The new rugby season is very much underway now, with the Rugby World Cup also in full swing and generating some great matches and already some very unexpected results. My coaching focus has also now shifted onto my work at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey and Felsted School in Essex, two really ambitious establishments keen to improve their rugby, as well as at Ampthill RFC where we have begun our life in National 1 with three wins from three!
Just a few weeks ago however everyone was very much in the preseason phase, preparing for the coming winter of matches, and my mind was on the masterclass training camps I organised at Reigate and Ampthill, as well as my Summer rugby Academy at Hatfield, which will be completed for the year after this Sunday’s final session.
I began these classes specifically with the aim of keeping younger players fresh throughout the Summer with handling drills and skills they could practice, steering them away from contact sessions to allow their bodies to recover from the previous season’s efforts, yet keeping their hunger for the game in tact and fuelling their passion for rugby.
In the first week of September I then switched to an all-round rugby masterclass spread over two days at Ampthill RFC where the different age groups were split depending on the applicable rules, with specific exercises and drills to benefit the players whether in a tag, conditioned tackle or unrestricted environment. The emphasis was placed on learning through fun and of course there was a definite focus on correct technique throughout. I was overwhelmed at the response of the players on the pitch and also extremely grateful to parents who took the time to email with compliments and kind comments about the sessions in the days after the events.
On Wednesday at Ampthill I also held a specialist kicking clinic for players aged 11-17, which included a condensed version of some of the skills I have imparted to my Academy attendees over the Summer. Simple instruction on exactly how to hold a ball when kicking and where to strike to get the desired result make a huge difference when practised until they become second nature in game time. Also, the ability to kick just as well off both feet gives a player a big advantage and helps break down defences in attack as well as greatly enhancing a team’s exit strategy.
These are some examples of why these camps are so vital, and the feedback shows that as well as developing technique, we are also enthusing youngsters about playing the sport, and this makes my job so pleasurable. Now into the season, there is just one more opportunity to join me for a masterclass this month, at my final academy session on September 27th. Following this, keep an eye out for additional sessions during the October half term, or contact me to organise some individual coaching or sessions for a small group or team. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with you in the near future and please do contact me with any enquiry you may have on: mail@PaulTurnerSport.co.uk.