As predicted, the advert of kicking has proved to be a really interesting challenge for the kids, and one that the coaching team believe the kids have adapted to really well. We have not seen as much belting of the ball around as we perhaps expected, and this is encouraging as it means the players are using their judgement.
It has been great to see so many new players joining the U11s this season. We have had over 10 potential players come and try out, which is what the coaching team set out to achieve at the end of last season. Thanks to all the parents and players who have worked to bring in new players. We still want to encourage even more new players, so please do keep on looking wherever you can. With your help, we will meet our objective of running 2 teams throughout the season.
As most of you know, a couple of weeks ago the coaches conducted a survey of players to get their input as to which positions they think they play well in as well as which positions they enjoy. We have done this as part of a plan to start focusing more on positional development.
Moving forward, at training we will be increasingly splitting the players into Forwards and Backs, and working with them separately for part of the training session so that we can focus on the different positional skill requirements for each group. This is a natural progression as the game becomes more complicated.
It is important to say that no player is being labelled hard and fast in any one position. We will see players continue to move about in roles as we test out different combinations, and switch between Forwards & Backs. To split the players, the coaches will be using the input from the players themselves as well as our observations from their performances during matches and training.
Whilst there are a heap load of new skills to learn at U11s (kicking etc), the coaches have been carefully watching the first matches of this season, and as we go forward in training you will see a continued, and strong emphasis on the basics which we know we can do better. This includes, but isn’t limited to :
• Tackling – Every player must make their tackles count
• Passing the ball down the line
• Positional play – Making sure players act to get back into position once a play phase is complete
• Playing as a team, not just a group of talented individuals
We encourage you as parents to talk to your child to make sure they are comfortable in knowing what is expected of them, and please do talk to one of the coaches if they need some additional guidance.
We are particularly pleased to welcome Peter Deeley as a new addition to the U11s coaching team. The additional support from Peter will be important now we are planning on separating out the forwards and backs more during training.
Without active parental support, the age group simply would not be able to function. With that in mind, it is great to see people stepping forward to help out during the U11s turn for catering and car parking. In particular special thanks are due to Julie McLelland for organising this all. If any parents have not helped out yet, or are not on the rota to help with the catering in the New Year please don’t wait to be asked – contact Julie or one of the coaches.
A big “thank you” is also due to Caroline & Nick Carpenter for managing the players register, and the administration of membership documents and subs. There is a lot more work involved in this than many people might imagine, and they do a great job for us all.
Important Kit Reminders
It is vital for players to wear the correct kit. If a player doesn't comply with the 3 requirements below they will not be allowed to play the contact game.
1. Boots must have Rugby studs (rounded aluminium), not football studs or blades.
2. Proper fitting Mouthguard.
3. Clothing must not contain velcro, zips or any sharp edges or features which could cause injury
Last of all, if you haven’t already then please remember to make good use of the club website :
As always, if you have any questions please approach one of the coaches.
On behalf of the U11s coaching staff