Walsh: History so close, yet so far for Women's Sevens

by Tim Walsh

Last month marked 100 days to go until the Rio Olympics, and as the tournament gets closer, we hit milestones that have left many of us in disbelief as to how the time has gone so quickly.

At the same time, though, it feels like something that we’ve been preparing for a long time.

Like any landmark moment, the hardest thing is not to let your mind wander too far or think beyond the task that we are faced, and with another World Series tournament to come, we are all very much focused on that next challenge.

That this Australian team is on the verge of history, with a chance to claim the country’s first overall World Series title, makes that both easier and more difficult.

Tim Walsh has played Sevens for Australia. Photo: Getty ImagesAs the time nears where I will sit with the analysis room empty, the physio beds finally vacant and press send on the selection for the final tournament of the Women’s World Series to the media department, the opportunity that this team has to create that history is becoming ever more acute.

I have been head coach of the team for three years now, and involved in the program for four.

We plucked these players, some as young as 17, out of their comfort zones and put them in Narrabeen to begin their professional rugby careers.

What these women have become and how they continue to develop on and off the field truly amazes me and for them to have come so far in such a short time is astounding.

Australia's Womens Sevens have enjoyed every minute of their journey so far. Photo: Getty ImagesTheir journey is all part of a four-year plan that is still yet to fully unfold.

Year one’s objective was ‘Platform and Establishment’.

We built an identity around accountability and instilled behaviours that would help the side become world leaders and leave a clear expectation of what it means to be an Australian Sevens player.

The following year was ‘Growth and Leadership’.

This was about gaining experience and maturity as players but also becoming leaders in games trends and ideas. Leadership also entailed the development of individuals and the evolution of thought-creators and game-changers.

Year three brings us to the present - the objective is 'Dominance and Destiny', and so far all is going to plan.

Undefeated in the first three rounds of the World Series, and currently 12 points clear, reflection may be a tad premature, with the Olympics still the ultimate pinnacle.

Each player has a story that will pique your interest which will inspire the next generation of Sevens players, so it is difficult not to fall to the temptation of what could be.

May 28th & 29th the final round in Clermont, a win would be the culmination of so much hard work.

Destiny is in our hands this time around and that’s the best way it can be, so we just need to make sure we prepare and play without regret and without fear.

Tim Walsh is the current Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach having played for the Queensland Reds and Australia Sevens from 2004 - 2009.

The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ARU.