As is Rugby PickEm tradition, we give our listeners (and readers?) an end of year blizzard of content before the year ends. The following is an recap/update on the 2021 fall season. Over the next few days, we'll keep the feed fresh with some old interviews we did throughout the year. What a year it was.
Rugby PickEm stayed busy in the fall of 2021, but here are some behind the scenes stuff that has grabbed most of our time and attention.
1) Coaching Grassroots Rugby
We've always been a grassroots first podcast. In the rugby world, one reaps what one sews. Spending time at the high school and collegiate level developing the game is essential. Over the past 5 years, we've been coaching the same group of kids since middle school. It has been a long and crazy journey, but all the hard work from the players resulted in a start-up high school team hoisting their first hardware!
2) Rugby Rent Scholarships
This newly launched initiative had a wild first fall season. There were some massive successes, and also some serious lessons learned during the first 4 months of operation. As inflation and the continued pandemic makes it harder and harder to find affordable housing, this initiative is all the more imperative to the success of young players in their 20's as they attempt to relocate their life to pursue the highest level of club rugby.
3) USA U-23 High Performance Fall Camp
Was privileged to have the opportunity to help manage a 9 week camp where some of the best young talent was assembled in Denver, CO. The goal was to introduce players to the professional environment, and show them what it takes to be a professional rugby player. From early morning weights, to 2 a day training sessions, to eating healthy and diving into the film, the players were pushed on just about every front.
Some players arrived with the professional mindset already instilled in them. Some grew substantially over the 9 weeks. Others failed to rise to the occasion and squandered their opportunities. I learned so much about what goes into creative a high-performance / professional environment. The relationships garnered from this camp are invaluable, and I am excited for these young players to show the world what they can do on the pitch. Keep an eye out for some interviews to come in January as we lead into the 2022 MLR season!
4) Reading Books
Yes ... reading BOOKS! Not staring at screens or reading online articles on the phones / tablets. Let's get back to ink and paper! Here are some great reads that Rugby PickEm loved in 2021 ...
My Life and Rugby - Eddie Jones
- Eddie has seen it all. From the amateur's game developing into full blow professionalism, he navigates his career and gives insight into his brilliant rugby mind. If you live to coach like Eddie, this is a great read.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey
- Tired of spinning your wheels and feeling like you're just keeping your head above water? This book will help instill principles of effectiveness that have stood up for centuries.
Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear - Elizabeth Gilbert
- Do you have a creative itch you've been wanting to scratch? Willing to produce some "content" in a world full of trolls and haters? Liz Gilbert brings you into her mind and passes on ideas that will make you think twice about caring what other think. Unleash that creative edge you've been storing for far too long.
More content to follow (including Uncle Johnny's stories of being a Jimmy John's delivery specialist ... p.s. he was Freaky Fast).