On January 2nd, the Philadelphia Women's Rugby Football Club, in cooperation with the Schuylkill River Exiles RFC and the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Football Union, will be hosting a Rookie Rugby clinic in South Philly.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I've seen dozens of coaches teach (or try) the lineout throw, and I myself have taught (or tried) to teach it to who knows how many players. I'm convinced that most of us out there are taking the wrong approach.
What's the first thing most coaches look at? Hand position. What's the first thing most coaches SHOULD look at? Outcome.
Let the thrower throw, and see where the ball goes. Then troubleshoot, but resist the urge to simply make them do it the way you did it when you played. The bottom line, the lineout throw is a study in ballistics. How far, how flat, how straight, and how fast does the projectile, in this case a rugby ball, go?
Points for observation:
- Flight of the ball- is it wobbling, or, does it have a tight spiral (which helps with distance and speed, but really isn't all that important when starting out).
- Path of the ball - is it straight, or are our jumpers consistently catching it on their side of the tunnel (or worse, are the defense's jumper catching it because it's thrown to them?)
- Distance of the throw - simply, how far can the thrower throw?
- Arc of the throw - is it a flat throw, a lob, or what? Does it drop right in on the jumper, or is it overthrow? If throwing to the back, is there enough arc to clear defensive jumpers?
- Speed of the throw - how long does it take to get from point A to point B? If it's too slow, the defense will have time to contest, if it's too fast, maybe we need to adjust the timing of the jumpers
Necessary Distance Again
A straight throw can win you a lineout to the front. As you build distance, you can win a lineout to the front moving backwards, a lineout to the second jumper, and a lineout to the back. That being said, the lineout to the back won't be won't be won consistenly without a suitable arc, so distance and arc need to be continually balanced. It does the team no good if your thrower can deliver a 20 meter bullet if it's snagged by the first defensive jumper.
Can your thrower deliver a straight ball? Don't worry about whether it's a one handed throw or a two handed throw (a big debate here in the US), just see if he or she can throw straight. If not, find out why ...
Where are the throwers hips pointed? If they aren't aligned with the tunnel, then the ball won't be aligned with the tunnel. Don't worry if its one foot up or two feet flat at this point, just look at their orientation to the tunnel. We can work with the feet when we work on power.
Had the hip alignment fixed the straightness of the throw, or is it still off? If it's fixed, great, if not, look at the thrower's follow through. Just like every other sport, if the follow through is off the throw will be off. I like to tell 2 handed throwers to "take a picture" of their target with every throw, to focus on the follow through. For one handed throwers, their delivery hand should be perfectly aligned to the target after every throw. There's lots of talk about weighting the hands, etc, but I find that those problems can be fixed with proper focus on the follow through. Even if the ball tumbles wildly, when the throwers hips are aligned to the tunnel, and when the thrower has perfect follow through at ball delivery, the ball will go straight.
Now that we have a straight throw, whats next? Does it have the power to carry it to the target? If not, take a look at the thrower, and see if you can tell where they are generating power from. Are their arms bend deeply behind the neck (indicating that power is generated through the triceps?) Are the leaning way back pre- throw (indicating that power is generated through the core)? Is the player taking a step forward (indicating power through the hips and legs?) Is there a big wrist snap?
Once you know where player is generating power, you can make work through techniques to generate more power. Focus on using the largest muscles (hips, legs, core) for maximum power generation. Let the player work on their throw while lying flat on the grown, to let them explore power generation from the core, and from a kneeling position to add the hips to the equation. If the player really needs more, add a step. But whatever you do at this phase, don't loose sight of the first phase - straight.
In order to be a successful thrower, the ball must not only fly straight and true, but it must have enough arc to clear defensive jumpers, so we can attack quickly off the back. The trajectory of the ball is directly related to the release point. That is, the point in the throw where the thrower actually lets go of the ball. Since we want the ball to clear a jumper, and then drop in on OUR jumper, the highest point in the are is actually going to be in front of our target, so first off, our thrower need to visualize the path of the ball, and then use the peak of the arc as his or her target, and the point where he or she directs the follow through.
Sounds difficult? Maybe, maybe not. If your player has trouble clearing defensive jumpers, or dropping the ball in on a target, let them spend some time throwing over the goalpost. I like to set up a tire underneath and about a meter behind the goal post, and ask the thrower to put the ball in the tire. With repetition, they will learn specifically how they need to adjust their release point, most often without any input from me. As the player gets the concept, you can start throwing over jumping pods. The player will learn that, in order to put and appropriate arc on the ball, he or she needs to release it earlier, so it goes up, in addition to forward.
As this point, many players, especially younger players, will begin to struggle. Why? Well, when your throwing those big lobs, much of the distance is eaten up in height. That is, an arc is longer than a straight line. So, to be REALLY good throwing to the back, the player must work on trajectory as well as distance. This is a great time to revisit power generation, and remind players how to generate power through their big muscles - specifically their core. I like for players to work on the "Crunch Throw" at this point. Let the player lie on the ground with knees bent and feet firmly planted in the ground. Let then then throw to a standing partner. It's important that the throw happen AS the player crunches to the top, not AFTER, and that the learning re-inforced is that power comes from the core, not from the arms.
Speed is really the finishing touch. Adding the speed component enhances everything - the ball flies truer, further, and, obviously, faster. This is the "spiral". There are many thoughts on how to get the magic spiral that carries with it the gift of speed, here are my thoughts.
It's different for everyone. My personal technique for generating a spiral is to simply use a finger to put a little english on the ball as it leaves my hand. When I work with players, though, I don't assume that they will be throwing exactly the way I do, so we experiment. I like to have each player grab a ball, and genty toss it over head, with the goal of making it spin. They can do it with a thumb, a forefinger, with the throw hand, or with the guide hand. If the player is throwing one handed, he or she can "roll" the fingers off the ball as it leaves the hand, just as if throwing a football spiral (which lets face it, Americans, players can throw football spirals). Whatever method your players use to spin the ball, the key now is to make sure they throw the same way, EVERY SINGLE TIME. The bottom line: If you can shoot one bulls eye, you can shoot 100, as long as you do it the same way every time. Since the spiral is so intimately tied to hand position, a good way to remind players of their key factors, is to simply have them go through a pre-check at every lineout:
Feet .... Hips... Hands ...
Feet and hips are a reminder to align the body with the tunnel ... Hands is a reminder to use whatever hand position works, consistently and meticulously. At this point the thrower is ready to throw.
Target ensures the thrower knows WHERE he or she is aiming for ... Power reminds the thrower to use the core, and not the arms, to throw, and finally, Follow Through reminds the player to meticulously follow through directly to the target, wherever it may be.
