Rugby All-Star Mini Camp Experience

This past weekend was an experience for me. A cold, rainy, long, yet good one. I went to Knoxville for the Rugby All-Stars Mini Camp. I traveled with the lovely ladies of Memphis because driving 4 1/2hours is much better than driving 7 1/2 hours. I didn’t know what to expect at the camp really, but I expected there to be alot more people and I guess just bigger. Nonetheless I like the fact that it was small. Sometimes I’d like to think I have social anxiety in certain situations, I dunno… But anyways, we worked on a lot of fundamentals that every rugby player should know how to do. Such as passing, tackling, rucking, offloading, stuff like that. I really liked it because we did alot of drills that I’ve never seen before so of course I’m going to take note of everything we did and suggest it to my team; especially because we still tend to do “old school” drills and definitely are not up to par to teams in the north.
It’s weird to think that when I play for my team here, I’m one of the “better” ones (not trying to toot my own horn) I guess you could say but whenever I went there I tend to become self conscious of myself and the way I play rugby. Coming from a team that is staying alive by a thread, sometimes it’s hard not to second guess yourself and to see yourself as the underdog when comparing yourself to other teams. I always tend to do that because whenever we get new girls on our team here I get frustrated easily because we’re not on the same playing level so whenever I go somewhere else I think to myself that I don’t want to be “that” player. I think whenever I play for the Knoxville women next semester then I’ll be able to improve my skills. I’ve heard people say alot of the times that you tend to perform either up or down to your surroundings.
Aside from the horrible weather, I felt like I definitely learned much more than I thought I would have even if we did just do like basic knowledge rugby stuff. It’s those simple fundamentals that we need to work on in order to improve to become better. I liked the concept of doing the touch games after we’d do a certain skill… I can see that it helps you to incorporate that skill into the game more by doing the skill and then doing a simple touch game. Overall I’m glad I went and had an awesome time with the Memphis & Knoxville women. I was the only one from my team in Mississippi to attend and they treated me like one of their own. It just goes to prove that rugby isn’t just a game… it’s the social aspect of it that makes it such a great sport.


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