Cairns Taipans focus on returning to formula for success
RETAINING focus and optimism will be the Taipans' challenge after dropping to the bottom of the NBL ladder for the first time in nine years, according to a north Queensland sports psychologist.
Joann Lukins has worked with the North Queensland Cowboys since 1996, the Townsville Crocodiles for the past two seasons and has been a sports psychologist for 22 years.
This season the Crocs were kept winless for the first 10 games, but now own the league's biggest winning streak, having won their last five.
Conversely, the Taipans started well but have now lost 10 and won just four games to sit last for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
"Everything changes; the way they hold themselves and communicate. In tough patches you need to maintain positivity," Dr Lukins said.
"But that's the biggest challenge. It doesn't take a lot to gather momentum, as we now see with the Crocs.''
It was more than just a maintenance of spirit that turned the tide in Townsville though, with then-CEO Ian Smythe stepping down and import Larry Abney retiring.
"Any changes in an organisation will have an impact, although it's hard to gauge what amount,'' she said.
"What athletes need to do is get on with the game and focus on where they have control.''
The Taipans play their next game in Wollongong against the Hawks on Friday.
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Keep the faith: Taipans coach Aaron Fearne faces a mammoth task to get his team off the bottom of the NBL ladder.