Key lesson for Blues is enjoy game
RUGBY UNION SHELDAN KEAY
MACCLESFIELD RUFC head coach Giles Heagerty has revealed some of the lessons he has learnt from his side’s disappointing season in National League 1.
The Blues will be playing in National League 2 next year after suffering relegation, and Heargerty has lifted the lid on some of the observations he has made.
“The first lesson is that the old mantra ‘no plan survives the first contact’ has been proven true this year,” he said.
“All the planning and preparation we did pre-season went out the window when the first ball was kicked.
“National 1 is a relentless league, and you simply can’t legislate for injury, and as hard as you might try, you struggle to legislate for form, the bounce of the ball and questionable officiating decisions.
“The second lesson is probably as a group, and I put myself firmly at the front of that queue, you’ve got to learn to relax and enjoy the experience.
“I’ll be the first to admit that when we got relegated from National 1 two years ago, winning the league became something of an obsession, both for me and for the group.
“I think there are very few players who were involved in that campaign who could put their hands on their hearts and say they enjoyed their rugby and the experience.
“There was so much pressure for us to win, both internally and externally, that it sucked the enjoyment out of what should really have been a very satisfying and pleasurable experience.
“This year we went into the campaign a little more circumspect, but as the results started to go against us, we all started to tense up a little and that inevitably impacted on our performance; and once again the enjoyment of the game started to evaporate.
“Only when it became fairly clear we were going to get relegated did we start to relax and play some of our best rugby.
“The upshot of this lesson is that we need to make sure we enjoy our rugby next season. Ultimately it’s a hobby, and there’s no point forcing players to do something they don’t enjoy doing.”
‘Only when it became clear we were going to be relegated did we start to relax’
Blues coach Giles Heagerty