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Olly9292

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Whilst in a form of lockdown I’ve basically been trying to improve as a player as much as possible, that’s been my aim throughout the whole thing really. In July (if the coronavirus lets me), I’m joining a new club which will be a pretty significant increase in standard to what I’ve been playing at previously. My aim is to ultimately make the 1st team if possible at some stage, that’s my objective.

I’m a 10 and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and ‘reflection’ and my game is based around organising really, I’m loud on the field and I think my best attribute is the direction that I can give a team. I’m good at managing a game, my tactical kicking is quite good and I’m a good defender. I’d say I’m a loud, organising, solid 10.

However, I’m not the fastest player and I’m not the flashiest player. I see 10’s who can make loads of breaks in the game and can throw really expansive passes and I can’t do that. When we’re behind in games for example and we need to score points and throw the ball around, I feel uncomfortable. I feel like this is something I need to improve. For example, when I watch myself back if the games have been recorded or something, there are times when I watch it back and we had an overlap that I didn’t see or we had space to attack and I didn’t get the ball to it.

I was just wondering whether you’d rather have a 10 who (more like me) is a good director of the team and organises players around them or whether you’d rather have an expansive 10 who is really creative? Also, what I can do to improve the more creative side of my game and make better decisions. Thank you.
 
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dullonien

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I don't think it matters that you're not quick and flashy. The core roles of a 10 are basically exactly what you've said are your strengths. Being vocal and controlling a game will get you a long way.

However there is always space for improvement. There's not much you can do to magically add speed or agility, but passing and decision making in attack are certainly things that can be worked on. Can you alter or vary how flat you play to the gain line? George Ford is excellent at making last second decisions whilst playing flat. This brings those around him into the game and forces the defense to make decisions.

A player like Stephen Jones (ex Wales and Scarlets 10) could be good to study. He certainly wasn't athletically gifted, but obviously worked hard to become a fine player in sides that played exciting running rugby.
 

Cruz_del_Sur

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CASI

Saving the distance from amateur to top tier pro, i couldn't help thinking of Felipe Contepomi when you described yourself. He was a very opportunistic player thou. Fast (not feet, head).

I was just wondering whether you’d rather have a 10 who (more like me) is a good director of the team and organises players around them or whether you’d rather have an expansive 10 who is really creative? Also, what I can do to improve the more creative side of my game and make better decisions. Thank you.
I used to think that way, now I'm not so sure. I've heard TONS of players/sport psychologist say they/players improved a lot once they stopped working (so hard) on their weaknesses and started putting more emphasis on getting what you are good at to an excellent level.

Think about it this way. Ogara was ,say, a 9 at kicking and a 3 at defense. Had he been a seven at both he would arguably be a better player but you would have never, ever heard of him. Rugby is becoming more and more a specialists' sport. not as much as nfl, clearly
 

BPM

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A couple of interesting comments here already.

I have spent the majority of time in the forwards, so I can’t speak from any experience as a 10. However, I tend to agree with Cruz on this in principle. Playing to your strengths is a good place to start - particularly given that the weaknesses you’ve described aren’t easy to change (if you’re not a natural flair player, it’s hard to become one).

I also think you might be being a little too critical of yourself for missing overlaps etc. Yes, it’s part of the 10s role to notice them, but it’s also up to the players who are seeing the space are making sure you know that. You’ve said that your organisation and communication on the park are two of your strengths, perhaps you could work with the rest of your team to make sure they’re upskilling in these areas too?

A 10 with the attributes you’ve described is a good asset and can be great for unlocking the more mercurial talents of others. You don’t need to be able to pull off miracle passes to put players in to space.
 

Old Hooker

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For me I’d prefer the good director. But it’s always nice to have the tricks in the back pocket - they can be developed but if you don’t try them in training you won’t have the confidence to use them in matches.

Although involving hard work it’s comparatively easy to get fitter / more agile. If your genes don’t allow it you’ll never become Jonny May, but improving yourself physically to the maximum of your potential is fairly straightforward. The brain’s the toughest muscle to train - it’s harder learning new skills or unlearning engrained habits than improving your squat or sprint times.

Maintain what you’re good at but if you’re serious about improving, work more on what you’re less good at - you’re only as good as your weakest link.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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I'd be looking at improving your speed. You'd be surprised at how much quicker you can get in a short amount of time with hill sprints, bounds, and a few exercises in the link below. Adding the ability to break/half break and offload to your described game will make you look a lot more complete on the eye test even if it's only adds 1-3 positive contributions a game. You'll also get more time on the ball if you're a running threat.

https://www.aths.coach/resources/six-resistance-band-exercises-for-sprinters
 
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