Kevin Nolan believes Coventry's composure won the day at the Ricoh Arena as the Sky Blues beat Notts in the first game of the 2017-18 campaign.
Jodi Jones scored a hat-trick as Notts left empty-handed and the Magpies manager says the hosts handled the occasion better.
"We were a bit 'rabbit in the headlights'," admitted Nolan. "Coventry looked the more composed side.
"I think the adrenaline took over a bit for us. It's something we can all learn from. Maybe I put too many debutants in too early. There are things we can assess over the next few days.
"Coventry did the right things at the right times without being spectacular. There are a lot of experienced pros in their team which really showed today.
"They did all the basics right, which is why they got success."
Mark Robins and Kevin Nolan prior to kick-off at the Ricoh Arena
Nolan accepts there were mistakes to be learned from and believes the result reaffirms his view that Notts are still a work in progress.
He said: "There's one thing this does - it shows it's a tough league. I've said from the beginning that we can't go from 0-100 in just a few months.
"This is a slow rebuilding process but I feel once we get it right we'll be a match for anyone."