Wednesday marked the first full day of work for the RugbyTown Crossover Academy. With three training sessions under their belt, the progress has not only been noticeable, it has been impressively rapid.
With medical check-ins out of the way, the team of rugby converts took the pitch at 9 A.M. and started out with passing drills as a warmup. From there, they split into their three pods and expanded on some of the concepts they worked on yesterday. They continued working on drills that teach space manipulation, moving without the ball, and several other basic concepts that are necessities in rugby.
After that, they shifted their focus to team defense. In groups of four inside their pods, they worked as a unit to close space on ball carriers. With the basic principles of defense fresh in their minds, they moved into more advanced rucking drills that focused on techniques like cleanouts and gator rolls before breaking into forwards and backs drills.
During this period in the morning session, the forwards focused more on their defensive principles while the backs spent their time working on three-on-one drills. These drills wrapped up their morning session and the team broke for lunch.
After a break for lunch, the team headed out for their second session of the day. Much like the first, the beginning of this one focused on space manipulation and offloads. After brushing up on passing, they again transitioned into a heavier contact portion.
The heavy contact portion built on some of the principles they worked on earlier. They worked on tackling, moving as a singular defensive unit, more rucking drills during the second, longer session.
Once the second session ended, Director of Rugby Mark Bullock told the team that he was impressed with how quickly they were picking up on the principles that they were learning and how much they improved from session to session. They broke for dinner and headed into their final meeting and film block for the day.
The camp has gone about as smooth as one could’ve pictured through three days. The engagement, competitiveness, and determination to improve has been electric and it’s exciting to see visible progress being made in realtime.
Thursday will look a little lighter than Wednesday. After a shorter skills session in the morning, the team will break for more film and classroom time before heading back out for a longer training session in the afternoon.