It has been a little while since the previous Coach’s View – but things certainly have not been quiet.
The team is currently gearing up for the forthcoming Opal Series, the national flag tournament. This year sees the most teams ever enter, with several new teams joining – including the Valkyries. As such it promises to be a great event and a great chance for us to showcase what we have been doing on the national stage.
In the previous post, we noted how the team had moved to more technical, fundamental style training. The aim being to give them the skills to get into the right positions and how to execute correctly. Now, focus has shifted to bolting all that together and creating more game style situations.
This has been done in different ways, with the main one to actually play a game. Playing against different players creates a whole different dynamic and we are lucky that we have teams in the area that are willing to help us out. Previously we had played the Cardiff Hurricanes, and now we were extremely grateful to the Cardiff University Cobras for taking time out of their pre-season camp to give us a game.
As with the Hurricanes game, it was an ideal chance for us to run through our full playbook – both on offence and defence – and to work through some of the new plays and coverages.
From the training side, now that all the plays and terminology are installed it is more about getting reps at them as a unit – bolting together all the things that we have learnt into a cohesive whole. As with the game, members of the Cobras have also come down to training sessions to run scripted plays in a structured environment to give the Valkyries specific looks at different plays and situations. Part of this is about getting ourselves into the best position to succeed and so a defensive focus has been having the players recognise what they see in front of them and check out of a play based on the offensive formation.
It has been great fun watching the women develop as we put more and more stuff together. However, while many of these have now been doing this for a while, we aim to also make sure that it is fully accessible to new players as well. Therefore, the playbooks all revolve around a couple of core rules from which everything is built. This, coupled with the flexibility of the play calling system means that we can quickly get players to a point where they are fully capable in taking part in full team sessions.
So if you are reading this and think that it might be too late to join – it isn’t. We are always looking for new players to give it a go and we have the system in place to develop you.
So join up and be part of the forthcoming Opal Series – and beyond!