Thursday, 10 April 2014

Taster days

The last two days I've spent my time with the Quins squad, and the S&C Team including the current interns, seeing exactly what I'll be doing day-to-day when I start there in June. Simply put - I can't wait to start! I mean I was absolutely shattered at the end of each day, but it was so rewarding! I get tired at the end of my shifts at my current job, but that's because of 12 hours of work. Whereas here I did 7:30 til 15:00 roughly both days, and I was absolutely dead to the world by the time I hit the sofa at my parents house - but it's because I was mentally tired from trying to take it all in.
Here are some of the things I got to witness/partake in:
Gym sessions - "Regen" (lighter weight session for players recovering from the game), upper body main lifts, lower body main lifts.
Speed sessions - indoor work with speed ladders, mini hurdles etc working on stride length and foot contact speed. Then also some timings of backs and forwards doing 10m, 15m, and 20m. Some pretty quick boys its fair to say.
Therapy sessions - using foam rollers, lacrosse balls, double up lacrosse balls for T-spine, resistance bands etc all to work out any tight spots from the weekends games. Lots of lads focusing a lot on the hip flexors, psoas, piriformis, glutes and hamstrings. seems to be a common area for the squad.
Rugby - on the monday the only boys training were academy players really, or boys who hadn't played the weekend prior. They still got GPS'd up and some of them got to wear the Adidas stuff that they are trialling. It's pretty cool kit - Adidas have created a baselayer vest which has in-built heart rate and GPS trackers, which all then get linked up to a small little console you slot in the back of the vest. This all gets fed back Live to iPads on the sideline, or anyone logged in to the Adidas account online. so it can all be viewed and managed accurately. After the session has finished it all gets downloaded and the data entered onto the system. A hell of a lot faster than the StatSports they currently use. However I think the Adidas one still had some issues they weren't happy with so they haven't confirmed if it will be Adidas, StatSport or Catapult for next season.
The tuesday session was different as it involved around 35 guys. They had two whole teams training. Started off with individual unit drills, then progressed into basically a full team run working on defensive and attacking structure. A couple of the injured guys were on the sideline using a Watt-Bike for some conditioning.
This session was interesting too as it was an "open session". there were a large number of kids who had come down to view the session, along with two of my old coaches from Worthing Raiders Ben Coulson and Dean Dewey. But the main name to mention is definitely Andy Farrell. He came down to watch the session, and was then in Starbucks after sitting down with Danny Care and Mike Brown. Obviously keeping an eye on two of the best players from the Six Nations for England this year prior to their tour to New Zealand this summer.

One other thing worth mentioning is definitely the Food! Oh my god! If I get food like that 2-3 times a day when I'm there I definitely will not be complaining! mondays breakfast was steak, poached eggs, smoked salmon, a salad with chicken bacon and avocado, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes. So good. Tuesday I got to have omelette, gammon steaks, avocado and smoked salmon salad, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms etc. And then there is always fruit, toast, bagels - all with a choice of toppings like peanut butter, marmalade, jams, butter etc. Going to be living like a king. For one of the lunches there was a choice of spaghetti bolognese, or salmon with baked sweet potato, broccoli, green beans and salad. So good!

I got sized up for all my new Stash too. Adidas next season so I'll be getting training wear as well as potentially some trainers and maybe even some boots. not bad at all. One of the perks for sure.

So that's about it - I got to spend two whole days with the squad doing what I'll be doing next year. And it's just made me want it even more. I've said to myself, and to my parents, that I want to make every day count. Even when it becomes a grind when I'm broke, tired and wondering why - I want to say to myself to take it all in, be the best I can be, and make the most of it to give myself the best opportunity to come out of it with a job either with Quins or another team in the UK.
Highlights of the week - the food! and spotting Chris Robshaw (England captain) on bench press. Tidy that!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Big News!

Ok ... So 3 years after my first interview for an Internship in Strength and Conditioning I've finally secured one! And it's with the team who denied me first time around.

In June 2014 I will be starting a new journey, and it will be as a Strength and Conditioning Intern for Harlequins RFC. I will be based out of Surrey Sports Park, and will be assisting the S&C Team in the daily goings on.
Duties include:
Setting up protein shakes for the players
Setting up and clearing up the gym from weights sessions
Assisting with weights sessions
Assisting with program design for weights, fitness, speed and recovery
Assisting with daily physical activities (swimming pool, speed sessions, fitness sessions, rugby training)
Basically being a run-around for all the coaches and players.

I genuinely cannot wait for this to start. I will be moving away from Worcester, and moving to Guildford.

Finally - the first significant step on my journey as a strength and conditioning coach.

Bring it on!