THE way a coach reacts to defeat is often the greatest test they face, no matter how long they have been in the caper for.
Reactions after last Saturday's grand finals for the Bendigo Football Netball League were intriguing to watch.
Victors and the vanquished showed plenty of class on the football field and netball court.
When a club is winning, especially as much as Golden Square is, then coaching looks an easy caper.
Premiership-winning coach Rick Ladson would be quick to let you know it's not necessarily so.
While the Bulldogs players and fans celebrated another grand final victory, the Darryl Wilson-coached Strathfieldsaye Storm, pictured before the grand final clash, dealt with agony of defeat.
The minutes just after Storm filed into the rooms underneath the QEO grandstand were Wilson at his best.
There was no ranting by the coach, just cool and calculated delivery about learning from the grand final defeat.
What was most important was Wilson stressing how proud he was of the team's performance, not just in the grand final, but the season.
Using the pain of defeat as motivation for next year was a crucial point.
It's a message coaches have been delivering for years.
A young club, Strathfieldsaye has the talent to be a serious challenger for the Bendigo Advertiser premiership cup next season and beyond.
Earning the chance to do so will not be easy.
For while Storm looks forward to going one better in 2014 - Eaglehawk, Gisborne, Sandhurst and all other Bendigo FL rivals are just as determined to end Square's reign.
Just because Storm was in the latest grand final, there's no guarantee they or Square will be there next September.
Both clubs will be doing all they can to figure in the fight for premiership glory.
Although it's won five premierships in a row, Golden Square's hunger for success is incredibly strong.
In 2014, Square has the chance to equal Sandhurst's amazing run of six consecutive grand final victories.
Not since the Bob McCaskill-coached era at Sandhurst from the late 20s through the 30s has a club dominated the Bendigo Football League like Golden Square has.
Sandhurst's run during McCaskill's reign from 1926 to 1940 included nine premierships from 12 grand final appearances.
What's more remarkable about Square's premiership-winning run since 2009 is that the club has had four coaches lead the way to the ultimate glory.
The run kicked off when Mark Adamson was in charge in 2009, and followed by Nick Carter in '10 and '11, Mark Lloyd last September, and now Rick Ladson.
How to break Square's dominance is a puzzle all rivals will spend plenty of time trying to crack.
Reaction to defeat in grand final tests mettle
There was no ranting, just cool and calcuated delivery...