To Mizzou women’s basketball fans and my readers. This preview is going to be different than what I normally do. I was inspired by Coach Robin Pingeton’s postgame press conference after the 33-61 defeat in Arkansas and her appearance yesterday evening on Tiger Talk to get a little personal.
The main theme in Robin’s media appearances has been about confidence and recognition of yourself and your team. She reiterated numerous times how she lacks recognition in her team. The way the team played during the Arkansas disaster baffled myself, her and I’m sure the rest of the Tiger fanbase.
Nothing made sense. They lacked their normal grittiness and toughness that defines this program. The way they’ve been able to constantly fight and make something out of nothing was gone. It vanished into thin air after Haley Troup made those two free throws to start the game. Their confidence was completely depleted, and you could just tell that something wasn’t right in their mentality. The SEC is a grind but so is life.
Speaking of life, it’s time to get personal. If you follow me on social media, it’s not a secret that I battle mental health issues. In fact, it’s even in my twitter bio. I’m an open book and talk about it all the time. It’s something I’m not entirely ashamed about anymore. When Pingeton talked about “the voice/battle between our ears”, it hit me in the gut.
Nothing on transition. Early shots. Early threes. No ball reversals. Bottom Line: “I don’t know who that team was. That is NOT our team. We have to win the battle between our ears.”— Karen S (@karensteger) February 16, 2023
For the past few weeks, I was battling a mental game that messed up my content production. I skipped writing two women’s basketball game previews as I started to just flat out lose confidence. The little voice in my head, between my ears, was screaming at me. It was telling me I wasn’t good enough to produce content on the sport I love. No matter how much I tried, I’d just stare at my computer trying to type words for a preview. I physically couldn’t do it. I felt ashamed and like I let my Rock M colleagues and readers down. The toughness I displayed throughout the time of my Bipolar 2 diagnosis in 2017 to now felt out of reach. I felt destroyed, defeated, angry. I know I don’t need to apologize for my absences in those two stories, but I did feel like I let everyone down.
I can’t tell you how the team is feeling as a whole and how individual players are mentally. I took a look at myself in the mirror and did what I had to do to gain my confidence back. There is only so much a coach, parent, therapist or your friends can do to help save you from yourself.
I’m sure this team wants to bounce back against Mississippi State (18-7, 7-5 SEC) more than we want them to. We as fans and content creators want Mizzou to succeed no matter what. That’s just the Mizzou way.
With my back against the wall, I’m regaining my confidence and throwing the voice inside my head telling me I can’t do it into the sun. Well, at least I’m trying to. This group of amazing and strong women are too. They’ve succeeded with their backs against the wall before and I have no doubt they’ll continue to do so.
Adds: they’re lacking confidence right now. But they’re working so hard. They need to get their swag back. Said she’ll talk about that game FOREVER. Took 15 secs to get into their sets. When they did get into it, it wasn’t good.— Karen S (@karensteger) February 16, 2023
If I was to give a key to the game, it would be this: be confident and believe in yourself.
Mizzou takes on Mississippi State at 7 pm CST on SECN+. You can listen to the radio call on KTGR and the MUTigers app.