Lisa Rosen is a USA Rugby and IRB Coach Educator and the Head Coach of the Philadelphia Women's Rugby Football Club. She has worked with and continues to work with USA Rugby's age grade National Team programs, has completed the USA Rugby/IRB Advanced Coaching Course, and is the Head Coach of the Mid-Atlantic U-23 Women's All Stars, 2 time National All Star Champions.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
The final weekend of the 2009 Advanced Coaching Course wound up this fall, and I regret I've been remiss in my blogging, so here we go.
It was tough. Bottom line, the course, if completed, serves to professionalize your approach to coaching. While in the early training sessions we did some practical coaching modules, it became clear that the purpose of those modules was to ensure that participating coaches understand and by into the notion of coaching across a continuum, and that the coaches are on board with using player-centered coaching methods. Once that gate is passed, the emphasis of the course shifts to game analysis, player and team profiling, year long periodization cycles, and technical growth.
It was tough. Can I say that again? First off, I was the only coach in attendance who was not currently a Super League or National Team coach. I got very lucky getting into the program, and was able to do so through my role as a course leader, participating in the Elite coaching course, and via my stalking of Nigel Melville. Essentially, someone dropped out of the course and I was in the right place, LITERALLY, at the right time, and was able to fill the seat last minute.
The very first session was a bit intimidating - we did game analysis and practical coaching. We coached players, and our peers. EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING we did, we presented to our peers, to the facilitors, and the instructors. Now, by peers, I mean super league and national team coaches. Admittedly it took me a little while to get over the sticker shock of coaching some of the most well known names in the American game, but thanks to the facilitators and mentors (all very senior IRB and USA folks), the shock didn't last too long and I was able to move on (whew!).
There was a significant amount of attrition in the course, which lasted for 1 year and included 3 face-to-face workshops and about a zillion deliverables. Recently the announcement went out for applicants for the 2010 cycle, and here's my recommendation to anyone thinking about it. If you aspire to run your team and your own coaching practice as a professional, DO IT. If you are in it to get a feather in your cap, a stamp on your resume, or to just rub shoulders with the various guest coaches and the attendees, don't do it. The shoulder rubbing part is certainly one of the best parts of the course, but IMHO, that privilege should be reserved for the few coaches who really want to bring their entire coaching practice to the next level - not just their technical knowledge. The technical knowledge we were exposed to, from both guest coaches and from each other, was tremendous, but without the analysis, profiling, and planning pieces, it really doesn't carry the same bang.
If anyone's got any questions about the course, or is thinking about doing it, etc .. please don't be shy about asking, or if you were a participant, don't be shy about commenting. Personally, I thought it was a fabulous experience, and I'm still processing everything I came away with. But it was hard. It was challenging, thought provoking, and time consuming, and really forced you to examine how you do things, whether your serving your team and your players to the best of your abilities, and more than anything, it reminded me of how much ALL of us still have to learn. Hopefully we are creating a community of coaches who all want to move the practice forward, and even more, hopefully the next class of coaches will continue and push the envelope even further.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So I'm not a bra-burning protest marching hard core feminist, but this just plaine rankles me. I strongly support ALL our national teams - men, women, boys, girls, 7s, 15s. And I love the traditions and culture of rugby. But if we just take the "its the way it's always been done, don't mess with it" approach, well, I don't even want to think where we'd be. So sir, I respectfully disagree in words I can't repeat without raging unprofessionaly. At least not tonight. Friends, if you feel as strongly as I do, please read the recent post on ARN and let the editor know.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
So i've been slacking on blogging for a while, largely because I had a pretty heavy duty surgery and have been trying to focus on recovery.
LOTS of interesting rugby things have happened - I was privileged to complete the final session of the first Advanced Coaching Course here in the US, and now have just a few final deliverables to finish. The City 7s events occured, and four of our players here in Philly participated, as well as several of the MARFU U23 players. The Nations cup has come and gone, and our own Stacy Baker ROCKED the front row ... I reviewed a CDP workshop in Nebraska, and I'm currently working on some new coaching videos for our coaching workshops.
Of course, the fall season kickoff is here, now, and that's where my main attention is. We did a preseason camp in mid-august, and have been practicing and preparing for our first league match next Saturday. Due to the travel associated with the new women's divisional structure, Atlanta and Philly will be playing our first CR3 D1 match AT Pumpkinfest. P'fest will be alot of rugby, as we've got two sides entered AND we're playing the league match, AND we're running the tournament (and apparently I've got quite a historical position of honor as Philadelphia celebrates Pumpkinfest's 25th Anniversary in a very special way, thank you Allison).
But on to the business of COACHING. As I read and hear about various team's preseason preparation, I notice that a lot of teams don't bring forwards and backs together until several practices have passed by. I can see the value in devoting alot of time to unit skills preseason, but I've always felt that the connection between forwards and backs is too critical to take that approach. That being said, some of the teams who DO take that approach run very very successful programs, and so I'm curious to hear some thoughts.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Just one last hurdle in October, hopefully it will just be a formality ...
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Thanks to everyone who participated in the study!
High level findings are available here ...
Match Day Preparations - Behaviors and Perceptions
Some very interesting data. If anyone is interested in working with the complete data set, or is interested in further analysis, please contat me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The EPRU in conjunction with USA Rugby’s Coach Development Department is pleased to announce a coach education opportunity, it's new Extended Lineout Workshop featuring veteran Eagle lock and lineout specialist Luke Gross.
After attending Luke Gross’ Extended Lineout Workshop coaches will increase their abilities in coaching the lineout safely and effectively; in understanding the fundamentals of throwing, lifting and jumping; and will also learn basic offensive and defensive lineout strategies. This 4 hour extended workshop will be a practical coaching workshop. Coaches will have an opportunity to actually coach players under the guidance of Luke Gross.
Two sessions will be available. Session one, Friday evening, is held in conjunction with the Philadelphia Women's Rugb Club's Pumpkinfest tournament. Tournament participants are encouraged to make an early trip to Philadelphia for this session. Session two, Sunday, will be held in cooperation with the Wilmington Rugby Club. Specific workshop locations are currently being finalized and will be posted at http://www.epru.org, and communicated via email to all registered participants.
Participating coaches will receive 5 USA Rugby continuing education credits for participation in this workshop.
