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Lancers Ask Themselves: Is Winning Everything?

by Shelby Johnston

With many Lancer teams looking to rebound after the holiday break, athletes and coaches are forced to re-evaluate their goals made at the start of their respective seasons and reflect on what defines success.

Lucas Hodgson, the women’s volleyball head coach, who currently stands sixth in the West Division of the Ontario University Association (OUA), acknowledges this season has had its “ups and downs.”

Hodgson believes his team’s youth has attributed to these struggles. Reflecting on the goals made at the beginning of the season, Hodgson explained that there are various types of goals that are set in place for his team, ranging from outcome goals to team and academic goals.

“Right now, we are just below our goals, but we feel the second-half will work in our favour with the schedule,” he said.

Coach Hodgson detailed that his team has been able to undoubtedly reach their academic goals but to become the playoff team they aspire to become requires to focus on their outcome goals after the holidays.

Hodgson admits that the current standings are important, however, they only reflect less than half of the full season.

“We (the women’s volleyball team) have a lot of time to stay on course with our goals,” said Hodgson.

Beyond the number of numbers and loses, Hodgson also attributes group dynamics as one of the ways he defines success for his team.

“The bigger one (the way to define success), is how did we improve on our tactical focus. If the wins aren’t there, did we improve on our ability to push each other and the other team to the limit,” expressed Hodgson.

Brennan Feasey, a senior player on the men’s hockey team, thinks that, overall, their season has seen a regression from a standings perspective.

“We were off to a great start to the year at seven wins and three losses, but we have slipped the last couple of games and are now seven and seven on the season,” says Feasey whos team now stands in seventh place in the West Division of the OUA.

While Feasey considers success as a reflection of league standings and his personal point totals, he also measures his growth in the game through the relationships with his teammates and his leadership position on the team.

“I feel I have shown myself that I have grown as a player and a person over the past four seasons as a Lancer, and I now have a bigger role on the team compared to my first three years,” said Feasey when explaining his close relationships with his teammates.

A returning fifth-year player on the women’s basketball team, Carly Steer, expressed that their season has also not been what they had envisioned at the outset. Going into the winter break, her team stands in third place.

“Luckily it is still quite early in the season and we have time to try and turn it around,” says the guard and team captain.

Much like Feasey, Steer claims every season’s main goal is to sustain the top position in the standings and win a national championship.

“With that being said, this goal cannot be reached without successfully completing smaller goals,” acknowledges Steer.

While many will argue that a successful season is one with a winning record, Steer argues that this does not mean that only the National Champions had a successful campaign.

“I believe that at the end of a year if you can confidently say that your team worked as hard as they could and gave every effort possible you can consider that a successful season,” Steer emphatically.

Hodgson says there is an old saying he often refers to when evaluating his team, “one game and one practice at a time, don’t look too far ahead and stay in the moment.”

As Lancer teams approach the winter break and playoffs draw near, the Lancer athletes and coaches will look to not only stay in the moment but also strive for victories beyond the scoreboard.

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