Our second training weekend took place in St Anne's Park, Dublin. Again the Saturday training started at 12 with the Cork members of the team this time having to make the journey. Hogi was also present for the training having flown in from Germany. As Dave had suggested our players turned up for this training decked out in their greens and whites (at least for the most part) and after a some throwing and conversation we started to warm-up. Fiona and Buggy were introduced to the team to help Ian with the coaching, Fiona would be helping with the D-line and Buggy with the O. Fiona also brought with her a new type of yoga based muscle activation exercise which I can see myself struggling with for quite some time (although I'm sure I'm not alone on this one). After the warm up we were broken up into O and D lines. The O-line went through our 3-4 offence again to refresh and then entered into a dump and swing drill followed by a dump drill. I'm unsure what exactly the d-line did, but there seemed to be a lot of jumping around and shouting. We then had a quick break before getting back into things.
After lunch we were split into guys and girls, Fiona ran a layout clinic for the ladies while the lads practiced chasing down a big huck on D after a turnover. Finally the day was finished off with a game, O-line versus D-line. The D-line came out real strong in this game and it took the O-line quite a while to adapt to the front defense. The girls new layout skillz didn't take long to make an appearance, with Caoimhe, Sarah and Caitlin all making some great bids for the disc.
Caoimhe had just celebrated her 21st birthday the week previous and was kind enough to invite the team over for dinner. A tasty meal was enjoyed by all and games of articulate and mafia provided plenty of lolz.
A heavy night of rain meant we were greeted by some slightly marshy pitches early Sunday morning, apart from this though it was a pretty good day. Again we started the day with more yoga and a warm up before again being split into O and D lines. O-line worked on end zone offence as well as our stack offence. D-Line did something else (I'll get someone from D-line to help out on the next report). After that we broke for lunch and said farewell to Hogi who needed to catch his flight back to Germany.
After lunch we got warm again and were then split according to gender. The lads were to jump from standing and try touch the crossbar of the rugby goals and the girls used a GAA crossbar. Then we were allowed a run up. I couldn't do either. I didn't like this drill.
After this we were split into handlers and cutters. The cutters did a deep receive drill demonstrating the difficulty of cutting in the same third of the pitch.
Again the day ended with a match. O-line boosted on the Sunday by Brian came out much calmer than the day before taking the first 4 points. But D-line came back fighting hard getting some great blocks and slotting home their own goals.
Another hard but enjoyable weekend, the squad is getting stronger and fitter and I'm excited to get back training in the new year.