Vanesha McGee: Refining Speed

this week we have craig white with us. he is the irb strength & conditioning coach for both men and women. he spoke with both teams yesterday about game speed and how it differs from speed itself. he also highlighted many limitations that rugby athletes encounter when trying to increase their game speed. i wrote out a list of the limitations that apply to me and it almost filled my notebook page. my list ranged from on-field things, like deceleration (which in our later session i realized i wasn’t as bad at as i thought) to off-field pieces like hydration (outside of practice/game time) and keeping my nutrition clean (ie no tea or stupid sugars).

after our classroom chat, we went out to the field where craig first took the men, then the women through a speed session. we focused on leg drive and how to push back off the ground, rather than into it. he introduced some new ways (for me) of seeing running form, which was cool, and showed us lots of small pieces to improve our own form. craig will be with us all week, so hopefully we’ll learn a lot more!

we were back on the field with ric in the afternoon. in addition to the 8 residents, we had 2 other ruggers join us. it was a lot of fun getting back into the practice routine. we worked a lot on passing skills and small field situations.

i have a few things i’m focusing on this month. hydration: drinking water when it’s not practice time! being a lefty: holding the ball in my left arm, stepping to the left, etc. catching/passing: catching the ball with my fingertips in order to transfer/pass quickly. here goes!

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