Womens World Sevens Series: Jen Kish: Inside Canada Women's Sevens

Womens World Sevens Series: Jen Kish: Inside Canada Women's Sevens

It’s only been a few weeks now that I’ve been back on Canadian soil since the first ever IRB Women’s Sevens World Series took place in Dubai. I am completely gutted with my own performance and the result our team got after how hard we all trained leading up. However, our Maple Leafs team ended up showing well and placed first on the invitational side. Prior to the tournament kicking off, we spent 2 weeks in Victoria trying to refine our skills and get that team cohesion again after being apart for 6 months. Unfortunately 2 weeks just wasn’t enough and it showed in all our games. Our first match was against Russia and what a mess that was. We were out skilled and lacked a lot of discipline. I was in utter shock after the game because I just couldn’t believe what just happened. We all were. I just want to say, kudos to Russia for improving, as much as they have since we’ve last seen them. China was our next match and I am relieved to say that the result was in our favor this time.

It’s only been a few weeks now that I’ve been back on Canadian soil since the first ever IRB Women’s Sevens World Series took place in Dubai. I am completely gutted with my own performance and the result our team got after how hard we all trained leading up. However, our Maple Leafs team ended up showing well and placed first on the invitational side.

Prior to the tournament kicking off, we spent 2 weeks in Victoria trying to refine our skills and get that team cohesion again after being apart for 6 months. Unfortunately 2 weeks just wasn’t enough and it showed in all our games. Our first match was against Russia and what a mess that was. We were out skilled and lacked a lot of discipline.

I was in utter shock after the game because I just couldn’t believe what just happened. We all were. I just want to say, kudos to Russia for improving, as much as they have since we’ve last seen them. China was our next match and I am relieved to say that the result was in our favor this time.

It’s too bad that the weather was so miserable that day because it makes a seven’s game a sloppy one. With knowing we were 1-1 we knew we had to step up our level when we met New Zealand in our last match of the day. What a battle that was. They are good athletes and solid tacklers. During that whole match it seemed as though we lost sight of our game plan. It was like a repeat of our match against Russia.

Countless mistakes and handling errors on our part made things even more difficult for us and we ended up tying with New Zealand. The bus ride back to the hotel that night was a quiet one. I replayed every game in my head and the only thing I remember was, “What happened today?”

Waking up the next morning our team went for a walk. During that walk our coach, John Tait picked up a small pebble and put it in the palm of his hand. He asked one of us to try to pick up the pebble out of his hand but by only using 1 finger. It was impossible. His point was, you need the rest of your fingers to help you achieve the task. One individual cannot win a game when the game includes others. It was a very inspirational moment and from then on there was a sense of positive energy coming from everyone.

To me, it was if everyone was saying in their minds, “OK, today is our day. Today is the day we turn it around and do what we came here to do.”

I remember telling the girls before we played Australia, that no matter what happens today, we are a very talented team with endless potential. We were fired up and ready to play the way we wanted to play from the very beginning. I think out of all the games that weekend, it was our best performance even though we lost. It was that game where we finally started to play like a team. Later that day we faced England then Russia in the Plate Final. It was our time for redemption against Russia. We ended up playing a lot better than our previous meeting but there just wasn’t enough time on the clock seal a win.

We gather again in January to start our second year of centralization where we will continue to build and hone our skills. I am looking forward to training with all the girls and the new ones that are up and coming. We have a bunch of new talent on the scene and I am excited to see these players develop.

kish