U20 Ukraine Women Overcoming The Fear Factor

27 June 2008

Ukraine coach Iryna Nagorna was feeling a tad annoyed recently, when her U20 side was competing against the country's senior side. 

Her players, she said, "got scared". 

Eventually, the attitude changed and they battled before losing the scrimmage game 90-83. 

Nagorna's team, which will play at the U20 European Championship for Women (July 11-20) with their group games against Bulgaria, Russia and Lithuania being staged in the Adriatic Sea city of Sulmona, Italy, wrapped  up its training camp with another game against Volodymyr Briukhovetskiy's seniors and lost again, 79-66. 

"This was our second training camp, but we also played just for the first time," Nagorna said to FIBA Europe. 

"We had to spend the time building up the players' endurance and haven't even had a chance to make the necessary cuts. 

"We currently have 16 girls and the main task is to pick 14 that will go to a tournament in Poland. 

"There we should be able to cut two more to keep the final 12 that we'll take to the European Championship." 

So what did Nagorna learn from those games against the seniors? 

She won't soon forget the first scrimmage. 

"I was a bit upset at the start of the first contest because my girls got scared," she said. 

"But they managed to overcome the fear, which was very important, as they will have to do the same in Italy."


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