England Sevens Talk… Pre-Tournament Conditioning
10, May, 2017
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that you need to be extremely fit to play sevens on the international stage.
The body of a 7s player goes through intense and grueling training sessions on a daily basis, but in terms of training, how does the week leading up to a tournament differ to their normal training routine? We recently caught up with the experienced Tom Bowen, as well as developing players, Will Glover and Callum Sirker to discuss all things training in the weeks leading up to a big tournament.
What is your typical training schedule in the week leading up to a tournament?
(TB) We normally have our first session one or two days after we’ve arrived to get over the jet lag, it’s quite a low-key session to get used to the climate in the city at the time. That is usually followed by a couple of tough sessions to get used to that intensity in the heat and making sure that everything is running smoothly. We will then have a day off to relax with a few gym sessions thrown in there. The day before the tournament we have a team run just to make sure that we are ready and everybody is on the same page.
(WG) Leading up to a tournament we have what they call a de-load week, so they take the intensity back and concentrate on the finer details and make sure that everyone is fit and ready to go.
(CS) You want to be fresh coming into a tournament so it will be much lighter. We will have a high-intensity session on a Thursday but other than that it’s less intense than normal as the last thing you want is guys picking up injuries just before a tournament.
How does this vary to training in between tournaments?
(TB) In between tournament’s it’s a lot of high-intensity sessions, trying to replicate the intensity of a tournament, making sure that when we play, we are performing at the right levels.
(WG) In between tournaments we have four training days a week which includes a gym session as well as a rugby session. The training varies from session to session but it’s usually high intensity and a high running load as there is more time to recover.
Are there any particular areas of training that you prefer?
(TB) I prefer open gameplay when it’s free flowing. When the play isn’t as scripted I feel this is where you see guys perform and do what they do best. If the coaches are reading this then I love every bit of training.
(WG) I really enjoy contact, I know 7s is about space but I love getting stuck in when it’s needed. I’m not a big fan of running drills, we do them to improve our game but I prefer to have a ball in my hands.
(CS) I am like a big kid, I just want to be out there running around! I know that the gym serves a purpose and although I enjoy it I like being out on the pitch, kicking a ball or practicing beating people.
“…go out with a smile on your face and enjoy it.”
What advice would you give to someone looking to improve their all-round game?
(TB) Enjoy it and try not to put too much pressure on yourself! Whether I’m training or playing, when I’m enjoying myself, I always play at my best.
(WG) You are always going to be looking to improve and the best way I found to do this is to watch people that excel in certain areas and try and apply that to your game.
(CS) Have no fear, go out with a smile on your face and enjoy it. Try things at training that you wouldn’t normally try and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.