September 11: Philadelphia, PA
In conjunction with Philadelphia's Women's Rugby Club's Pumpkinfest Tournament
An extended four-hour Technical Lineout Workshop
Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Philadelphia or Northern Suburbs - exact location TBD
Contact: Lisa Rosen email@example.com
Worth 5 Continuing Education Unit's
$30 per coach - each coach can bring 5-8 players
$10 per player (EPRU member players are free)
Luke will be available onsite at the Pumpkinfest tournament in Pennypack Park on Saturday for a meet and greet.
September 13: Wilmington, DE
In cooperation with the Wilmington Rugby Club
An extended four-hour Technical Lineout Workshop
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Wilmington, DE - exact location TBD
Contact: Lisa Rosen firstname.lastname@example.org
Worth 5 Continuing Education Unit's
$30 per coach - each coach can bring 5-8 players
$10 per player (EPRU member players are free)
To pre-register for either of the workshops, contact email@example.com
Please include in the subject of your email :
Luke Gross Lineout Workshop: Sept 11 or Luke Gross Lineout Workshop: Sept 13. You will receive a tentative confirmation with payment details. Workshop spots are available on a first come-first serve basis. Payment must be received by 1 September 2009 to guarantee participation.
Lisa E Rosen
EPRU Game Development Officer
USA Rugby/IRB Coach Educator
Friday, June 26, 2009
I'm conducting a research project, and I need your help. I'm currently in the data collection phase of my project, and your input is critical. This study will require participation from players, coaches, and player-coaches. If you already know you want to participate, skip reading and go straight to the survey.
This study will inform a research project as part of required coursework for a USA Rugby and IRB Advanced Coaching Certification. The subject of this study is Match Day Game Preparation Behavior and Perceptions, and will examine a broad spectrum of warm up activities for Rugby Union, and their relation to player and coach performance self-assessments.
Participation in this study is purely voluntary, no compensation will be provided. Information provided will not be used for any reason other than that expressly describe above. Personal data, email addresses, and individual responses will remain anonymous unless express permission is granted by the study respondent.
Your participation is greatly appreciated! In order for the study to provide the most statistical relevance, a large volume of participants are needed. While participants are not paid or otherwise compensated for their effort, this study provides an opportunity to improve and enhance match day preparation throughout the rugby community. The study will take between 10 and 15 minutes (slightly longer if you are both a player and a coach) to complete.
Results will be published at the conclusion of this study at http://coachingrugby.blogspot.com responses will be collected until midnight EST on July 10th, at which time the data collection phase of the study will be complete.
Please feel free to circulate this study to your teammates and coaches, as well as to contacts from other rugby programs. If you have any questions about the study or any of the questions in the survey, contact Lisa Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time!
Begin the survey!
Friday, May 08, 2009
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching two local D2 teams play and one D3 college team and one thing stood out: There is a big disconnect between how coaches perceive the how a post-tackle contest should be refereed, and how the referees actually referee the post-tackle contest.
Back in February a document named "Community Management Guidelines for 2009," that made it to most all in the ref community, but not necessarily to folks in the coaching community. So that's what we're going to look at today, as well as explore some options to get refs and coaches on the same page earlier. Throughout this post, highlights from the document will be displayed in dark green. Its worth noting that while the excerpts below refer to USA Rugby, a similar document was circulated by the RFU. So these aren't just "American Rules."
USA Rugby Referees’ management has established guidelines to refereeing at all levels in USA Rugby. These guidelines enable players and referees to have a clearer approach to the game, to enable consistency in Law application throughout the country. They also reflect directives from the iRB, particularly in relation to the tackle/ruck, and players staying on their feet. The guidelines were first established for the USA Rugby Super League in 2008, and upon its success, it has been further developed for the 2009 season. The RSL Game Management Guidelines 2009 apply only to that competition. This document applies to all other competitions. These guidelines are to be distributed nationally to all referees, referee observers, referee coaches, players/teams, coaches and administrators.
Ed Todd, Referee Manager, USA Rugby Richard Every, National Panel Manager, USA Rugby
I personally received this document because it was forwarded to me by a friend who refs. At that time, I was getting ready to do a guest session with the USA U20s, specifically on ruck/counter ruck and creating turnover ball, and the one thing unclear about the first statement is "does this apply to our national teams as well?" What's the difference between community guidelines and law? I also have several WNT pool players I work with - will these laws apply to them as well, and if so, how to I coach them to do one thing in a league match, and another when they are training with the WNT. So that's one part I want to know. The other part is this: If RSL (Rugby Super League) is playing to a different set of guidelines, what are they, AND will the new Women's Premier League play under different guidelines than D1 and D2?
A. The Tackle
1. The tackler has to immediately release the tackled player, and move away or get to their feet. PK
2. The tackled player must exercise their options immediately. PK
3. Players that slow the ball down should be penalized immediately. PK
4. Referees may instruct the players, i.e. “release the ball”, “roll away”, etc., as long as these players have not already slowed down ball availability.
Referees are to approach a low tolerance level at the breakdown and should penalize early in the match to establish compliance. PK
For the most part, the section on tackle hasn't, changed but there are some clear guidelines about what should be immediately penalized that lead me to some questions: 1 and 2 are basically stuff we all know and all coach - but what about slowing down the ball? A technique used by one to team to speed up ball delivery (something like sealing) is certainly speeding up ball delivery, but it has, over time, started to erode the contest for the a ball. Over time this has evolved into strategies like "zero ruck", where essentially it only takes a tackled player and a sealing support player to secure possession and rather than contest, the defense sets up a 7 or 8 man picket fence on the fringe. Since there is technically no ruck formed, no one is offsides, and the defense can launch without waiting for a ball to be "out" Because there is no contest for the ball, the balance in the IRB charter is off (The IRB charter states that one of the unique qualities of rugby is the balance between the contest for possession and continuity of play). So what of counter-rucking? It's certainly designed to slow down (or turn over) the ball at the tackle contest but I can't imagine it would be blown up as it's absolutely part of the fair contest for the ball. So that's another question I'd like to have answered by a high level slash B panel ref. I think most coaches teach their players defensively to slow down the ball in order to limit the offenses optionsand buy time for their defense to re-align.
B. The Gate
1. All players have to enter the tackle through the gate, referred to as a square entry, shoulders parallel to the goal lines. No part of a player’s body (including their arms), may enter the tackle through any other area. PK
2. Not entering through the gate should not be tolerated. PK
Ok, we're all on board with entering through the gate. But entering with square shoulders is either new, or I've just been ignorant (both are possible). I was forever under the impression that as long as you entered through the gate, you were kosher. Sometimes its advantageous to take an angle to remove a player from the ruck and create a turnover, or even to clear out fringers who may be dangerously offsides. But "square shoulders" implies something entirely different ...
