End of year wrap-up: Now is the time to set goals

Pelham Rugby Director Matt Persanis, who helped coach the NYAC to the Super League trophy: Improvement requires planning and commitment.

After every season, it’s good to take a few minutes and look back to think what could I have done better, what went well, what didn’t. And where am I going?

Standing still is, in essence, going backwards. You must strive to improve everyday, every season, every year.

In order to do so, you must set realistic, tangible goals. To simply say “I want to do better next year” is not enough. That’s not tangible. How are you going to accomplish that goal? What are the steps you will take? What things can you do to achieve that? It’s much better for an athlete to say, “I will make every practice next year as I try to improve” or “I will work out on my own two times a week (or whatever) to get stronger, fitter, faster.”

I remember when I was playing—it’s not that long ago!—my coach asked me one winter to switch from playing hooker (middle of the scrum) to scrum half (person who puts ball into scrum and passes it out). These are two very different positions needing very different skill sets. But I agreed to do it since it was for the good of the team. I set some early goals. I needed to become quicker and have a better pass off both hands. How was I going to achieve this? I set the goals of making 100 passes off each hand every day, changing my workout routine to include more running and less weight lifting. And I stuck to it. Every day after work, I would come home, take out a bag of balls and spread them around the back yard. I put some masking tape on the fence and would try to hit that piece of tape with a pass using both hands 100 times. I had a goal that had a very simple method for achieving it. All it took was commitment.

I hope each player does the same thing every season, especially the older kids. The U13 and U15 players are old enough to set goals and work towards achieving them. You should speak to your child about what goal they would like to set for themselves and run it by one of the coaches to see if they agree.

So, what are my goals as Director for Rugby for Pelham Youth Rugby? Several!

  1. Keep the current coaches we have. Toby and AJ are fantastic coaches who also happen to be great young men! AJ has been coaching for several years, and Toby just made the US National Team. How will I do this? Well, we did a collection for Toby to pay him for the times he stayed for tackle without getting paid and for all the times he came on Sundays. I also speak to each of them on at least a weekly basis.
  2. Recruit more players! At all levels! To do this, I have started talks with the New Rochelle High School coach about younger siblings of his players. We are also meeting on Friday to come up with more ideas. One is to try to get our program into Pelham Rec’s summer schedule or the New Rochelle YMCA summer program.
  3. Recruit more parents to share the load. Not sure how to do this one yet!

If your child has any questions or comments, please forward them to me. I would be more than happy to speak with them. Have a good winter and see you in February!

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