RUNY ATHLETES SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES & INSIGHTS WITH FORDHAM PREP RUGBY TEAM
By Kiera Fitzgibbon
Yesterday, Alex MacDonald and Ben Foden visited Fordham Prep as part of our Community Outreach program. They joined Harry Bennett, fellow RUNY athlete and Fordham Prep Director of Rugby, for the team’s preseason meeting. The guys shared their experiences from their rugby careers and reinforced the importance of the team’s values and philosophies to achieve their goals.
I talked to Harry afterwards to learn how the meeting went and his plans to prepare the team for the upcoming season.
What are your goals for the team as you prepare for the Spring season?
We’ve started our preparations much earlier this season with an emphasis on Strength & Conditioning as well as core skills. Our goals are to get the players in the best physical shape possible between now and the start of the season.
How have the visits from the RUNY Community Outreach program aided the team in preparation for next season?
It was great to hear a different voice on the above aspects. Ben Foden provided great insight into the importance of Strength & Conditioning along with mastering core skills. I believe the players gained a lot from Ben and his experiences as a professional rugby player. More importantly, they learned a lot from his journey as a young rugby player working hard and rising the ranks of rugby to achieve his goal of representing England on the national level.
What are the big takeaways from yesterday’s visit?
The more exposure high school players get to the RUNY athletes , the more knowledgeable and prepared they will be for the season. Many of the RUNY athletes started playing rugby around the same age as the team, so they look up to the RUNY guys for guidance as they continue playing for Fordham Prep and start to think about their careers moving forward. During their visit, the RUNY guys reinforced the importance of the values and skills we teach them each week, which inspires the players to work even harder to achieve their goals.
What have the players shared with you about RUNY’s visits? Do they see major benefits learning from their experiences playing on a professional team?
Yes, they loved meeting the RUNY players! By sharing their different backgrounds playing rugby in the U.S. and abroad, the team gained valuable insights and inspiration to continue their athletic development. They love hearing from different perspectives to help them figure out what goals and expectations they have for their own rugby careers.
What are your expectations for the 2020 season?
I want to build on the previous season’s goals as well as install some key aspects of the program that will foster success for the team and players.
What drills/exercises will you focus on to improve the team’s performance and synergy on field?
We’ll focus on tackle technique to lead to safer and more consistent tackling along with ball handling under pressure so the players learn to make better decisions when faced with an opponent. A match is never as slow, organized or clean as practice; there are many obstacles that come up in the moment and players need to be equipped with strong quick decision-making skills to play efficiently and intelligently.
Special thanks to Harry for inviting Alex and Ben to the preseason meeting. We hope you have a great season and hope to see you all at a RUNY match!
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