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Vallee Blog #3: Watch Canada Play For Something Bigger Than Themselves



By the way the Canadian Women National Team has been playing so far in these Olympics, they have shown they can compete with the best teams in the world. They are skilled, they are physical, they are actually…good! But there is a big problem with good : it is the enemy of best. And “almost” beating a team is still losing. The team must now actualize their desire in something tangible that shows how much effort is put into this: wins. So this is my take on it:

On Friday, 9:30 EST vs Brazil, our Canadian Women’s team will prove they do not think that being good is…good enough! And they will rally and beat a team they have never beaten before to grab a coveted spot in the tournament’s quarter finals for the first time since 1984.

Mark my words. They will do it.

Ask anyone related to these girls and the first thing they will tell you is that each of these girls is the salt of the earth. They are amongst a special group of human beings that live with an above average sense of integrity. They are committed, they are honest, they make the right choices, they do the right thing. They are women of character. None are hard to coach. None have big heads. McNeill even one said to the media she felt blessed to coach such a great group of athletes. They enjoy each other successes, they believe in their team, they really wish each other well. And above all, they are comprised of selfless, other-centered individuals that recognizes the group of people it took for them to get where they are at today. Tomorrow, as a means of thank-you, they will play for them.

They will play for Michele Plouffe who has not yet seen the floor but endured all the same training they have, and they will play to thank Jenelle Bekkering and Kendal Ross for sacrificing their summer to train with them, yet were cut from the team when the final Olympic Roster was announced. And for Kim Smith who will likely retire after these games, and Denise Dignard who has put her soul investing in Canada Basketball to see the team as good as back in the days when she was playing. Also for their present coaches whom have built the program and brought them there. For all the youngsters out there in Barrie at the Cadette and Junior camp. The girls that look up to them those that want to see what character means, and will power, and performing under pressure. They will play for the countlesss rides and sacrifices their parents have made from when they were young, and for their significant other who has continually believed and encourage them. They will play for their former coaches, their hometown, their country. And they will play so hard that they will take away the will to win from Brazil. They will win to show why Canada HAS to be proud of them.

When you play for something greater than yourself; when you play in the present, for thanking your past, and giving hope to your future; when you play with a sense of urgency and with a thankful heart….you forget pain, you narrow your focus in stressful moments, you close the games out : you win.

And you know what is cool? Brazil will be set to do just the same. It will be a battle of the will, and not a battle of skills. So let’s see who is mentally the strongest and may the best prevail. Are you ready Canada? We ARE behind you.


Chantal Vallee is the Head Coach of the Windsor Lancers, the defending back-to-back Canadian InterUniversity Sports (CIS) Women’s Basketball Champions. Vallee has been hired as a basketball analyst by CTV Sports to help cover the Canada Basketball portion of the Olympic Summer Games.  CROWN is pleased to host her Blog entries, sharing with you her thoughts while in London covering the 2012 Games.