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Being a coach and studying athletic development it may surprise people to discover Im not an avid follower of any sport in particular. I can very much appreciate most sports and the challenges they present to the athletes.

Generally, I enjoy watching athletes perform and seeing them demonstrate every attribute they have to over come the situation they place themselves in on the field, track, arena, stage or where ever it is they’re kicking ass!!
I tend to look deeper in to individuals and have more focus on situations of play, and how they were dealt with.
I know, pretty nerdy right, lol. But once your unplugged its all you can see 😂

Rugbys a good one as it has MANY dynamics. Depending on position, the physical attributes of the players varies so they are fit for purpose to work as one unit to play as a team.

When I am training an athlete to improve rugby performance we look at a variety of factors.

– Physical stature in relation to position played

– Key elements of the role of that position – i.e an outside centre requires speed more so than a prop

– Prime function related to the position – We would have athletes look at focusing their main work/lifts towards making there strengths (relating to the position requirements) stronger, use their assistance work to back that up with but change the dynamics OR laser in on part of that specifically and use the accessory work to focus on strengthening their venerability and weak links.

– Risk associated with position – Obviously, in a game with ever changing variables the likelihood of predicting certain types of risk is difficult. But you can think about commonalities in play. An example may be that a flanker is more likely to have to take impact from a lateral angle more frequently than head on, meaning more emphasis on robustness, power output and agility/chaotic training would be focused on with lateral work. Stability is, of course always paramount but looking at movements to provide additional stability under load with lateral tension and focus could be a go to strategy.

– Energy systems requirement – Rugby as a sport has a big demand on power, strength, speed, agility and team work. This is a huge demand but not uncommon attributes to other similar sports. The main stand out factor for me is, the endurance element! Having all the attributes listed is a pretty cool list of weapons that many athletes do possess. Having the ability to perform these bursts and feats over 40 minute half is no joke. This requirement is fairly unique to rugby. Similar games like American football are high octane and require an insane amount of power and explosiveness but they are broken down in to plays which allow these type of athletes a chance to recover their systems to go again. Rugby, although not requiring the output of an American football play is still very high demand and the 40 minute plays is a gruelling length of time to have to perform in this fashion!! For this reason, energy system use, and constant internal assessment of the athletes “battery” is vital not only for their personal performance but for the team, because as stated the strategy holds a demand on all positions to perform optimally or the strategy will have to be manipulated to account for the weakness. And NO ONE wants to be that guy!!

There is much more to think about other than this and assessing athletes and their requirements should be constant and on going from coaches, especially when it comes to venerabilities and injuries.

The skill element of the sport, mindset and strategy make up things even further.

So, next time people are bitching that its just a load of men jumping on each other (usually a mother), or of course the football (soccer) lot twisting at how its not as strategical as football 🙄 just tag their ass in this post

Keep up the Grind,

Coach Chris McClarence

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