Netball World Cup gold medal hinges on ‘four good quarters’ - McIntosh
Netball Jamaica's (NJ) technical director, Jill McIntosh, says it will take strong performance in each quarter for Jamaica to win the gold medal at this year's Netball World Cup (NWC).
The Australian-born McIntosh, who assisted in guiding the Sunshine Girls to the bronze medal at last year's Commonwealth Games, recently returned to the island to continue her duties with Jamaica gearing towards the NWC.
"We're just going have to put four very good quarters together against the top teams in the world, as we can't have a quarter where we lapse," said McIntosh.
"I thought that we did that in the bronze medal match at the Commonwealth Games against England; the Sunshine Girls played magnificently well in all four quarters," she recounted.
"The match before against Australia, we only played two good quarters and the match against New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, we only had three and so in all of our matches we have to ensure consistently high performances across the board at the World Cup," McIntosh noted.
However, McIntosh said winning the tournament involves more than conditioning.
"I don't think it has always been about fitness, because it wasn't an issue in the bronze medal game at the Commonwealth Games," McIntosh said.
"We can always be fitter and that is why they have been working very hard on it going into the World Cup."
She noted that they will be doing a lot of court work in the coming weeks in pressure situations, as this will help the Sunshine Girls mentally.
"I don't think we have to do anything differently. It's just always challenging them and ensuring that every time that they train they are training at their best," McIntosh said.
"We have to ensure that we put them under pressure so that when it comes to the matches, they can cope with the pressure because they would have done it often enough in training," she explained.
McIntosh noted being impressed with new invitee Trishana Hanson and believes she has a good shot of making the World Cup squad.
"Trishana Hanson is very talented and she adds a lot of speed to the mid court. She has good ball-handling skills and that's good for us," McIntosh said.
"You pick the players who are in form and who work well together, and so we have 18 players and that includes Romelda Aiken and Jhaniele Fowler and so we have to name 12. So that won't be easy; it will be a tough task."