Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Master of Disaster/ Continuing Coach Education

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?

Some highlights:

  • 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 #$&*
After the session some of the coaches met up to do a casual Q&A with Eamonn at a local mexican restaurant and I ate some amazing fish tacos.

Thanks so much to Philly Women, who are hosting the first two sessions getting all the equipment there, battling to get that tent up, hosting Eamonn, and for the great turnout.

I really wanted to video the session, but alas the rain was too much. I'll try again tonight.

Eamonn is doing another session tonight (7:15 - 9:00) for the Philadelphia Women and the Schuylkill River Exiles Men, and any adult players (and select higher level college players) are welcome to attend - FREE for EPRU, nominal ($5 - players, $10 coaches just observing for 1 CEU, $25 - coaches participating and coaching for 4 CEUs) for non- EPRU members. There will be an open social at O'Neals Pub, 3rd & South St, proud sponser of both Philly and Schuylkill after the session

He'll be in Delaware Wed and Thursday, doing a U19 session, and then another collegiate session . Details are here ... http://epru.org/news/news-and-events.php?n=955

After that, Eamonn is headed to DC where Friday evening he'll work with the MARFU U23 Developmental team for a short while, and then will be running an open session or two at DC Ruggerfest courtesy of the Furies (contact Dre Khoury - drekhoury@hotmail.com for details.

The EPRU sessions are approved by USA Rugby for 4 continuing education units. Since you can apply for a single CEU for a wide range of self directed coach development activities, participants at the DC clinic should be able to apply for 1 CEU - instructions will be available. For more information about the Contining Education component of USA Rugby's coach development program, visit http://www.usarugby.org/goto/ceu

More after tonight's session - if you are in the Philadelphia area and are interested in attending, please contact me directly (coachingrugby@gmail.com). Hopefully the rain will stay away and i can get some decent video.

On an unrelated note, please accept my apologies for not blogging about anything coach worthy for a while. I had a pretty major neck surgery recently (recovering now) and just wasn't in the right mental space to make this a priority. Activity will now resume!