Allez les Allianz
Good to see you all this morning and great to be back at the Allianz Park where at least we managed to get some rugby despite the weather doing its best to disrupt us.
I was eager to get the kids doing as much exercise in the shortened session as possible, so the warm up was dynamic followed by some touch rugby to work on their support and handling, followed by a hit out against some pads and then games.
In training the coaches are trying to get the kids to make decisions themselves and to highlight when things have gone well or otherwise. It is interesting to watch them in such situations. We’ll make someone captain and they will sort out the team’s set up. Bar a few differences of opinion, they will generally agree. Sometimes I think they listen more to each other than us!! The games can then become a little “bunched” with players all wanting to do be in the action continually, however as they pan out they start to understand that the game works better if they all stick to their stations, work as a team and use the space. Clearly in match day situations we will give them the direction and set up that they need, but allowing the kids to work out for themselves what works and what doesn’t, is a very important part of learning the game at this age.
The key to a lot of our good play this year has been an aggressive defensive and it was noticeable from yesterday’s practice that those that defend as a team, and tackle aggressively will have the upper hand. We have progressed considerably in our tackling this season to date but I still want to work hard in 2015 on the kids’ body position at the tackle. It changes week in week out but we can still use our hands and fingers to grab rather than shoulders and arms so a bit more practice on that next year.
These last few weeks we’ve seen huge improvements in or game play throughout the squad and I hope this can be continued at Datchworth this coming Sunday and in the tournaments at the Allianz Park on the 20th.