulse in a good space.

Just past the halfway point of the regular season, the yellow-and-blacks sit at the top of the table, the challenge now being on how to stay there.

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``We give ourselves 24 hours after a win or a loss to reflect and analyse the game and then we just move on,’’ Andrews-Tasola said.

``We’re very clear about what we want to achieve this year as a group and as individuals and we’re focussed on that, so that gets us through every training and every week.’’

Co-captain Kelly Jackson, who is having a stellar season, is fulsome in her praise of the coach’s impact while handling the many stumbling blocks that have crossed the Pulse’s path thus far.

``Anna has certainly led from the front,’’ she said. ``We’ve gone through a lot of adversity so far this season but she’s always been cool, calm and collected and I think that has really helped us as a playing group to be able to push through these challenges and to still execute good wins.

``She’s doing an awesome job. We’ve got complete trust in her and we know she works really, really hard for the playing group and for the team as a whole.’’

With all working towards a common goal, the mentality remains one game at a time for the team and after last week’s impressive 20-goal win, a cautious vibe of not getting ahead of themselves.

``It’s that discipline to focus on the `what’s next’….it’s 24 hours win or lose, reflect on it, how do we get better, what do we want to achieve, make sure we tick the boxes during the week on what we want to improve on and be the best prepared we can be for the next game,’’ Andrews-Tasola said.

That next game is the Round 9 clash against the Mystics in Porirua on Monday night, the defending champions hitting a rocky patch recently but with the ability and personnel to flick the switch and make amends.

``They’ve got an experienced group and they’ll be hurting from their last performance, so they’ll be out to prove a point and it’s shaping as a big game,’’ the Pulse coach said.

© Scoop Media

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