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Regional Age Grade Championship 
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
There's another point to all this too! I notice, without exception, everyone has used the expression the 'boys' either in complimentary terms, in explanation terms and even in very critical terms? Which is, by the way, what these kids are at age-levels - B.O.Y.S!!

Consider a very simple fact? Boys, who form (example) a very capable, mainly winning, totally committed, U.16 team, can often step up an age-grade (or two even, to U.18) and look, and even become, very ordinary players? Bad coaching? Bad tactics? Lazy players? - Maybe, but age-group progression tends toward making this happen? A bunch of youngsters who sweep-all before them, can and do, (and will continue so to do?) to be overtaken within their own peer group in terms of skill/quality etc! in the space of a few short months!!
It's always been the case since I was a kid (around the time of Noah!) when I recall a certain JJ. Williams, coaching a team from the Rhondda Fach, who, he went on-record as saying, "Will probably produce 6 - 8 top class, if not International players in time!" It was a team he coached from U.13 - U.16 and they had a clean-sweep for 3 years! Sadly, though his 'vision' was somewhat distorted, he did, in fact, see 2 players go on to wonderful honours in the game (Maurice Richards and John Bevan) the simple element he ignored, was that by age 18 - 20, some of the former 'also-rans' (John Richardson is a name that springs to mind) had become VERY good players from a base of ZERO!!
Look at the Pacific Islanders? They produce some amazing young players, physically as mature as men at age 16 but 4 years on, stagnate while others pass them? It's the nature of youth and the rate of maturity? I have yet to see the 'wonderful' team of U.16 whizz-kids, transpose to an equally wonderful team of U.20 whizz-kids (with very few exceptions!!)
I don't have a clue what the 'Failure rate' is, nor do I really want to? (I guess it's quite high!) Again though, is it a failure, when a good youth player eventually plays in Div4 and his mate for the Ospreys? How many (for instance) of our current crop of capped U.20 players, eventually even get a pro-contract?
I still get the huge impression from some posters in this thread though, that winning, and winning well, is the sole measure of progress? It ain't lads, simple as that!!

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:20 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Chris ScumV wrote:
........................ how can they believe in a gameplan put together by a coach their father tells them is crap?


That alone Chris, is a cancer that needs to be cut out of age-grade rugby!! It only takes one 'Passionate' Dad (for want of a better term!) to 'infect' more than just his own son!! Verbally smacking a teacher, rarely motivates the pupil! Even if the teacher isn't so good!

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Bit of tough luck for you then, old chap. I really don't give a toss about your perceived sensibilities!!


Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:24 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
^That right there, is the biggest problem at age grade no matter what level.

people who think they know whats what but really know *fupp* all when it comes to the bigger picture.

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Otto wrote:
There's another point to all this too! I notice, without exception, everyone has used the expression the 'boys' either in complimentary terms, in explanation terms and even in very critical terms? Which is, by the way, what these kids are at age-levels - B.O.Y.S!!

Consider a very simple fact? Boys, who form (example) a very capable, mainly winning, totally committed, U.16 team, can often step up an age-grade (or two even, to U.18) and look, and even become, very ordinary players? Bad coaching? Bad tactics? Lazy players? - Maybe, but age-group progression tends toward making this happen? A bunch of youngsters who sweep-all before them, can and do, (and will continue so to do?) to be overtaken within their own peer group in terms of skill/quality etc! in the space of a few short months!!
It's always been the case since I was a kid (around the time of Noah!) when I recall a certain JJ. Williams, coaching a team from the Rhondda Fach, who, he went on-record as saying, "Will probably produce 6 - 8 top class, if not International players in time!" It was a team he coached from U.13 - U.16 and they had a clean-sweep for 3 years! Sadly, though his 'vision' was somewhat distorted, he did, in fact, see 2 players go on to wonderful honours in the game (Maurice Richards and John Bevan) the simple element he ignored, was that by age 18 - 20, some of the former 'also-rans' (John Richardson is a name that springs to mind) had become VERY good players from a base of ZERO!!
Look at the Pacific Islanders? They produce some amazing young players, physically as mature as men at age 16 but 4 years on, stagnate while others pass them? It's the nature of youth and the rate of maturity? I have yet to see the 'wonderful' team of U.16 whizz-kids, transpose to an equally wonderful team of U.20 whizz-kids (with very few exceptions!!)
I don't have a clue what the 'Failure rate' is, nor do I really want to? (I guess it's quite high!) Again though, is it a failure, when a good youth player eventually plays in Div4 and his mate for the Ospreys? How many (for instance) of our current crop of capped U.20 players, eventually even get a pro-contract?
I still get the huge impression from some posters in this thread though, that winning, and winning well, is the sole measure of progress? It ain't lads, simple as that!!




That is a excellent post sir and all the points are extremely valid.

I do have concerns about the "failure rate" as you put it, many of these kids are brought into academies but when they dont quite make the grade they are totally disillusioned with the game and often stop playing altogether.

Also i agree a young player more physically developed will often be a young star, but the power, pace and ability to break tackles at will is temporary, the skills he must learn are often neglected. These players stand out like sore thumbs IMO smashing through tackles when there are overlaps and the like. The winning mentality is extremely important, but so is the basic understanding of the principles, skills, and decision making involved in being a quality rugby player.

