The Leicester Riders are enjoying one of the best starts in club history but they are not the only team writing themselves into the history books as the Loughborough Student Riders have also opened the Division One season with an undefeated record.
The Student Riders gained promotion to NBL Division One for the rst time ever last season following a BUCS Championship and Patrons Cup title alongside the second place nish in Division Two.
The team, comprised of student athletes based at Loughborough University, Loughborough College and Charnwood College have set to work to establish themselves in Division One among men’s team under the guidance of Head Coach Mark Jarram, in his fourth season at the helm of the team.
The Student Riders opened the season with victory over the Solent Kestrels, the same team that knocked them off the top spot in the league last season. An away test against Essex Leopards was a tough one to overcome but Loughborough moved to 2-0.
The momentum rolled on to victory against local rivals Leicester Warriors, as well as London Lituanica and Lancashire Spinners in a three game home stretch to move the team to 5-0.
Head Coach Mark Jarram checked in to share his thoughts on the positive start to the NBL season.
“I am proud. I am proud to be involved. I am proud to coach this group of young men. I am proud to continually challenge and progress and push them as players and people.
“I am proud to be making history and continuing to challenge and push forwards with this programme. I am proud that the players buy in and try to be the best versions of themselves. I am proud to have a staff that committed to the same purpose and want to make a difference.
“We always set goals and want to achieve certain things. But in all honesty, everyone is set out to do that. It’s more about HOW you do what you do. What makes you different to everyone else?
“This year we’ve really tried to strip things back and think about less is more. Let’s be really good at a few certain things rather than average at a bunch of things.
“We’ve changed our daily approach and thought long and hard about what it takes to win at this level. We’ve tried to focus on that daily. Implement the systems and strategies that work towards that.
“We want to win one possession at a time, one moment at a time. We try to win every single day and that might look different depending on the context. What does winning look like in practice?
“What does winning look like in the classroom? What does winning look like in Strength and Conditioning sessions? What does winning look like in video analysis sessions? What does winning look like in healthy teammate relationships?
“We try to build good daily habits that not only impact these guys with the opportunity to win basketball games, but also win in their life’s! I have to give them the credit. They have listened, they have been coachable, they have competed, they have had good days, bad days, awful days. But they continue to work towards the same thing… Win today! Get better today! One possession at a time, one moment at a time.”
“This journey is not easy!” Coach Jarram continued. “We have so much room for growth and improvement. We have to be better in a lot of areas if we hope to maintain the good start. We have a gruelling schedule and season ahead.
“It is about being mature, being ready to respond to what happens to us and around us. To make sure we stay focused on the things that matter and ignore the multiple distractions that come our way.
“Families and brotherhoods and all those buzz words are used a lot in coaching. But this years team have a bond because there is clarity in our purpose. We have a lot of work to do, but we enjoy being together and going to work everyday!”
The Student Riders now enter a four game away trip that features Team Northumbria, Manchester Magic as well as Worthing Thunders and Bradford Dragons to close out November.
The Loughborough Student also compete in BUCS competition on Wednesday’s in which they are currently 4-1 after the half of the BUCS regular season.
The team return to home action on Saturday 3rd December when they face the Hemel Storm at 6pm at Loughborough University’s Netball Centre.