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Off-Season Journal



As Brian O'Driscoll said in his book,"it's funny what traveling at 550 miles per hour, and 37,000 feet up in the air can do to someones mind."

Well, I thought of the idea of keeping a daily, or close to daily, schedule of my off season on The Rugby Forum while I was on the plane back from London this past Saturday. I will go through what I have done each day to acheive my goals which i want for this next year, and possibly in the future.

While on the plane I decided i would outline some key goals for my near future.

My Goals Are:

Earn an invite to the USA U-19 camp

Get selected to the USA U-19

Become a better passer all around. (quickness, tighter spiral, better dive passes)

Become a better kicker for touch and goal

Become: Stronger, Faster, More Endurance.. etc.

Become the goal kicker, touch kicker, and captain for my U-19 side next year

As of right now those are my current goals, possibly further down this road to next season I will find some more, but without a doubt, I recognize it will take some hard work.

Also, feel free to comment, if you wish to.
Sunday, 18 June
Well, woke up this morning around 9:30-ish. Still feel quite tired however due to the jet lag. Figure I should have a quick breakfast, watch some World Cup and possibly to the sofa for some sleep. Finished breakfast, which was good as usual, Apple Jacks cereal.. nutritious eh? Surfed through the television channels a little, and found Japan vs. Croatia on, entertaining match, pity there were no goals scored, even though both sides had some astonishing chances. Up next, Brazil vs. Australia, should be a decent match with the Brazil powerhouse, facing the underdog, yet a determined squad in the Socceroos.

Fell asleep about 25 minutes in, a very lackluster game from the Brazillians up to that point to be honest. Woke up with 10 minutes left to the sight of Brazil in the lead.

Match over, Brazil 2 Australia 0, good luck to both squads. Well, now it is about 3 p.m. and I feel a little better rested, and feel that maybe a light kicking session will do me some good. My usual goal for each day is 40 made field goals, today because Sunday is my off day, and I wanted to get in a little light training, I only kicked 30. Its very hot outside today 90* F (32*C). Strong wind due to heavy storms which will be moving into the area today.

Kicking went well, took me about 35 minutes to complete the 30 field goals, for the most part it went smooth, only missed about 5-7 total.

Knee was a little sore afterwards, probably because I hadn't used it in a little over a weeks time. But as of now, time for some Father's Day golf.
Not a bad outing at all, shot a 51, which is about my normal (not to shabby for a 3rd year golfer!) Knee feels a tad better after walking the course while golfing, probably have some hot tub, followed by ice tonight just to make sure it is all good by tomorrow.

Well, now im off to catch some TV, and then the much needed sleep, because tomorrow some more heavy work starts.
Monday, 19 June
Ahh, the first official day of hard work.. how good it feels! Today is another warm day, as most summer days are, with the temperature reaching 81*F.

So I awoke around 9:30 again, and decided to get some milk and maybe a bottle of water. I know that today I will have a lot to do so I should probably take my time, and enjoy the amount of time i have off for today. So just chillin', listening to my mp3 player, currently playing Ludacris. Something about rap music just gets me a little more pumped for what lays ahead in this off season.

Just watch some TV until about 12, then have a quick lunch then, time to train. First off I decided i should get some weights in. I did, bench press, curls, roman curls, wrist curls,lat pull down, tricep pull down,tricep skulls.. all this is for my upper body. Lower body will not be weights, but will be nordic track cross country trainer, and plyometrics (these are on tuesdays,thursdays,saturdays). The weights went good, after going a week without any heavy lifting, and plenty of sauna's in London, I felt pretty well rested.

Finished the weights around 3-ish. Went out to pass and kick. The passing went well, 75 to left and right side, also 50 to left and right side from the ground as if passing from a ruck, diving passes 25 to each side as well. The kicking for the second day in a row was the highlight of my day. Each booming kick I sent at least 15 feet above the backboard of my basketball hoop, as of right now focusing on my follow through of the kick. I figured it was an easy concept.. the more i follow throught, the higher and more powerful my kick will become. Sever weather once again in the area threatened my kicking and with about 4 more kicks to be made it started to downpour, but I did not want to give up, i was focused and determined. Admist the driving rain and the swirling wind i finished my kicking successfully.

I feel this determination, and focus is what may set me apart from other fellow rugby players in my group. I know many, in the stormy weather, the hot temperatures, would sit back and put their feet up, but not me. I feel the more I put in the more I get out.