Overhead view, Blue tackled Red. Blue A and Red C are entering through the gate with square shoulders, Blue B is beginning his/her run from outside the gate, but entering through the gate, without square shoulders. Red D is entering from behind the gate and going through the gate, but without square shoulders.
So in the above illustration, who is legal? I suppose A and C are no brainers. Are B and D illegal because their shoulders aren't square? Is only D illegal because technically his or her hand or arm might be outside the gate upon entry. Again Bish or higher level referees, HELP!
C. Arriving Players
1. Players are to enter the tackle on their feet, and remain on their feet. PK
2. At a tackle, arriving players are allowed to play the ball with their hands after an opposition player binds onto them, if:
a. They arrive at the tackle legally,
b. remain on their feet, and
c. Have possession of the ball (i.e. was grasping/holding the ball) prior to the contact occurring.
NOTE: Thus, a ruck has not formed yet.
3. No players may bind onto players that are on the ground. PK
4. Players who secure the ball without their weight fully on their feet (i.e. bound on OR leaning on players on the ground) OR who go to ground head first, or dive over players on the ground, OR dive over players on the ground with the ball between them should not be tolerated and penalized. PK
From the images above, and from item 4, it should be CRYSTAL CLEAR that the act commonly known as "sealing" (also sometimes referred to as bridging, which technically is where the players hand is on the ground, rather than the body) is without question ILLEGAL and will be penalized. That didn't take long ... didn't we just start teaching this a couple of years ago? Phoey!
But seriously - my real question here goes back to the somewhat ambiguous verbiage around "Community Guidelines". Is this application of the law only relevant to "community" rugby (ie anything other than International, Professional, or in the USA, Super league NA4, .. and, with the new structure in place ... Women's Premier League. Or, are community guidelines like this simply addendum's to the law book issued between annual publishing, and do they apply to EVERYONE?
The first illustration below, illustrating legal actions by arriving players, confuses me. Why? It appears to be obstruction. Can my player really stand in a ready for contact position, on the other side of the ball carrier, and initiate a ruck when the ball carrier is not beneath her or in front of here. REF PLEASE HELP! The second illustration should be something we are all familiar with and probably requires no discussion.
Part 5 of this series of clarifications is the one that I find MOST INTERESTING AND RELEVANT, and that from my observation, is not generally being applied uniformly, AT ALL. The referee who did yesterdays game did employ this new clariication, to the delight of one team, and to the frustration of another. Once she explained fully to both sides the logic behind this particular guideline, I think everyone understood and adjusted as well as they could. Here it is:
5. If a player enters the tackle in conformance with the required criteria and subsequently goes to ground during the process of removing a tackler or because the opposition were unable to retain their position at contact, this player should not be penalized because they did not willfully go to ground.
NOTE: They may not remain on the ground, nor be lying on or over the ball. PK
Between guideline 4- specifically the below phrase:
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
As most readers probably know, i coach the MidAtlantic U23s. We've got about a zillion players in our territory, from traditional powerhouses like Penn State, UVA, and Navy, all the way to DIII collegiate.
Since there's such a range, we work very hard to ensure that we do events that specifically target the NON powerhouse team. Every D2 or D3 club out there has at least one natural athlete waiting to be discovered. Its the discovery process that is so time consuming and so hard.
The primary venue is the LAU Round Robin. With the U19 program moving to U20, its an opportunity not only to assess U23 players, but U20 players as well.
The Round Robin happens at the very end of the fall season, and I get a team of selectors to watch players in position groups on specific team. From there, we invite about 40 players to the Capitol City Ruggerfest, hosted by the DC Furies. 40 sounds like alot of players, but Ruggerfest falls right between Collegiate Round of 16, and the Championships aka final 4. This year two D1 MARFU Teams (PSU and Navy) and two D2 MARFU teams (UDel and Shippensburg) are going to final 4, and we generally know that because of that, at least half the players we invite will decline. Which is again, OK - it just opens up doors for other players. Basiclly the rule is "if in doubt, invite".
We try not to "stack" this team, and use the NASC vets primarily in leadership positions and to provide program continuity. In the 2009 tournament we had only two NASC vets - all the rest were first timers in a MARFU jersey. Only one player is aging out after this year, and most of the players were 19 or 20. We had about 4 21-22 year olds, and a 17 year old high school player. A 17 year old 8, 19 year old 9, and 19 year old 10 is indeed a young team.
Well this year, in addition to the normal players going to nationals declinations, school conflicts, last minute game conflicts etc, we had 6 injuries less than a week before the event. So the coaching staff and myself had to make a decision. Should we/could we really go down there with 12 players? Three more were coming Sunday, so what we ultimately decided to do was loosen our requirements this year.
Normally we tell college players who's teams are in the tournament that they must make a full commitment to the MARFU team - no cross rostering, except for the occasional senior looking to get one final 1/2 with her team before graduation. My view is that if you want to play and train at a high pace, you can't overdue it. I know the young players have huge energy reserves, but its very hot and we try to create an environment that makes the players feel special and encourages peak performance.
This year we had no choice - torn patella tendons, dislocated shoulder, sprained ankle AND knee, a broken arm, and a concussion just aren;t things you can predict. So we reached out to all the coaches in the territory first for last minute recommendations, and then contacted all the college coaches with teams in the tournament. The same eligibility rules applied, players must be U23 eligible members of MARFU, and this year we would allow cross rostering.
So miraculously, thanks in no small part to American University, George Washington, Temple, and Norfolk, we filled the hooker/flanker/wing vacancies we had and on Sunday actually had a couple of subs.
Things looked pretty bleak at first. We got together friday evening in DC, at a patch of grass on Catholic University, just to work out our communication system, get to know each other, and just do some loose play. At first the players were very quiet, and you could literally hear a pin drop when I told them we had 12 players. But, as the session went on, everyone loosened up. We were very fortunate to have Eamonn Hogan, who I previously blogged about, join us for the tourney, and he did a 40 minute contact skills session for the girls on Friday, and stuck around to watch them play on Saturday.
Slowly confidence began to shift. Every single one of the core group was a good athlete and a good rugby player - they just needed to believe it. As long as our pickups could hold their own, we would be OK.
American University sent us three players, right off their game, and they fit like a glove. I don't know how much rugby those three played that weekend, but they probably deserve a full week off. So off we were to our first match, at 8:30 AM, against Chesaoeake, an upwardly moving but relatively new DII club in MARFU. The only prep we had done for scrums or lineouts happened in the pre-game warmup. Bottom line, when putting together a team like this, you can;t cover everythihg. We mde sure the scrums would be safe and we had some lineout options, and off to kickoff we went.
