Getting 17 and 18 year olds to do anything can be a challenge, but getting them to do something willingly and well is an unbelievable art.
I love rugby and have had the real pleasure of watching my son play since he was 12.
But for all its great upsides it does have a problem, and that is keeping boys interested in the game at colts level (17-18). Why? Because the game needs you to be fit (or you get injured), requires you to train as it is so technical, and gets pretty tough at Colts as you are suddenly up against 15 stone 6ft plus young adults.
Plus there is the added distraction of work, women and alcohol. 3 great persuaders!!
So many great youth sides fall apart at this age, and if it wasn’t for all the fantastic coaches out there, giving up their free time to motivate, train and develop the players, we would struggle to have an adult league at all.
I have watched these coaches out in the rain in the middle of winter, training 8 dedicated boys, as the rest of the team couldn’t be bothered to turn up, still encouraging them, wanting them to do well and making sure they come back the following week ready to train again.
On top of that they then have to put up with disgruntled parents that believe the club should be doing more to support the team, that their son should be playing better standard rugby, a different position, and so on.
Would you do it?
Well whatever the answer to that question I am bloody glad there are people out there that do. Being part of a team sport has such a positive influence for so many boys growing through their teenage years.
So from the bottom of my heart, thanks to all of you.