If you are thinking of playing tag rugby this season it is very important that you prepare for the season ahead. There are a lot of dangers involved in entering the tag rugby season without any pre season preparation. Don't worry this is not an article about punishing runs or hours in the gym! Just an attempt to ensure you lead into an injury-free Tag season.
**NOTE** Of course before undertaking any such activity of this kind, knowing how to WARM-UP is essential. For tips on warming-up, keeping 'warm' and warming down, please click HERE (PDF 43kb)
There are four stages to Pre-Season which are:
- Foundation Strength
- Game Fitness
- Competition Period
The very first stage is important to everyone especially people who have not taken part in sport for a long period. For best advice visit your doctor and after discussing your training history and injury history they will advise if you need to complete further medical screens.
Another suggestion is that you visit a Fitness coach for a fitness assessment/screening.
To help prevent injuries and improve your performance it is advisable to complete a foundation strength programme at home or in your local gym. This will gradually help to strength your muscles, ligaments and tendons for the season ahead. The most appropriate programme for a tag rugby player with a low training history would be an anatomical adaptation session. This is a body weight based session based on the initial fitness test / screen. The result will be an improvement in the compensations picked up in the screen which will help reduce injuries and improve you performance on the tag pitch. A programme like this should only be prescribed by suitably qualified fitness coaches. The above session can be completed before the season starts and during the season.
As it gets close to the season you will be preparing for the competition phase with pre-season training on the pitch. This does not have to consist of numerous laps or multi sprint endurance. You can get fit for the season through training games. There are two very important rules before you start out on this -
(1) Complete a good warm up and warm down
(2) Don't rush into high level training
One easy way to measure training is the rate of perceived exertion. Players commonly use the below table to assess how hard the training is
If you complete your first training session at intensity level 10 it may be too high a level of intensity to start your pitch training, especially if you have not played sport for some time. I would suggest that you control the intensity you train at for the first few training sessions to help prevent any earlier injuries. If a player passes you easily for a try in the early sessions don't worry it is better than injuring yourself in the first few sessions and been out for 6 to 8 weeks. An example of the first few weeks back to pitch training would be like this -
Week 1 - Session intensity (3)
Week 2 - Session Intensity (5)
Week 3 - Session Intensity (7)
Week 4 - Session Intensity (9)
This will help ease you into training and gradually increase your fitness during the Competition Period. Please see below some fun fitness games (downloadable in PDF format) that you can add into your training but remember build your foundation strength before the season and ease into high intensity training and games.
Click HERE to download Game 1 - Touch & Retreat (PDF - 276kb)
Click HERE to download Game 2 - V-Touch (PDF - 311kb)
Click HERE to download Game 3 - End Ball (PDF - 237kb)
Have a fun and healthy IRFU Tag season!
© Irish Rugby Football Union, 2014