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:08 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Blindside wrote:
I do have concerns about the "failure rate" as you put it, many of these kids are brought into academies but when they dont quite make the grade they are totally disillusioned with the game and often stop playing altogether.


That has to be stopped somehow, I haven't a clue how but it has.

Blindside wrote:
Also i agree a young player more physically developed will often be a young star, but the power, pace and ability to break tackles at will is temporary, the skills he must learn are often neglected. These players stand out like sore thumbs IMO smashing through tackles when there are overlaps and the like. The winning mentality is extremely important, but so is the basic understanding of the principles, skills, and decision making involved in being a quality rugby player.


There a quite a few of us who get derided for pointing this out, muscles ain't everything especially when it is to the detriment of skill. It still happens on a large scale though.

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:17 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Dave (Scumv) wrote:
Blindside wrote:
I do have concerns about the "failure rate" as you put it, many of these kids are brought into academies but when they dont quite make the grade they are totally disillusioned with the game and often stop playing altogether.


That has to be stopped somehow, I haven't a clue how but it has.

Blindside wrote:
Also i agree a young player more physically developed will often be a young star, but the power, pace and ability to break tackles at will is temporary, the skills he must learn are often neglected. These players stand out like sore thumbs IMO smashing through tackles when there are overlaps and the like. The winning mentality is extremely important, but so is the basic understanding of the principles, skills, and decision making involved in being a quality rugby player.


There a quite a few of us who get derided for pointing this out, muscles ain't everything especially when it is to the detriment of skill. It still happens on a large scale though.


Qualified school PE teachers have a very good idea what the score is.

But then what do we know when it comes to the WRU and its blazers

U15/16 star ........who is a U18/19 drop out mean anything.


Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:45 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
I totally agree with you.

Quote:
Qualified school PE teachers have a very good idea what the score is.


The horrible truth is that we don't have many of them that specialise in rugby union anymore.

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:51 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Dave (Scumv) wrote:
I totally agree with you.

Quote:
Qualified school PE teachers have a very good idea what the score is.


The horrible truth is that we don't have many of them that specialise in rugby union anymore.


I cant enlarge on that Dave.

I'm sure you are correct

Why has this happened


Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:04 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Oh gawd, there are a multitude of reasons for that Dave.

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:16 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
guys we ARE making huge striedes (in our region anyhow) to tackle the failure rate. I believe the biggest killer has been that kis played to get into the academy, and when they didn't they said 'sod this game'! We have changed that now, and the doors are no longer closed on players who don't make the initial cut. E.g. the Academy v best of the rest match. If you want to see motivated players then watch that bugger. You will see 2 teams face off.
1. the academy boys who know that if they lose they are going to have to face the music
2. District boys who know that if they win or shine, they stand a chance of getting in.

It is a trials match in all but name ;)

Don't forget that the districts now run older teams as well as the regional academy, it is all part of our 'door always open' ethos :)

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:47 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Wupert wrote:
Dave (Scumv) wrote:
I totally agree with you.

Quote:
Qualified school PE teachers have a very good idea what the score is.


The horrible truth is that we don't have many of them that specialise in rugby union anymore.


I cant enlarge on that Dave.

I'm sure you are correct

Why has this happened


Doesn't it have something to do with the national curriculum, and broadening the number of sports that children are exposed to?


Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:20 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Ask current teachers, it has a lot to do with the attitude of the unions as well.

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Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
Up here in the miserable North, when our clubs approach high schools regarding sending in professional coaches, or introducing them to rugby, we have Health and Safety thrown at us!

The schools seem to think they are exposing the children to life and death scenario's and are unwilling to make any form of compromise to allow the pupils to learn rugby within their environment.

There is even a high school near where I live that had a £1500 grant to buy equipment. Bought balls, bibs, kits, tackle shields and everything else... then locked it all in a cupboard.

Such a waste!

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Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:52 pm
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Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
oedipus wrote:
Wupert wrote:
Dave (Scumv) wrote:
I totally agree with you.

Quote:
Qualified school PE teachers have a very good idea what the score is.


The horrible truth is that we don't have many of them that specialise in rugby union anymore.


I cant enlarge on that Dave.

I'm sure you are correct

Why has this happened


Doesn't it have something to do with the national curriculum, and broadening the number of sports that children are exposed to?


Up to a point Odi

But traditionally School rugby has been an after school or lunchtime activity


Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:55 pm
Post Re: Regional Age Grade Championship
MuddleyTalker wrote:
Up here in the miserable North, when our clubs approach high schools regarding sending in professional coaches, or introducing them to rugby, we have Health and Safety thrown at us!

The schools seem to think they are exposing the children to life and death scenario's and are unwilling to make any form of compromise to allow the pupils to learn rugby within their environment.

There is even a high school near where I live that had a £1500 grant to buy equipment. Bought balls, bibs, kits, tackle shields and everything else... then locked it all in a cupboard.

Such a waste!


Bringing in outside help is a huge decision and has major implications with the schools/authorities insurance cover add to that the in depth CRB check required for anyone working with the children and its hardly worth the schools effort


Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:57 pm
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