Chesapeake really kicked our ass in the scrums, but our fitness and speed shined through. Our forwards did a great job enploying the tools Eamonn taught, although we did pay the price with penalties when we didn't execute fast enough. Lineouts were so so and continuity wasn;t great, but we came away with a W (10-0) and a clear picture of what we needed to work on.
At these types of events, we don't do the traditional warmup, except prior to the very first game. Instead, we have the captain take the team through some dynamic stretching, and then we introduce a new tool. So prior to game II, we decided we needed to really straighten out how we used the forwards on attack, and how we were going to realign on defense, and how we were going to deal with penalties.
So we introduced the pick and charge and the power up, and then we played a defensive realignment game where the coach randomly awards penalties, just to introduce the idea of moving away from the old school "give it to a forward and crash" method of attack to the two passes away from contact method.
After that it was time for game II, against the Maryland Stingers, a women's D1 club. It was obvious the players confidence ws growing, but we struggled to maintain focus and discipline for the length of the game. Our scrums were much improved, but our lineouts still left alot to be desired. It was pretty typical - moments of brilliance, moments of disaster. Lucky for us, we had more moments of brilliance and few moments of disaster, but the outcome of the game could have gone anyway until right at the end. Final score MARFU 27, Stingers 14.
It was getting really, really hot, so prior to our last game, against the Furies B, we decided to stay in the shade until the last possible minute, and just do 10 minutes of dynamic stretching and a 5 minute team run. This was the game where EVERYTHING clicked. The team was clearly borderline exhausted when they got on the field, so Roshna and I did our very best to channel our excitement into their brains and hearts. And we scored on the first kickoff, and never stopped. there was continuity, lateral and vertical support, line breaks all over, dominated in scrums, went about 50/50 in lineouts, and just played great rugby until the final whistle. Final score, 63-0. Many of these players in D2 or D3 programs have only every been on the receiving end of a game like that, so going 3-0, finishing the game with such great continuity, really had everyone feeling positive. It was during that game that those players became a team.
After giving every one the hydrate, icebath, sunscreen, eat speach, the players and staff dissapated. We watched Amercan University and our cross rostered players play yet another game, and watched some of the Temple U game. And then it was time for hotel, shower, and AC.
We had a team dinner at noodles and company in Alexandria (great place for a team dinner FYI), and handed out an award to the player who did the most to "spark" the team. I'm not a huge fan of MVP awards, as they usually wind uo going to the person who scores all the tries, although there are appropriate times for them. This award was more about providing inspiration - and it went to Hannah Bennett, our 19 year old scrumhalf from Drexel University, who all game just kept hammering, She realy lit up the field in the third game, and quite dramatically dived completely over the top of a ruck at the try line, ball in hand, to score. Congrats Hannah!
Everyone dispersed for the evening and got some much needed sleep.
The next morning - us VS Back in Black. Normally that spells doom for not-Back in Black, but I believed these girls had it them to upset the forever champions, and if not that, keep it close.
For warmups we introduced a couple of more things - the notion that you actually start rucking BEFORE the player hits the ground, as well as introducing a hinge run but the forwards to allow more options for the 10. Practice went well and spirits were high. Players were super excited to hear that one of our players, Tanya, would actually be playing against her Mom. I recall being asked why one of the Black in Black players had "63" on their back, and explained that most of the team actually wears the year they were born on their back. So it was definitely the youngest team in the tourney, vs the oldest. This was the 4th consecutive year we've met BinB in either the semis or finals, and we coaches knew what to expect. Fast, smart, and alot of tactical quiking.
We did great for the first 30 minutes, and while BinB had most of the possession, we played great defense and they were forced to play going backwards. We traded tries, and BinB went ahead by one try and a penalty kick just before the half.
It sill looked doable, and we had fresh legs (or as fresh as they can be after 3 Saturday games). We put our fresh legs in, but alas, Back in Black had broken our code. We just couldn't react as fast as they could, nor could we pass as long as they could. As a result they were able to isolate our outside backs, and they literally gave us a lesson in how quick tap penalties AND line outs should be done. Final score saw them up 3 tries and a PK on us, for a final score of 37-14.
As a final act, we awarded the "Spark" award for the Back in Black game to SMBC's Laura Miller. She made head on tackles, side tackles, from behind tackles, and was essentially a tackling machine. Congrats Laura!
While it would have been nice to have the upset of the century and play in the final, I think more was learned by playing hard and loosing to a team of this caliber. Beacuse these players represented 11 different schools I think we can assume that where this team struggled, many players at this level will struggle, and we'll be able to sort out some of those issues at the Evasive running, playmaking, and support workshop at American University on May 10th, and at the Selection and Training Camp May 23-24 at the University of Maryland.
Anyway,it was a great weekend and I have high hopes for tryouts. I know that the players who participated will be better prepared, we have gobs of information regarding where we're at and what we need to work on, and all the players will be with us for several years.
Additional information on the MARfU U-23 Program can be found on my sister blog, http://marfu-u23s.blogspot.com, or on our facbook page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=29161390168
The Ruggerfest MARFU U23 Developmental Roster is reprinted below.
Hannah Bennet - Drexel (scrumhalf) - 89 SPARK WINNER FOR SATURDAY
Elaine Bigelow - Princeton (back row)- 88
Loretta Charles- George Washington (back row) - 87
Rebecca DeMoor - Philly Women - 86
Mia Escobar - 87- Drexel (front row) - 87
Tanya Gouws - University of Maryland (center) - 88
Liz Hilliard - American (front row) - 89
Katie Hunt - Temple - (back row) - 87
Laura Miller - St Mary's BC-(lock)- 88 VICE CAPTAIN AND SPARK WINNER FOR SUNDAY
Ugochi Madubata - Princeton (lock, back row) - 87
Danielle Monica - Temple (wing) - 87 MARFU 2008 NASC VET
Shantel Nelson - American (wing) - 89
Trish Nowlan - George Washington (front row) - 89
Kate Rada - Westchester (flyhalf) - 89
Kaitlyn Rooney- American -(back row) - 89
Nicki Scheurch - Temple (fullback, wing) - 87
Moira Somerdyk - Temple (center) -88 CAPTAIN and MARFU NASC 2008 VET
Hannah Strayer - West Shore United High School (bacck row)- 91
Molly Walter - Mary Washington( front row) - 88
Angela Yue - Princeton (wing) - 89
Special thanks to American University and George Washington University for allowing their players to participate at very short notice, to Eamonn Hogan for the great session on Friday night, to Emily Sabato, our manager, and to Roshna Wunderlich, my fabulous assistant coach.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Yesterday my club, Philly Women, had the pleasure of hosting Eamonn Hogan's second clinic. This session was designed primarily for adult players and their coaches, but we had several more experienced players from Princeton, UPenn, and Drexel, as well as men and women from Skuylkill River Exiles (our Philadelphia rugger brothers), Philly Women, and Brandywine Riot.
Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Through a growing network of rugby coaches dedicated to growing the game from the grassroots all the way up the the national teams, EPRU was able to get the services of Eamonn Hogan aka the Master of Disaster (see previous post for his bio etc). Eamonn ran the first of four clinics yesterday with local high school and college players (men and women). The topic - point of contact skills.
The focus shifted back and forth from offense (how to not turn over the ball and buy time for supoort ) to defense (how to turn over the ball and attack quick.
We opened the session to all area coaches, and the EPRU picked up the bill. I can't tell you how terrific it is to be in a union that believes in coach and player development, and is willing to put $$ behind it. So often we have fabulous coaches come over for clinics and workshops, and the grass roots coaches just never get face time with them. So we decided to change that.
It was raining (medium to hard) and FREEZING, so I was a little concerned with turnout. But, buy 4 pm, i'd already gotten 6 "is it still on" phone calls. At the end of the day, 16 coaches and 65 player showed up. Not bad for 5-6:45 on a Monday night, eh?
- a new spin on the long body ruck that I like a whole lot better than the old spin on the long body ruck
- how to determine, as a player, if you really have been tackled and hence if you have any obligation to release the ball
- several tools to deal with poachers
- the "clamp" - we've been using this with my team, never had a name for it, I guess we do now! Basically it's another tool to deal with potential poachers
- the judo take down (hip throw) tackle with follow up ball disruption
- turtle (we call it a barrel roll on my team)
- some other sneaky #$&*
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
EPRU Announces USA Rugby Continuing Coach Education Series: Mastering the Collision Area with Eamonn Hogan
The EPRU, in conjunction with USA Rugby's Coach Development Program, is proud to welcome Eamonn Hogan to the EPRU for a series of FREE practical coaching and player development workshops April 20 - April 23, 2009. In an effort to provide coaches with ongoing educational opportunities, the USA Rugby Coach Development Program (CDP) has launched a continuing education program. Coaches who hold a current USA Rugby coach certiﬁcation will be able to extend the life of their certiﬁcation by participating in various coach education events. EPRU Members will have four FREE sessions to choose from (detailed workshop schedule follows)
Coach Hogan will be joining us in the EPRU fresh off his tour as the backs coach with the USA U17 National Team. Coach Hogan most recently served as the Talent Development Coordinator and Tigers Academy coach for Leicester. As the Talent Coordinator for the Leicester Tigers, Coach Hogan managed 4 Elite Player Development Centers and a staff of 15. Coach Hogan was responsible for recruiting new talent and identifying potential elite players for entry into the Leicester Academy.
Known as the "Master of Disaster" at the collision area, Coach Hogan has conducted extensive research and pioneered techniques such as the "Sandwich", the "Turtle", and the "Clamp".
Coach Hogan is currently consulting to USA Rugby's Age Grade programs as a Backs and Breakdown specialist, and serves as the Master in Charge of Rugby at the Lincoln Minster School. Coach Hogan holds numerous certiﬁcations and is a former RFU Tutor and Assessor. Coach Hogan's rich resume includes coaching assignments with the England Women Student's, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire,
USA Rugby Continuing Coach Education Credits
EPRU has been approved as a continuing education partner to USA Rugby for this professional development series, and this workshop series is free for all EPRU members. Local USA Rugby and IRB Educators will be on hand to assist with any Continuing Education issues related to these workshops.
Coaches can receive continuing education credits two ways:
1 CEU: Coaches attending a workshop as an observer will recieve 1 USA Rugby Coach Development Continuing Eduction Credits (FREE for EPRU Members, $10 for non-members)
4 CEU: Coaches attending a workshop who bringing 10 player participants and engage in coaching activities will recieve 4 USA Rugby Coach Development Continuing Education Credits (FREE for EPRU Members, $25 for non-members)
Workshop Schedule: April 20, 21, 22, 23 2009
April 20th 2009 5:00PM - 7:00PM
Edgely Field, Fairmount Park Philadelphia
E. Reservoir Dr & Edgely Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19121, (www.pwrfc.org for directions)
Players actively participating in this session should be high school or college men and women and their coaches
Hosted by the Philadelphia Women's Rugby Football Club (PWRFC). A coaches meet and greet will be available at Johnny Mananas 4201 Ridge Avenue, in East Falls PA, at the conclusion of training. Coaches from all ages grades are invited to attend.
RSVP TO: Lisa Rosen, email@example.com or 215 421-1823
FREE to EPRU Memners
NON- EPRU members will be charged a $10 or $25 Fee depending on level of participation.
April 21th 2009 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Greys Ferry Community Center, Philadelphia, PA
29th & Wharton Sts, Philadelphia, PA. (www.pwrfc.org for directions)
Players actively participating in this session should be adult men or women and their coaches
Hosted by the Philadelphia Women's Rugby Football Club (PWRFC) with support from the Schuylkill River Exiles. An evening adult social with open Q&A will be held at O'Neills Pub, 3rd and South Street at the conclusion of training. Coaches from all age grades are invited to attend
RSVP TO: Lisa Rosen, firstname.lastname@example.org or 215 421-1823
FREE to EPRU Members
NON- EPRU members will be charged a $10 or $25 Fee depending on level of participation.
April 22th 2009 3:30PM - 5:30PM
Stanton Middle School, 1800 Limestone Road, Wilmington, DE 19803
Players actively participating in this session should be U19 high school boys and girls and their coaches
Hosted by the Wilmington Colts U -19. An evening coaches dinner will be held at Buckleyʼs Tavern, 5812 Kennett Pike Wilmington, DE 19807 . A traditional supper with adult beverages will be served at 7 PM for $20. A Q & A session will be held afterwards. Coaches from all age grades are invited to attend; seating is limited to 25.
RSVP to Bob Weir at 302-377-6107
FREE to EPRU Members
NON- EPRU members will be charged a $10 or $25 Fee depending on level of participation.
April 23th 2009 8:00PM - 10:00PM
University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Players actively participating in this session should be college and adult men and women and their coaches
Hosted by the Wilmington Rugby Club and the University of Delaware DE 19807.
Exact training location is TBA - contact Bob Weir for details.
RSVP to Bob Weir at 302-377-6107
FREE to EPRU Members
NON- EPRU members will be charged a $10 or $25 Fee depending on level of participation.
