Kelly Griffin: Champion of Champions
There aren’t too many rugby players who were busier, or more successful, than Kelly Griffin in 2011. Kelly won the inaugural Women’s Premier League with the Berkeley All Blues, won the All-Star Sevens Championship with Pacific Coast, won the Sevens Club Championship with the Berkeley All Blues, and was able to work her full-time job as a health care consultant with STAT Revenue.
After winning three national championships one would think Kelly has a special mental ritual or a trick like a voodoo doll for each championship game she plays in because, the fact is, there are a fortunate few people every year, in all sports, that win three national championships in their whole lives, let alone one season. Other than her scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast it turns out her mental preparation doesn’t go much further than recognizing the situation she is in and, as she puts it, “treating it just like another game and I just have to have fun and do my best and hopefully it will work out.”
As a full-time worker and a full-time rugby player time management is of the utmost importance and Kelly is grateful for her employer’s flexibility, “Fortunately my boss is incredibly flexible. He knows that when I am at work I am being productive and if I need to go he tells me to go.”
Kelly’s, similar to many Americans, was first exposed to rugby upon entering college at UCLA as an Applied Math major with a specialization in Computing. After playing soccer and basketball in high school she was looking for a bigger commitment than intramural sports and after a look at the club sports offered, she felt rugby the best fit. After the first week she fell in love and the rest, as they say, is history.
Youth rugby is growing faster than ever in America and with that comes many great opportunities for all kids to fall in love with rugby and develop themselves as players. For Kelly the way to get better is simple, “The key is to always show up. If you have an opportunity to play, go play, you don’t say I don’t know if I really want to go. Just go and play because the more practice you get the better you are going to be.”