Interview with Youth Head Coach John Hauer
In his second season at the club, John Hauer will become the first Camberwell women’s head coach to reach a Grand Final game in the Big V. John was recruited by the Dragons in 2014, and came with an impressive resume of coaching, being involved in some of Victorias biggest basketball clubs. Having been as assistant coach for the Knox Raiders women’s SEABL team, and a head coach for the Whittlesea Pacers Big V’s State Youth Championship women’s team, he brings a lot of experience to this weekend Championship Game. And he will need every bit of it. The man known as ‘Bomber’ took time out of his busy schedule to talk about the successful season the Youth Women’s team have had, and his approach to Sundays game.
CD: Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us before the Grand Final John. What was most pleasing about your win against Chelsea on Sunday?
JH: The focus and determination that every girl in the squad had towards team success. I was so proud how they truly played for each other, even the bench made themselves the 6th player. It was such a convincing win, coming straight after a terrible game against Chelsea the weekend before. It was obvious the girls had something to prove to themselves, their fans and opposition. I think they did that.
CD: Coming into this season, what were your team goals?
JH: I made no bones about what I wanted from each and every player, but probably the two key things were – that it was to be all about the Team and for each player to be the best they could be. I had lots of other goals; it would be fair to say that I am very demanding and expect everyone to continually strive for excellence. A further key ingredient has been a high level of discipline, at both training and games. This is the first gateway in Senior Basketball and with that comes the expectations associated with playing Senior Basketball.
CD: How does this youth league team compare to previous teams that you have coached?
JH: They have been challenging and even at times a little frustrating. I actually think they may have taught me a little more than I have taught them! Every Coach will be able to relate to this bit – there is nothing better than when you coach a group that respects each other, plays for each other, places the team above all else, believes in your way and fully commits. Well this is that team. I love this team!
CD: Did you ever think that you would go through the entire season only losing 3 games? How were you able to maintain such high quality play for so long?
JH: I was actually asking them to win every single game, aim as high as possible – you get nothing out of mediocre! I always believed in them and believed they would be awesome.
As for maintaining that momentum – it is a team sport, no one can do it on their own. I have been so fortunate to have a couple of great coaches in the coaching corner. Brad Hauer has been assisting throughout the season and challenges me each and every week. He has brought a fresh, contemporary view of the game to training and games. In the second half of the season I was able to gain the support of a fantastic coach, Heath Anderson after he returned from working in New Zealand. Heath has been my mentor for the past number of years, so having him at games and able to discuss the game with him has been invaluable. However, at the end of the day it is about the players and Camberwell is so fortunate to have this group of girls.
CD: Your teams defense was the number 1 ranked in the league. What’s the teams approach to defense and how have you been so successful with it this season?
JH: We have built out defence step by step throughout the season. Each week I have asked the girls to learn and embrace another piece of defence. But at the end of the day, it still hangs off 3 things: Team, Talk, Relentless Commitment/Determination. I have always expected us to never, ever give up on ourselves and most importantly on the Team.
CD: You’re always wearing a hat, would a win this Sunday get that thing off your head?
JH: To say I am a little superstitious would be an understatement!!! So, maybe – probably not, but we will see. Let’s focus on doing our best Sunday and take it from there, fingers crossed!
CD: I asked you on Sunday how your nerves were before the game and you said they were fine. How are the nerves now only a few days out from the final game of the season?
JH: Fine, I love sayings and quotes (the girls will confirm that) a little bit of a contradiction but “what will be will be” and “if it is to be it is up to me”. I read this quote out to the girls just before we left the rooms last weekend, I think it sums it up.
CD: What will it take to win the Youth League Championship on Sunday?
JH: A complete Team effort for every second of 4 full quarters and then 1% more. Sunbury is a very good team and is very well coached. You always need to respect your opponent, but never give in – not for a moment.
CD: If you could give your players one thing to focus on during the game on Sunday what would it be?
JH: What I say nearly every training session… It is not about me it is about the Team – The Mighty Camberwell Dragons Women’s Youth League Team – for the singlet they wear and all the pride that belongs with that.
CD: We’re expecting a packed crowd this weekend, with no free seat in the stadium. What message do you have for the Dragon supporters?
JH: Be Loud – the girls will give their all; they will do their very best – Be Proud, no matter what.
Thank – you… Go Dragons!!!!
Youth Grand Final: Camberwell vs. Sunbury – Sun 2pm @ Balwyn High School
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