Another successful day on my off season, and am looking forward to tomorrow, for my first plyometric and nordic track training will take place.
Wow, you sound into your training. I wish I could do that. Bah I don't even eat healthily.

Especially if I want to take my rugby seriously. Although as a winger, I can't of much to improve, apart from maybe agility.

Good Luck in the aims!

Tuesday, 20 June
Tough day ahead. I woke up this morning with my nose blocked and eyes burning/itching, must be an allergy relapse! I figure that either my medication is not strong enough or my allergies have gotten worse..tough one. Anyhow, I have changed my off season training plan a tad bit.

Instead of doing plyometrics, i have decided to just do the nordic track cross country trainer, i did it today and it replaces the plyometrics in terms of leg strength. Not only will it increase my speed and strength, but it will also have the effects on my cardiovascular endurance.

Today, looked very daunting when I woke up. I sat around a lot today, watched some SportsCenter, then watched a few episodes of Futurama, what a great show! The comedy is always new and so witty!

Around 2:55 i watched the England v Sweden game, a game England could have very easily lost. Not an inspiring performance by any means.

Afterwards, i went down into the basement for my nordic track workout. It was tough i used to be able to put in a solid 30 minutes on it prior to my last rugby season, but now it was hard to put in 10! So i just did 10 minutes at a little faster than normal pace, it felt good, my legs were rubber afterwards!

Once the hardest part of my day was completed, i went out and kicked. Not quite my best day, i wasnt hitting the ball with the sweetspot of my foot to good, and i wasn't as focused as i usually am. I still managed to get 30 over, and i was pleased to see that once i focused i was really pounding the ball.

My passing was good, i decided to try out the Dwayne Peel pass training. Where you use a pole and stand 5m or more out and see how many times you can hit it, i hit it all 20 times, looks like ive got two up on you Mr. Peel!

Well until another day of exciting off season, im signing off, and will look foreward to buckling down tomorrow on my kicking!

"Sweat plus sacrifice equals success."
-Charlie Finley
good stuff DC good read, keep it up.

Hopefully you will make your season goals should be a good one :)
Wednesday, 21 June
Right, i have to be a little abrupt due to the severe storms headed our way, and i dont like to keep my PC on during those. Well just sat down here, Woosah thanks for the compliments on the writing, i always wanted to be a journalist of some type when i get older. Black Monday, i know how you feel, it is hard to get committed, especially to off season training. Sometimes i even feel it hard to go on! But my best advice is, to get a goal and remind yourself everytime you want to quit that if you dont follow through.. you wont get to your goal.

Well, today was a pretty good day. Sat around most of the day, watching the world cup, and more Futurama.. i think im addicted!! Around 1 or so, the rain started here and we had a downpour for about 2 hours, so i decided to drink my protein shake.. 2 scoops..48g of protein.. good stuff. Then i lifted weights. Good session felt i really got a lot done.

Afterwards the rain had slowed down a bit so i figured i would go out and kick. It wasnt my best session, but it wasnt as bad as yesterdays. I focused a little more, and i noticed i kicked some really nice kicks.

Passing went well, as usual i just did my normal passing routine today. Well guys, sorry for this abruptness, but tomorrows will be much more in depth.

"The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."
-Joe Paterno
Nice DC13, used to do a lot of kicking practise myself, about 2 hours a day, until I blew my knee out :( (overuse maybe?)

Keep up the good work :D
Friday, 23 June
Well, I couldnt update yesterday, because i simply ran out of time in the day! Well lets see, yesterday i was absolutely gutted after the US loss to Ghana, what a bunch of **** to be honest. It was about 12 when the game ended so i felt i would need some time to calm down and all that, then i just went about my workout as usual. Did my cross country trainer, and a little kicking. Lighting and more severe thunderstorms moved through and cut my session short, only got in 13 made kicks.

Today, was much better however. I awoke to a light drizzle, a nice change to the sweltering heat and severe thunderstorms! So i watched the ukraine game, good to seem them advance, especially after the beating they took against spain. Those damned frogs outside their hotel!! Next i watched a little TV had something to eat, and then went down to lift weights. Good lifting session, i will be looking forward to increasing weight for next week.

After my weights, i strapped up my boots, stretched out and kicked. It was overall a good kicking session, i made all 30 only missed 5 or 6, and sent many booming high into the sky.

