Two-time major winning golfer Hubert Green once said that ‘winning breeds confidence and confidence breeds winning.’
Given the Illawarra Hawks current form, it’s probably a thought that’s shared by coach Rob Beveridge heading into his side’s final game in 2017.
Beveridge has had a front row seat over the past eight days as Illawarra have turned their season around.
After slipping to second last on the ladder earlier this month, they have won consecutive NBL thrillers to boost their record to 7-9.
They ended a seven-game losing streak to Perth Wildcats on December 23 before chalking up a memorable 106-102 victory over the Cairns Taipans on Thursday night.
It has propelled them back within one win of the top-four and has the club riding high ahead of Sunday’s crucial showdown with the Brisbane Bullets at WIN Entertainment Centre.
“I think we are playing with a lot more confidence now,” Beveridge said.
“It is amazing what winning does. We got in a bit of a rut where we were playing some good teams in Melbourne, Perth and Cairns. We lost those games, but they are good teams.
“Sometimes you forget how to win. That’s how I felt we were for a little bit.
“About three weeks ago, we made the decision, that if we are going to successful we need to go back and take more risks, be a bit more free flowing and get back to who we are as a group.”
Illawarra were back to their all-action offensive best in their win over the Taipans.
In contrast, their rivals on NYE were forced to slug it out.
The Bullets fell 69-68 in a Boxing Day grind against Melbourne United which was played in front of more than 10,000 fans.
The Bullets were in front for virtually the entire contest before slipping to a heartbreaking one-point defeat.
“They have had a few days now to lick their wounds, but I thought they were outstanding the other day against Melbourne,” Beveridge said.
“I thought they were very unlucky to lose the game.
“It just shows you how tight this league is. They beat Perth on the road, they pushed Melbourne the whole game.
“They are going to be very well prepared. That’s what Andrej [Lemanis] does. He prepares the team very well.
“They will be ready for us, there is no question about it.”
Illawarra have lost their past five home games on New Year’s Eve. They beat the now defunct Townsville Crocodiles in North Queensland in 2015, but haven’t won on their own floor since beating Adelaide in 2010.