Sunday’s A Rugby Day?

1 03 2009

A couple of months ago, I received an email from my teammate, KRL, that was sent to a group of other teammates, past & present, asking that we be selectors for the ARU Under-23 Select Side team that she is coaching. I was very honored to have been one of the women asked. I have never consider myself a great rugby player. I have never claimed that I know all the rules. Or the drills. Or that have any rugby skills at all. I’m such an ADD adult, even in rugby. But I was honored that KRL thought of me and respected my input, so I emailed her back almost immediately and agreed to help her.

Select Sides are kind of like an All Star team. It’s starts at the local area – for us, the Allegheny Rugby Union. Then those Select Side teams get together and have a tournament. The National Team coaching staff is there, looking for talent. Once you are out of the U-23 age bracket, there is a senior select side as well. If you are a very, very good rugby player, or even someone with potential and a desire to play the game on a higher level, this is where you have to – and hopefully want to – be.

When I started playing, I don’t even think there was a Select Side program. Being a part of this rugby club has taught me not only what I missed in my first few years, but also how much rugby is growing in the US. And once you catch the “rugby bug,” it’s almost second nature that you want to do things to advance the sport – coach a youth or high school team, encourage collegiate side players to continue playing after they graduate, and evaluate players for their chance on a Select Side squad. That “rugby bug” is why I was so involved in my club all these years. I may not be one of the most talented players on my team, but for what I lack in talent, I make up for in administrative and organizational skills.

I couldn’t make last weekend’s tryout because I worked the night before. But I promised to be there today. So I went and met KRL, KellsBells and Cindy-Lou, and the four of us headed to Morgantown at 9am. We started off with a stop at Sheetz for food. Yummy. We then went to what looked like an old-school gymnasium where KRL got things going.

KB, CL and I were given a clipboard with a blank sheet of paper. We were to watch and write down anything positive or negative that we saw the girls doing. Let me tell you, this is seriously difficult. To just stand there and watch and judge… Not talk, not try to help and correct what they were doing… (It was so hard to see these girls try things and often fall on that hard ground… But man, they kept with it!) Not to participate ourselves! (Although KRL did ask KB and I to demonstrate something for them, since she is pregnant… although then she went and showed one group of girls what to do ten minutes later!)

Eventually we were done in the crazy gym and moved to another location. A glorious, beautiful INDOOR location. With turf. Not the turf I used to practice on at Dean Field in Bloomfield (aka pseudo-grass on cement)… but real, cushioned, thick turf.

I’m pretty sure I started drooling. I may or may not have laid down on said turf and rolled around. Or taken a nap. Or just sat there and been super comfortable. Or all of the above.

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It was a good day. Lots of talent. And we stopped at Sheetz on the way home. More yummy. And I found the Red Bull Cola that @Chachisays keeps talking about. I’ll try it tomorrow and let you know… I’m scared.

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5 responses

2 03 2009
Dorothee

That’s super-awesome that you get to be involved with growing promising new rugby talent. What a great way to spend a Sunday!

2 03 2009
Whistle Blower

How was the talent? Any potential recruits for The Organization? Hopefully talented and graduating players?? 🙂

2 03 2009
annoyedangelrants

Not sure about graduating… KRL would know more about that… but there was some talent and we did make sure to reinforce playing for us after the graduate.

2 03 2009
PghRugbyRef

The Red Bull cola was unimpressive.

2 03 2009
annoyedangelrants

I didn’t like it either. I thought it tasted like medicine. But I think that was also b/c it’s probably regular Red Bull which I can’t stand. I like the Sugar Free one.

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