Now im just chilling listening to some great Beastie Boys tracks on my mp3 player, and looking up some training techniques.

I just found this link called, training with tennis balls, where i guess you use tennis balls to work on scrum half passing, something i will be working on this off season, and punting. It makes sense for punting because if you can control a tennis ball and where you want it to go, a rugby ball im sure will be easier, well i think it is worth a shot.

Tonight im off to an Indians game, and i will be back sometime later tonight.

"If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat."
-Herschel Walker
I'm interested in how you drill yourself for kicks in terms of how many you take from each angle, what distance etc. as I am practicing my kicking this summer too. It's cool to find I'm not the only rugby addict who's willing to spend whole days training.
fortunatly as a no8 i only need to be 3 things- hard, fast and fit
oh ball skills aswell i guess
Saturday, 24 June
Well, glad to report i just finished my last day of hard training for this week!! Read a few posts on this thread, which i was glad to see.. didn't know if anyone was reading!

Well in regards, Canadian Rugby Guy, i to am happy to find im not the only one who likes to train hard! Well, i'll let you in on my little training secret, well not so secret. What i do is i have two places to practice my kicking, i either a.) practice in my front yard while aiming at my basketball hoop, or b.) i kick at the local field on the goal post. Basically what i do in order to use distance, angles etc. is i will determine which day it is. Mon, Wed, and Fri are left foot punting days, whereas Tue, Thr, and Sat are right foot punting days. So lets use today for example, today is Saturday, therefor during my kicking today after i would kick the ball towards the basketball hoop, or the goal posts, i punt back out to the yard using my right foot(where i kick them from towards the hoop) and depending on where it lands i kick from, so sometimes they will land in the middle of the yard sometimes they will land to the sides, its all random. Each kicking session i have a marking on the field which is my distance to kick from, if my punt doesnt go passed that, i just move the ball back past it, and kick it from behind the marking so basically every kick i take is passed a certain distance, and that distance i increase every two weeks.Now if i really boom a punt, and it goes way passed the mark i will just usually kick from where it lands. I hope this is making sense, any questions you can contact me on MSN or AIM anytime. With this type of kicking training, not only do i train for place kicks, but im working my punting off both feet.

The aiming for over the basketball hoop deffinetly helps increase your accuracy, because usually i found, i am aiming for a smaller area.

Well, today was a pretty good training day. The weather wasn't too bad either, for once no storms in the area, and a nice sunny day. Warm but not Hot. So i watched some world cup today to start the day. Nice job Germany on a good win, sweden what was that penalty kick all about?! Then i ate a bit of lunch, had my 48g of Protein via the whey protein shake, then hit the nordic track cross country trainer for a bit of legs and cardio. This machine sure does kick your ass to be honest! This 10 minutes every other day has been hell the plyometrics are not even needed, so i cut them out of my training program.

Just before i started writing down todays notes i had just finished my kicking. Quite a solid day to be honest, was very focused, and relaxed. The evening really brings out the best in my kicking! I was booming them up there again as i had on monday, very good form, and it appears ive gotten a lot out of my hard work of 30 made kicks a day!

Well time for me to go for the day, gonna hit the hot tub for some some soothing warmth after another long day of training, tomorrow of course is the much needed off day! Next week brings some new challenges, as i look to replace the plyometrics in my routine with the tennnis ball training i was looking into yesterday.

"Set your goals high, and dont stop till you get there."
-Bo Jackson
Um DC,

What position do you play?

A friend of mine is a sports psychologist (although mostly golf and a bit of football) and he raves about mental preparation. He told about a system that he used for golf juniors about how he would get them to between five and fifteen minutes a day with their eyes closed and in a quiet room to go through their golf swing over and over.

He reckons that they get a huge improvement in their technique. Obviously they still practice during the real thing as well!

I will ask him to send me some of the reading material that he has if you wish!
Monday, 26 June
Ahh, good day to have off yesterday, was much needed! Didn't do anything yesterday really so nothing much to write on and on about. Big Ten, i play Scrum Half, man thats pretty interesting, yea send some stuff, i wouldnt mind checkin it out.

Anyhow, today was an alright day. Started off but through the course of the day it got a lot better. Had to wake up at 8 a.m. this morning for driving education classes, so i can get my license finally! Boring classes as usual good thing there are only 8 classes, but bad thing is each class is 3 hours long. Not a good time at all. So the classes lasted 9-12 and afterwards i came home had a bite to eat, and then drank some protein and went to lift my weights.

