My name is Tom Foy and I’m the coach of the Brighton and Hove Sea Serpents, Sussex’s only gay and inclusive rugby team. This season I’m keeping a blog to record my thoughts and feelings over the season and reflect on the things we’re doing to improve as a team. This is my first attempt at regularly blogging so I’m open to any feedback/pointers anyone wants to give me.
This past week I’ve set the team 2 pre-pre-season challenges to encourage them to improve/maintain their levels of fitness while we’re not training and playing games. The first game is Forwards vs Backs, every time one of our players does some training in their own time whether that’s going to the gym, going for a run or attending a fitness class they have to upload a gym selfie to our players facebook group tagging #TeamForwards or #TeamBacks.
In the first week #TeamForwards beat #TeamBacks 36-27 and for their prize they get to come up with and watch the other team do 10 minutes of fitness work at the first pre-season training session on Tuesday 30th July. Next week we’ve mixed up the rules and the forwards will get extra points for any long distance runs they do and the backs will get extra points for doing weights sessions. There’s also extra points for training in a group of 3 or more and anyone that didn’t participate last week can earn double points for their team this week. A big well done needs to go to Damian Giles, Jon Borthwick and Darren Brown who racked up 5 workouts each for #TeamForwards and Daniel Da Rocha, Andy James and Kieran Moloney who racked up 4 work outs each for #TeamBacks.
The second game is Everyone vs Me. For this game I’ve added everyone that wants to play to a FitBit group. If any of them get more steps in a week than me they can come up with 10 minutes of fitness for me to do at the end of training, I get through an unusually high number of steps each day because I don’t drive so walk or get the train everywhere. I just about managed to hang on to top spot last week but I think I’ve got my work cut out this week with Charlie Swannack and Darren Brown putting me under a lot of pressure.
The idea for this activity was plagiarised from Hove Ladies RFC’s Instagram account. I’m always looking at other teams for ideas and we benefit massively from working closely with both the Hove men’s and women’s teams. I’ve also been listening to a new audio book called Atomic Habits by James Clear who discusses how people can create good habits. The author talks about making them fun and being accountable for your habits to a group or individual. I hope this little game can create an ongoing habit for the team of training outside of the normal Rugby sessions. The additional training will make their bodies are more resilient to injury and means that we can focus more of our time on skill development rather than on conditioning.
End of year reports…
I’m a bit behind with this but I’m still writing end of year reports for the team, each player is being given feedback on 3 areas they’ve really improved over the past year and 3 areas that they can look to work on over the next season and some advices on what to do over the summer. These areas can be anything from speed and agility to tackling, understand set plays or attitude and leadership skills.
Whilst there are a lot of reports to write these have been really enjoyable to do, as you really get to reflect on just how much each individual has improved over the season and how much they have all improved.
In our bid to get even more people playing rugby we’ve started Touch Rugby on a Wednesday night. This is to encourage people to play who might not want to do full contact rugby or is looking to get into rugby for the first time. This form of the game can be played by any age or gender and so far we’ve had a really good response last week we had 24 players attend the session and split into 4 teams to play 4 x 15 minute games with everyone coming together to play one big game at the end. Hopefully this will continue to grow and the plan is to enter a Sea Serpents team into fixtures and tournaments with other Touch Rugby teams from across the country. I’ll be running these until the end of the month before handing over to our very capable Touch Rugby captain Andy James.
The team have been out and about this past week promoting the club at the Paddle around the Pier event in Brighton and we are also preparing for our fundraising extravaganza; The Sea Serpent 500 where we will attempt to cycle 500 miles in one day to raise money to taek part in the 2020 Bingham Cup in Ottowa, any donations would be appreciated!
If you’re interested in playing rugby with the Serpents this year you can send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook. Contact pre-season training starts on Tuesday 30th July and Touch Rugby continues to take place every Wednesday from 7pm, why not come join us tomorrow!