At rugby practice tonight, we all received our new and mandatory safety gear. The first item was a scrum cap, which is a sort of padded helmet that helps protect your ears and head from the constant contact there is in rugby. The second item was a set of shoulder pads, which probably aren’t what you’re thinking but are small foam pads build into the shoulder and neck area of a kind of spandex shirt, it fits tight and offers some impact protection to the area of our bodies we primarily use to hit others in the game.
Coach has made these things mandatory at all practices and optional at games but highly recommended. I am glad to have something to wear that I feel will help protect me a little bit. I personally think that this will offer me some kind of mental boost as I feel a little more confident going into contact with the other team because I am slightly more protected (at least more than I would be wearing no gear at all).
They do make us look pretty funny, and they feel a little weird at first. But as with all equipment in my experience, it just needs to be worn and broken in, and then you won’t even notice it there anymore. I actually used to wear my new hockey skates around the house with wet socks for a few hours to try to help break them in. Then they invented a skate oven that would heat up your skates and help mold them better to your feet so they were a little more custom.
Either way, I think our team will look a little more intimidating and come out with a more focused attitude for our first regular season game coming up this weekend against a very strong opponent, Wisconsin!
(written 7/16) Last night we had our first rugby practice of the trimester, and it’s so amazing to see a bunch of new girls come out to practice that might be interested in joining the team! It’s so fun to have fresh faces and get to know a few new girls and go over the basics of rugby, which never seem to get old!
One thing our coach always talks about is doing the little things right, and how if we can master the basics of ball handling and communication, we will be unstoppable. I like how he puts emphasis into the basics and makes what is complicated in the game seem simple. Many of the new girls out to practice or anyone who has never seen the game before but not played may completely disagree that rugby could ever be a simple game. It is very different from just about any other sport I have played with some weird rules that take a little getting used to. But overall, the game is about team-work, support and ball handling. And if you have those things down, you will always be able to get better!
The weather was nice for our first practice, and as we broke down the game and its general rules, it was nice to spend the night outside! We worked on some passing and 2 on 1’s and then an introduction to tackling (how to fall and tackling position) and then did a short game of touch rugby to get everyone back into the flow of the game and let the new girls see how it works. All the rain has made the ground a little softer and the grass a little thicker, which helped a little too!
Our new schedule came out and it looks like we start up right away with a 7’s tournament on Aug. 2!
I hope to see you all out at some games this trimester!