LAKELAND, Fla. -- No time was wasted in preparation for the “Final in ‘14” as the Women’s Eagles player pool assembled in Florida for the year’s first training sessions. Fifty-seven players attended the Jan. 1-5 camp held at Tigertown, the winter home of the Detroit Tigers.
“The assembly was to gauge players on their skills in game-like situations while utilizing our approach to play,” Eagles Head Coach Pete Steinberg said. “The camp was designed so that players got a chance to identify where they need to focus if they want to make the World Cup squad.”
The head coach coordinated the “tough and physical” schedule in order to emphasize playing consistently at an elite level, for which recovery is an “essential piece to that puzzle.”
“Players will be tired after the games at the World Cup and if we are to reach our ‘Final in ‘14’ goal then we have to be the best at recovering,” Steinberg said. “We can’t expect to win at that level without proper nutrition, injury-prevention, and rehabilitation routines.”
Strength-training sessions were a priority at the assembly with players being instructed by strength and conditioning coach Paul Carter.
“We use the weight room as part of our recovery and the players are really buying into Paul’s approach,” said Steinberg of Carter’s methods and techniques.
Scrimmages book-ended the camp, which also included smaller, situational-based games throughout the time spent in Tigertown. Split into two teams at the beginning of camp, players were forced to overcome unique climates with temperatures ranging from between 50 and 70 degrees. A torrential downpour falling during the middle of the assembly also added in making each session unique.
With the variance in climate coupled with fatigue from five days of practices and testing, Steinberg was very pleased with the results.
“The players’ focus was great,” said the head coach in review of the camp. “The scrimmage at the end was a great example of high-level domestic women’s rugby.”
All non-scrimmaging sessions were implemented in order to lay out the expectations for players in the coming months. Meetings were used for establishing the expectations of players in during the eight-month period until the World Cup.
“Players will have been given explicit expectations for the next eight months from both the staff and players,” Steinberg explained of the meetings. “The goal is to be very explicit about what we are signing up for and what we are trying to accomplish.”
Also from the meetings was the establishment of three training squads, which will be utilized for World Cup players to further their training during the summer months.
From here, regional and ETC camps will be held throughout the spring prior to tests against Canada. Details for additional camps and fixtures have yet to be determined.
During the five-day camp, the Women’s Eagles utilized the winter home of the Detroit Tigers, aptly named Tigertown, in Lakeland, Fla.
“Tigertown was great,” said Steinberg. “Access to the major league locker rooms, weight room and food, along with providing us with a great pitch really exceeded our expectations.”
Steinberg extended thanks to the Detroit Tigers organization during the camp on behalf of the Women’s Eagles.
The Women’s Eagles are set to begin World Cup play Aug. 1 in Paris. Additional matches will be played Aug. 5, 9, 13, and 17.
For the 2014 competition, the Eagles have been paired with RBS 6 Nations champion Ireland, Kazakhstan, and four-time defending World Cup champion New Zealand.
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Women's Eagles | Coaching Staff
High Performance Staff
Referee | Women's Eagles Scrimmages