My passion for coaching has definitely helped me through the past month.

Knowing that the tears and pain of the heart-breaking gold medal loss at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast can make us better coaches, better players, better people … does help.

I learnt so much that day, about myself and about the entire Diamonds’ playing and coaching squad.

It certainly confirmed that you will never know everything. My daughter very appropriately pointed me to the Bill Gates quote: ‘Success seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

So, that is what we have to accept – England played really hard, really well and without the burden of expectation.

We also must accept we didn’t have the capability to bring our A Game as a 12 to that match. We now know what to work on to get to where we need to be; to have the mental toughness in those critical moments to get the job done, even when you are not playing well.

You can never be so arrogant to think that your opponent isn’t going to bring something to the contest that is going to test your resilience and mental toughness.

What happened is part of the sports psychology all coaches need to come to terms with. It is something that is a continual learning process – how to motivate individuals and a team.

We have looked closely at the preparation and the actual game. I can never question the effort the Australian team gave on that day. They gave it their all effort-wise.

I have learnt from that experience and I will change the way I do things, mainly in the preparation stage.

I won’t go into the detail of that because I don’t want opposition teams knowing what those changes entail. But, clearly I know what I have to do the next time.

So, in a way, I can put the Australian public’s mind at ease, because I know exactly what to do.

I also know how much that loss hurt the players. They felt the pain more than the coaching staff.

They were the ones out in the heat of the battle. It was a very emotional time for the whole squad.

In the seconds, minutes after the game my thoughts went straight onto the athletes and ensuring, that as the leader of the ship, I lead in a way that steadies and composes everybody.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Sharelle McMahon shows her emotion following the Netball Gold Medal Match on day 11 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on April 15, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 15: Sharelle McMahon shows her emotion following the Netball Gold Medal Match on day 11 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on April 15, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

It was critically important in that ‘fifth quarter’ that we did that. I needed to talk to them, gather everyone in and give them a very calm composed talking-to about how they needed to be, particularly with the media.

I had to put myself in their shoes, know how they were feeling, so that I could say to them what was needed to be said.

Despite the understandable emotion I knew they needed to calm down. They needed perspective. One of the first things that I said was that we needed to be really dignified because parents and partners were in the stands and they were going to hurt even more if they saw us too upset.

There is an amount of ‘upset’ which is important, but you have to keep a bit of a stiff upper lip otherwise you will double the hurt that is going around.

It was tough, really tough. Because although we were all really hurting we all knew we were representing our country – something the players take very seriously.

Fans across the country were also living that moment. We had to show that not only were we good winners, but also good losers.

I have no doubt the individuals involved in that loss will grow into better players.

The proof will be in their performances in the Suncorp Super Netball competition and in the upcoming Quad Series. We will see if they have learnt what they needed to learn from that experience.

As a coach it is so important that you know how to read the signs – how they hold themselves emotionally; how they take on the next challenge.

The Quad Series (September 15-23) – a twice-a-year series involving Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England – will be pivotal.

This will be our first chance to be back on court as the Diamonds and there is one match in particular we are all longing for: Wednesday, September 19, 7.30pm Samsung Diamonds v England Roses, WIN Entertainment Centre, Newcastle.

Lisa Alexander exclusive insight championship

I love Newcastle. I debuted as the Diamonds coach there back in 2011 … against England. We won that game and whenever I have returned to Newcastle with the national team we have won.

Every Test match is special. It is called a ‘Test’ for a reason.

Every time you go out it is a physical, mental and emotional test. The stakes are high because it is country versus country. And, every now and again a Test match has something extra, maybe the added spice of getting the chance to redress a past result.

So, the Quad series and in particular the clash with England is our chance to go out and fix up a few things.

The Commonwealth Games result certainly did not dent my enthusiasm for what I do. I love coaching, especially at this level.

I am contracted with the Diamonds through until the end of 2019 and I would dearly love to continue. I am excited about what the future brings. There are so many great young players in our Australian Diamonds systems.

The one constant in my role is change – new players, new staff, new opportunities. For me, each day in this role as national coach is a privilege and an honour, something I do not take lightly.

Come the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, if the board of Netball Australia thinks I am still doing a good job, and I still have the energy, yes, overseeing a gold medal-winning performance there would be an amazing honour.

Netball is my total focus now, but if I was to peek well beyond the horizon … there is one other goal I would love to achieve – coaching an AFL team.

Lisa Alexander exclusive insight afl

I can already see the eyes rolling and the heads shaking. But if we are truly to get to a situation where we need to be, when the word ‘sport’ is not prefixed by men’s or women’s, then a female AFL coach isn’t such a stretch in thinking.

Look, it would be an historical moment and it would be well down the track, but just as players at the elite level cross codes then I believe it is very possible for a coach, and even a female coach, to one day achieve this.

I have loved AFL all my life. It is in my DNA and have been absorbed with it since I was a bald-headed baby.

I would have loved to have had the playing opportunities that current female players now have. I always saw myself as a ruck rover – my idol was St Kilda great Glenn Elliott.

As coach of the Diamonds I have been privileged to have been involved in numerous coaching discussions and think-tanks with the likes of the AFL’s Nathan Buckley, Brendan McCartney, David Rath and Brendon Bolton.

I have enjoyed the sharing of ideas and there is no doubt there are those within the AFL who are keen to understand why the Diamonds have been so successful, the world’s best, for so long.