It was another fun year with Brookline High School Rugby Club. We had some pretty awesome changes to the club and some pretty awesome stuff happening in general. We had a coaching structure change because we officially officially had a girl’s team and wow was that a ton of fun. Overall, this was my 7th year with the club, 6th of actual coaching and 4th of being the top of the ladder, yikes. Yes, I still continue to learn things (I think) as I go through the years, so here’s what I think I picked up this season.
The core will always make itself apparent- What I mean by this, is you will almost always start a season with SOME players that are just there because their friends came or because they hear it’s a no cut varsity sport and they think it’ll be easy. We aren’t huge jerks, but we also don’t put up with bullshit as a coaching stuff or a club. Both teams had some unnecessary members on their rosters to begin the season. Eventually those extra’s either got found out and decided we weren’t for them or got with the program and thrived. Once that happened, we had a really good group that made some fun things happen.
The environment must be right- Relating to my point above, we have ourselves a great club environment at Brookline. When a new person comes in and wants to screw up the chemical balance, they’ll either understand how to gel or leave on their own accord (like I said, see above). These students are all very welcoming, but we don’t tolerate those that come in and want to be dickheads (oh no a curse word said by high schoolers). These types of players, no matter how talented, end up in the right places for the right reasons because of the environment. Like I said, they either adapt and thrive, or they don’t and find themselves on the outs.
There’s always surprises- Whether we like it or not there will always be a surprise or two in the season. The best you can do is try to anticipate what you can and adjust when something you didn’t see coming hits. The best way to do this, for me, is for all the players to be ready to change what the game plan is, their roles or positions, at the drop of a hat. We did fairly well in terms of not getting caught napping to a great extent, we had backups to our backups. Sometimes, that last little surprise can hand you an uppercut you weren’t quite ready for. We’ve learned from it this season and will apply it to next season, all you can do really in the end.
Well, that’s quite a bit right there if I do say so for being with this team for the better part of a decade now. I hope someone out there at least found this entertaining and maybe had a laugh. Next week’s post will have someone a bit more insightful to training, but until then have yourself a week and thanks for reading.
The X in XVRead Now
It’s been 10 years (OK more it just hit me the other day thanks to a friend) since I got my first training/coaching job. I’m not talking about being a lowly gopher intern, I’m talking about being paid to do it. 10 years, where the hell did that come from?
In my 10 years I’ve learned that I really like working with young people. Yes, youth athletes, but young folks in general. I like my older peeps don’t get me wrong, but something about working with these people gives me a boost lately. Maybe, it’s because I want to teach them how to take care of themselves, earlier than most learn to. certainly earlier than I did. I am a fan of letting all of them feel like they are a bad ass and can take on the world at the least. Hence I've gotten more groups of young people rolling in to the gym, and I really hope that continues.
Also, in my first 10 years, there’s probably loads of people to thank, family and friends of course. For me there are two folks that bare repeating for thank yous once again. My coaching friends and brothers, Mike Anderson and Tony Gentilcore.
Mike took me under his wing when I got hired at my 2nd coaching job, which is where I really honed in most of the things I learned, enabling me to take the leap to go independent a few years later. We only worked together for about a year and a half, but the love and appreciation I have for him is so great, words don’t do it justice. I owe him more than I could ever describe. Thank you Michael.
Tony was just another chance meeting that has been a blessing in disguise as well, thanks in large part to none other than Mike Anderson himself. Those that don’t know, First XV runs out of Tony’s fitness studio, CORE, and I mean exclusively. Tony has been more than generous with his time and consideration of how he can help myself and the other coaches there thrive. It is with absolute certainty I can say, First XV would not be anything close to what it is without him. Once again, I owe him and care for him more than words would ever do. Thank you Tony.
Of course, a special shout out to my homies at Strength Faction as well! Love being in that group too!
In the next 10, all I can hope for is to look back and say I did even better than the previous 10. Here's to 10 more years of coaching, whatever that looks like. Thanks to all of you out there that have supported whatever silly thing I’m doing either here, on the socials or at CORE.
Cheers folks, thanks for reading and have yourself a week!
A Box and A BowlRead Now
Happy days everyone, back into the writing saddle for me. I've written this one on what they call the socials before, but I figured, what not put it down here as well. It's all about the relationship between rib cage and pelvis, sounds interesting, right? Well, hopefully you enjoy in either case.
Maintaining rib and pelvis position is extremely important when performing movements in training, especially things like a squat and deadlifts. Bring in the expression from one Dan John, “Keep the box on the bowl.”
It’s pretty simple, if you think of your rib cage as the box and your pelvis as the bowl. If one or the other tilts too much, the box is falling off the bowl, ie you’re in a less than optimal position, maybe even risky position depending on your body, injury history and etc.
This a subject that can be a complete black hole so I’m going to do my best to keep it short, for everyone’s sake and sanity. The biggest things to keep in mind are keep your rib cage down, stand tall, tailbone tucked and abs working.
This is a position that can be reinforced by performing ‘core’ exercises like Pallof presses, planks, dead bugs and the list goes on. From that, it translates across to being in positions like that, at the top of the aforementioned deadlifts and squats.
In short, if you’re feeling cranky in your back, hips or anything to the like, the root cause is likely the box has fallen off the bowl.
That is what I have for your reading goods today everyone. As always, I hope one of you found this useful to some degree. Feel free to reply with questions, comments and feedback of any kind. Have a week everyone!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS