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Re-print of Geoff Andrews' inspiring speech to our club in 2010

The coach will want to see you do the basics well. He’ll want to see who knows the 7 pillars of rugby. Those 7 pillars are - The Scrum – The Lineout – The Ruck – The Maul – Kicking – Passing and Tackling. And…get this. He’ll want to see who dresses properly when you turn up for training. He doesn’t want to see people wearing caps or hats at training. He doesn’t want to see people wearing loose clothing and “always” take your boots to training.

College Coaches are always worried about coaching “up” to the highest common denominator or “down” to the lowest” The coach will be looking for those who can help him coach others on the field. He’s looking for navigators. Who can navigate the team down the field? Who missed a “must make” tackle? Who is reading the conditions? Who is using the sun to put in a high kick? Who is using the wind? If it’s raining keep the ball on the ground. Stand closer together when the wind is at your back (the ball floats away from you) always pass the ball to a receiver the way you’d like to receive it. Periphery vision.

As we evolve as rugby players, we handle knowledge of the game in different ways. We tend to move through these stages:
- First of all - We are unaware of the game of rugby.
- Then we become aware of it and how to play it.
- Then we comprehend meaning from information that we learn at training and listening to coaches and team mates.
- Now when you go to College you must personally apply the information learned and understand the need to be on top of the 7 pillars
- You must have wisdom – be enlightened so you can lovingly apply your knowledge to the game.
- Due to the competitiveness you must be truthful and learn to love your teammates. You had team mates in high school who you love and now you have to fall in love again.

These same team mates will help you with your exams.
Your first game will be a helter skelter teeth baring scrap like baboons fighting leopards. Everybody will be trying to impress the coach. The coach will be looking for steadiness while all this is going on.
He’ll look for fierce driving in mauls, ruthless finishing and high quality, bloodthirsty, bowel loosening tackling.
He’ll look for players who look for work.
He’ll look for players who back each other up.
He’ll look for players who are fit.
He’ll look for players with imagination
He’ll look for players who work on dominating their opposite number.
He’ll look for players who rise above the rest.
He’ll look for players who lift themselves out of the pack
He’ll look for players who know the laws. (Remember, rugby has no rules. We have laws)

The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self improvement, about being better than you were in the classroom the day before and at rugby training the last time you trained. Life is like riding a bicycle. Whoever stops pedaling will fall over. Circumstances may cause interruptions or delays, but never lose sight of the goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs. This goes for studying for exams and for playing rugby.

Rugby players who are unable to motivate themselves in the classroom or on the field must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents." GET READY!!
Remember – Train hard and study hard. Don’t practice. Train.
Give it everything, and then a little bit more. No one has ever drowned in sweat.
In rugby there are trophies and memories. Trophies gather dust. Memories last forever. The college rugby coach will help you retain those memories

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