Director of Rugby's Blog
So far so good
18 Oct 2017
Although I have missed the last two games sitting in the shade in Spain obviously our good club form has continued with only two games to go to reach the half way point of the league campaign. Our success so far is pleasing to see as its a reward for the hard work the players and coaches are putting in. Every win is a bonus as its not unreasonable to think that injuries, loss of form, or call ups for those attached to Academies and the National Sevens squad will at some point kick in.. We can never be complacent especially with a Heriots side hurting from their Ayr defeat next up and then a refreshed and highly motivated Hawick side in a couple of weeks time. There are some very tough and exciting games to come and the opposition will be fired up , of that there is no doubt. The Premiership is a physical place to play rugby and every club within it is very dangerous on their day, non more so than Goldenacre this Saturday.
For those interested in how we go about our business, in our opinion club rugby at Premiership level is very much a balancing act. Players are asked to make huge commitments. Everything they do is based around playing rugby including their diets and lifestyle choices and in some cases even their employment. We as clubs ask a lot of our players, its a very long season in fact its almost 12 months a year for those who enjoy their Sevens.
Its been commented on that we look fit and well prepared, whilst that's for others to judge what i would say is that in terms of our ways of working, everything we do is based around the workload of a player. Its one of the reasons that as a club our two senior sides work so closely together as its rare that all our so called first team players can fully take part in every single session so its absolutely vital someone else can slot in and indeed benefit from that opportunity. Most of our players will train almost daily, whether it be the gym, speed training, an Academy session , pro session or Sevens session. That includes a number of our Storm players as many of them are involved in Age grade rugby and Academies.
In supporters terms we perhaps bounce from Saturday to Saturday with an expectation that players play well all of the time. They can really only do that if they are physically and mentally in the best possible condition.. In order to do that Rob and senior players look at the load every individual player has and design our sessions accordingly. Its hard, its takes a huge effort from all but its the only way we can work with all stakeholders to lay the foundations for each player and therefore the squad to hopefully reach their full potential. It also means that sessions are varied , they adapt to what needs to be done and what can be done well. That variation maintains a freshness and hopefully ensures that the squad is as well prepared as is possible on that particular week..
Its not possible to get it right all of the time but the basic principle of forward planning is vital. Never mind pre season training our players started competitive rugby at Peebles Sevens on the first Saturday in August and will have just one week off until 30th December weather permitting. By my maths thats 21 weeks in a row. After that they have the following to think about.
5 remaining league games and if we are fortunate 2 play off games--up to 4 Cup games and perhaps 1 or 2 Border league games . Additionally i would suggest most of our squad if not all have an ambition to be in the Club International squad--thats two games plus several extra training sessions.--As we have often said our ambition is to win every game, it doesn't happen that way as we well know but the work load has to include that positive mindset otherwise you could reach a target game and have nothing left in the tank .
So for a lot of the lads that could be 30 games a season and for those who hold personal ambition a need to be at their best whenever they come under the microscope from those who make decisions on their inclusion in an Academy, a pro call up to train with the pros or perhaps reach a World HSBC Series Sevens squad , remember in 2018 theres also a Sevens World cup and Commonwealth games that club players may have an outside chance of being involved in.
We as clubs also have the important Kings of the Sevens--10 tournament--9 at the end of the season to play as well. Oh and there is a u20s 6 Nations and World Cup every year for the best young players. So even if our players dont always make these squads they will be given the opportunity to train in the best facilities such as the Oriam in the lead up to competition and they become better for that experience. Its hard work for them and its our duty to take that into consideration in our management of them.
So whats that 35/40 playing weeks minimum for our best players plus training with a need to be consistent and available injury free when that desired opportunity arises within the Performance pathway currently known and set firmly in place.
So lets see what unfolds this week, i will be surprised if its not a high scoring game as both sides like to attack and we have had some humdingers in the past. The weather may begin to impose itself a bit more so that could add another factor
Thanks for your support which has been outstanding this season with increased crowds , the players and coaches are most appreciative of that as they strive to entertain you. Sport is an entertainment and players are performers .
Finally as the club continues to support Doddie Weir, please ensure you have your place booked for the Dinner on the 10th November or if you are unable to attend you may wish to register an interest in the silent auction. The list of items and the contact for doing so will appear on our website soon
"Hear we go. here we go here we go again" Status Quo - 21 Feb 2018
SEMI FINALS HERE WE COME - 12 Feb 2018
home play off in the bag - 06 Feb 2018