Good lift today, increased weights on pull downs, bench press, and tricep skulls. Felt i really got a good workout on the pecs today! Once finished i came up and noticed it was raining outside, good thing, i love training outside in the rain.

So i went out to kick, i didnt have a good kicking day at all today. I feel i let myself down a tad today, i was focused but it just didnt seem to be a good day at all. Shame. My follow through certainly could have been better to get more height on my ball, especially my CCC ball which is harder than my Gilbert ball, which is rather soft, which is traditional with more worn Gilberts. Oh well, tomorrow is another day, and i wont let myself down two days in a row. My passing went well today, i started the tennis ball training ive been talking about. It worked really good, it felt natural and hope the amount of reps i did will certainly help my passing. I did 100 from the ground to each side. And i also finished with my Gilber Reflex Trainer for 100 more to each side from a standing position.

Well today got gradually better, am a little down about my kicking, but i know i can do it, and i will be looking foreward to tomorrow.

"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."
-Vidal Sassoon
Hey Big ten would you midn sending some of that reading my way as well please? thanks.
Tuesday, 27 June
Well, didn't have access to the PC tonight so i figured i would jot it down on some paper and type it up for you guys tomorrow (being today of course!).

Well another day of driving classes down, but my o my am i tired! This getting up at 8 a.m. thing is catchin up to me. Felt like i was gonna fall asleep during kicking today!

Well my legs were sore, but i know the only one to remedy for that is to use them so i hit the Nordic Track, after the 10 minutes theyfelt like jello.. but they were no longer sore. Quick stretch outside and im ready to kick. Felt very good kicking today, wsa really bootin some over, and others i would occasionally hook or slice. I find i need to work on my follow through more to get them higher in the air as well.

Next up it was my passing drills, utilizing the tennis balls, the one hundred passes from each side on the ground really made the back of my legs sore the other day, so today working through the pain i accomplished that many again, each pass looked and felt nice. Am completely wasted right now (not in the drug sense!), but just so tired.. Gotta get some sleep. Good night all.

"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance."
-Samuel Johnson
Wedensday, 28 June
Another day down on the driving classes only 5 more to go. I cant do this anymore, the early wakeup plus with my need to not go to bed until late. Classes were boring today, came home ate, and knew i had to train today.. not the best feeling when you are tired.

So i went and lifted weights good session. Felt good, since the increase of weights in monday ive felt good, and accomplished after each session. Next came up the passing drills utilizing the tennis balls. Worked up a heavy sweat from those drills like i usually do! Back was tired from bending over for 200 times. Once completed, i sat down and had some protein supplement, good as always.

Cooled off in the air conditioning for a little before going outside. Warm muggy day again, and i start off as usual with a nice quick stretch in my legs. Felt good, started kicking and man did i feel tired, like i could fall asleep. Not good when you have 30 kicks to complete. Not a good session at all, my focus was all over, focusing on being tired rather than kicking and focusing on every part of my kicking motion too much, made me more unfocused, and it didnt feel natural. Not only that but my planting left leg felt sore, and it would hurt during the follow through. I just decided to pack it up after 15 disgusted with what i was doing, and from there it was straight to bed.

Ahh 2 hours sleep, makes me feel very rejuvinated. Still leg is tight, and sore, hope its not strained, sprained, pulled. Well, tomorrow is my last day for driving for this week and i will be lookin foreward to sleepin in friday, my body needs that, and badly. Im extremely tired, im goin to sleep g'night everyone.

This quote really means a lot to me guys, i have a feeling you guys all know how bad i want to be USA U19.

"I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it."
-Gale Sayers
Mate you go guy!!!!!

Hey.....over the next 2 and a half weeks I will see what Auckland Rugby Union resources I can find and will be able send to you to help keep you on the cutting edge. I am planning to contact ARFU anyway these NZ school holidays (yay!) to enquire about coaching courses so I will look out for you too.

Because I am a teacher they are normally keen to help. Also our school has a rep in rugby in Auckland for intermediate Schools.....except for this year....we are getting heaps of seconds....yesterday our girls U55kg league girls came SECOND as well as our U45kg boys. Waste of a bus trip! Next year though I will take over as the head coach for our footie programmes so it will be back to first first first :lol: !!!!.....yeah...whateva...
as a word of advice i,d work on 30m sprints also to make yourself more dangerous around the edge of a ruck

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