Full release below - click to enlarge
While we recognize the timeline on this is very short, it was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. If you can make it up to any of the sessions (FREE for EPRU members, NOMINAL for others), please give it a try. I'm also so grateful for my club, Philadelphia Women's Rugby Football Club , for taking on a huge leadership role in making these sessions happen. If you a player or coach and your interested in what it's all about, please stop by the Tuesday session have a run around, and join us out for a post-training sharing of ideas and information.
If you have any questions at all about the sessions, which one you should go to, bringing/sending players, etc don't hesitates to ask.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
All local coaches & age-eligible players are welcome!
The MARFU U23 program, defending USA Rugby National All Star Champions from 2007 and 2008, announces their schedule for spring 2009.
April 24 - 26 MARFU U23 Developmental at DC Ruggerfest.
Players will assemble for a short training session Friday evening, participate in the tournament, and will be involved in mini-training sessions throughout the weekend. Initial invitations have been sent, and an additional round of invitations will be sent after the MARFU Collegiate Championships this weekend.
May 10 - skills camp (open, location TBD): Part 1: Winning the tackle contest. PART 2: counterattack.
MAY 24 - 25 - Selection camp & matches (open, Washington DC area, exact location TBD)
Saturday May 24th we will introduce the tools and tactics that the team will use in a competitive format. Two teams will be identified and two matches played will be played on Sunday May 25th. Selections for the 2009 National All Star Championship team will be made at this venue. All efforts will be made to find local lodging for players and eliminate any costs.
May 26- Selection deadline. All players will be notified of selections no later than May 26.
June 9 - June 14 - USA Rugby U-23 National All Star Championship, Pittsburg, PA
The MARFU U23 squad will assemble in Pittsburg PA on Tuesday June 9th. The team will train together Wed and Thursday. Friday MARFU will play the Northeast U23 team. Sunday MARFU U-23 will play either the Midwest U-23 or the Pacific Coast U-23 All Stars.
Players competing to represent MARFU should be fit, have a fundamental grasp of general rugby skills, and be highly competitive players who thrive in a team environment. Eligible players are CIPP registered members of MARFU born on or after January 2, 1986.
RSVP for camps are recommended but not required. If you intend on attending the the MARFU U23 event or if you have any questions, please contact:
Lisa Rosen, Head Coach - email@example.com
Emily Sabato, Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org
Every effort has been made to work around graduation conflicts, but we understand that exception circumstances may impact individual players. If you are unable to attend the selection camp but wish to be considered for the 2009 team, please contact Lisa directly.
For further details, please visit the MARFU U23 blog at http://marfu-u23s.blogspot.com .
*** PLEASE NOTE: THE MARFU SENIOR WOMEN's program is running a concurrent schedule. For information about the MARFU senior side, please contact Lance Connelly, Head Coach - email@example.com or Maria Vastola, Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Thought this was worth sharing...
ESPN has a list of Summitt's former players that are now in coaching as part of their all-Pat-Summitt tribute... and it's impressive
Nancy Darsch, A/GA (1978-85): Assistant, Seattle Storm
Danielle Donehew, BO (2001-08): Executive VP, Atlanta Dream
Tanya Haave, P (1980-84): Former head coach, Satila Skene, Sweden
Lisa Harrison, P (1989-2003): Former assistant, Phoenix Mercury
Carla McGhee, P (1986-90): Former WNBA Player Personnel
Carolyn Peck, A (1993-95): Former head coach, Orlando Miracle
Trish Roberts, P (1976-77): Former head coach, Atlanta Glory (ABL)
Heidi VanDerveer, GA (1986-88): Former assistant, Seattle Storm
Jody Adams, P (1989-93): Head coach, Wichita State
Jane Albright, GA (1981-83): Former head coach, Wichita State
Kathy Allen, GA (2002-04): Assistant at UAB
Sheila Frost Anderson, P (1985-89): Former assistant, Richmond
Debbie Ayers, GA (1989-90): Assistant, Stony Brook
Alysiah Bond, BO (1998-2001): Assistant, Arizona
Al Brown, A (1991-2002): Assistant, Duke
Greg Brown, A/GA (2002-04): Assistant, Central Florida
Niya Butts, P (1996-2000): Head coach, Arizona
Tasha Butts, P (2000-2005): Assistant, UCLA
Nikki Caldwell, P (1990-94)/A (2003-08): Head coach, UCLA
Shelia Collins, P (1981-85): Former head coach, West Georgia College
Abby Conklin, P (1993-97): Assistant, San Francisco
Kelli Casteel Cook, P (1988-92): Former head coach, Maryville College
Tony Cross, GA (1983-84): Head coach, Belmont
Nancy Darsch, A/GA (1978-1985): Former head coach, Ohio State
Mickie DeMoss, A (1985-2003): Assistant, Texas
Rochone Dilligard, P (1991-94): Former assistant, Austin Peay
Todd Dooley, M (1994-97): Former assistant, Maryville College
Tonya Edwards, P (1986-90): Head coach, Alcorn State
Angel Elderkin, GA (2006-07): Assistant, Virginia
Kyra Elzy, P (1996-2001): Assistant, Kentucky
Sharon Fanning, GA (1975-76): Head coach, Mississippi State
Daedra Charles Furlow, P (1989-91): Assistant, Tennessee
Teresa Geter, P (1997-99): Head coach, Denmark Technical College
Bridgette Gordon, P (1985-89): Assistant, Georgia State
Aubrey Guastalli, P (2005-06): Assistant, Fresno Pacific
Tanya Haave, P (1980-84): Head coach, San Francisco
Sylvia Hatchell, GA (1974-75): Head coach, North Carolina
Cindy Noble Hauserman, P (1978-81): Retired head coach, Centre College
Dean Head, P (1988-92): Former assistant, Central Connecticut State
Marlene Jeter, P (1990-92): Former head coach, Clinton (South Carolina) JC
Bernitha Johnson, M (2003-05): Assistant, Binghampton
Dana Johnson, P (1991-95): Former assistant, Morgan State
Kellie Jolly Harper, P (1995-99): Head coach, Western Carolina
Nancy Bowman Ladd, P (1973-75): Retired head coach, University of the South
Angela Lawson, GA (1989-91): Head coach, University of the Incarnate Word
Cheryl Littlejohn, P (1983-87): Former head coach, Chicago State
Lea Henry Manning, P (1979-83): Head coach, Georgia Stated
Michelle Marciniak, P (1993-96): Former assistant, South Carolina
Nikki McCray, P (1991-95): Assistant, South Carolina
Calamity McEntire, M (2002-03): Director of Basketball Operations, UC Santa Barbara
Carla McGhee, P (1986-90): Assistant, South Carolina
Matthew Mitchell, GA (1999-2000): Head coach, Kentucky
Zandra Montgomery Morris, P (1977-79): Former assistant, Lee
Mary Ostrowski, P (1980-84): Former assistant, Ohio State
Carolyn Peck, A (1993-95): Former head coach, Florida
Shalon Pillow, P (1998-2002): Assistant, Hofstra
Semeka Randall, P (1997-2001): Head coach, Ohio
Jill Rankin Schneider, P (1979-80)/GA (1980-81): Former assistant, Texas
Trish Roberts, P (1976-77): Former head coach, Stony Brook
Joy Scruggs, P (1972-75): Head coach, Emory & Henry College
Amber Stocks, BO/GA (2000-02): Assistant, Xavier
Judy Southard, GA (1977-78): Retired head coach, Marshall
Pam Tanner, GA/A (1990-93): Former head coach, Denver
Heidi VanDerveer, GA (1986-88): Head coach, Occidental College
Holly Warlick, P (1976-80)/A (1986-08): Assistant, Tennessee
High school ranks
Janet Allmon, GA (1983-84): Former head coach, Baldwin (Ga.) HS
Sheila Frost Anderson, P (1985-89): Assistant at Giles Colo. HS
Debbie Ayres, GA (1989-90): Former head coach, California School for the Deaf
Diane Brady, P (1974-75): Former head coach, McMinn Colo. HS
Cindy Brogdon, P (1977-79): Former head coach, Centennial (Ga.) HS; Facilities Director, Northview (Ga.) HS
Debbie Groover Buckner, P (1977-81): Assistant, Woodstock (Ga.) HS
Shelley Sexton Collier, P (1983-87): Head coach, Webb (Tenn.) HS
Abby Conklin, P (1993-97): Former head coach, Trinity (Ill.) HS
Karla Horton Douglas, P (1984-87): Assistant, Webb (Tenn.) HS
Rochone Dilligard, P (1991-94): Former head coach, Lebanon (Tenn.) HS
Tonya Edwards, P (1986-90): Former head coach, Northwestern (Mich.) HS
Cindy Noble Hauserman, P (1978-81): Head coach, Chillicothe (Ohio) HS
Marlene Jeter, P (1990-92): Assistant, Victory Christian Center (N.C.) HS
Dana Johnson, P (1991-95): Assistant, Western High (Md.) HS
Dawn Marsh, P (1984-88): Former head coach, Duluth (Ga.) HS
Zandra Montgomery Morris, P (1977-79): Former head coach, Cleveland (Tenn.) HS (boys team)
Pam Owens, GA (2006): Head coach, Judson (San Antonio, Texas) HS
Jill Rankin Schneider, P (1979-80)/GA (1980-81): Head coach, Monterey (Texas) HS
Suzanne Barbre Singleton, P (1974-78): Former head coach, Maryville (Tenn.) HS
Tiffany Woosley, P (1991-95): Former head coach, Lincoln Country (Fayetteville, Tenn.) HS
Some interesting highlights:
- A few notes:
- Summitt has a 100 percent graduation rate for all Lady Vols who have completed their eligibility at UT.
- Summitt is the first woman’s basketball coach to earn a $1 million salary [but only as of 2006 and despite huge success].
- She donated $600,000 last August to be split between UT-Martin and UT-Knoxville to support the women’s basketball programs.
- Coached gold medal winning U.S. team at the 1984 Olympics (with Kay Yow).
- Has won 8 national NCAA women’s basketball titles, 27 SEC tournament and regular season titles, 27 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournamment Sweet 16.
- Tennessee players include 12 Olympians, 19 Kodak All-Americans and 71 All-SEC players.
- Summitt earned the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching lifetime achievement award in 2008.
Her son's unique perspective on women's sports, by virtue of his unique mom, is really interesting (althought admittedly has a little cheesy touched-by-an-angel feeling to it that's probablly not quite reality) http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=summitt
Monday, February 02, 2009
Feb 21 2009 (Saturday): "Winning the Tackle Contest". Hosted by the MARFU U23 program, and James Madison University.
March 1 2009 (Sunday): Philadelphia Women's Rugby Free Collegiate Clinic. Hosted by PWRFC and Temple University. Register online at http://www.pwrfc.org/register.html
Monday, January 26, 2009
I don't even really know where to begin with this. Having been, like most of us, on both sides of the ridiculous score coin and:
1) instructed my team to try and defend one blade of grass and measure our success by how long the interval between trys is, or how often they actually had to stiff arm one of us to get in the try zone
2) subbed every player and then instructed everyone to play with their shoes untied, out of position, using only one hand, and not score until 10 people had touched the ball
I'm exaggerating for effect, obviously, but I'm sure you get the point.
Anyway, in a nutshell, a high school girls basketball team in Texas, who in previous seasons had lost as badly as 86-6, beat another team 100 - 0.
The coach was accused of unsportsmanlike conduct for allowing his girls to run up the score, and was asked to issue an apology. He didn't. The school did. At issue is the contention from the losing team that he kept his starters in way too long. The coach in question says this is unrepresentative of the actual game and that he subbed very early. The coach of the winning team did write a rather compelling statement in support of his choices, his players, and the lessons learned along the way.
He got fired.
Just got an email from the IRB peeps about a new online resource they have released:
It looks like there's quite a bit of material there, so take a look, and please don't be shy about sharing your opinions. Membership is free!
Sunday, January 04, 2009
I've been MIA for a little while, and decided that perhaps the best way to contribute to the coaching dialog here in the USA would be to open this blog to other coaches from around the community.
So how about it? Let's take this from "Lisa's blog" to a real, bonefide, mult-voice dialog.
I'd love to get a handful of regular contributors representing the various age/division/gender groups in the community - mens, women's, high school, college, D1, D2, etc etc.
2009 will undoubtedly be a very exciting year for rugby coaches here in the US ... just a few things coming down the pipe on the coaching side that I'm aware of:
USAR/IRB Advanced Coaching Course part 2 in Atlanta, February
USA Rugby Coach Development workshops all winter
IRANZ High Performance Coaching course in Glendale
Queensland University Coaching workshops
USA 7s and World Cup 7s (go USA!!)
Women's Territorial Season
Women's Superleage possibilities
Women's National Team camp in Feb - u20s, USA A, USA
Women's National Team USA and USA A matches with Canada this summer
Elite Coach Development Program attachment opportunities
a new MARFU Women's Senior Side coach (congrats Lance!!)
Anyone interested in being a contributor, just shoot me an email and let's get started!