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Proving Mind Games Work
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Shaun Rooke

I'm sure any of us could watch a game on TV or on the sidelines at Spring Hill and identify a team which defends well or a player who is a dangerous runner in open field. And on any given Saturday I've always believed the result of the game is attributed to the physical and tactical abilities of every member of the team over 80 minutes and nothing more. Technical proficiencies, tactical nous and physical skills will win no matter how many cliché are wheeled out in team talks about "we want it more" "this is our house" or "we have the momentum". 

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Time Can Do So Much
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Will Bowers

As members and players of Hackney RFC we needn't be avid readers of early Heidigger nor keen horologists to know that in rugby, time is important. This is so obvious that I've questioned whether it needs to be written about on the blog, but the more I've given thought to time in a rugby context, the more it figures as one of the totalising concepts in the game.

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Positive affirmation – mumbo jumbo or meaningful?
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Fred Pentecost

So what is positive affirmation?  An oath taken by atheists?  Some religious ceremony?  Probably.  But in this context it is intend to be an on-going, positive, controllable method of enhancing team spirit and individual confidence from all parties involved. 

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A kick is only as good as the chase?
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James Hardwick

We hear this phrase regularly on the rugby pitch and after the first two tests between England and South Africa I thought it would be a good time to assess the difference between not only a good kick chase and a poor one, but the importance of putting the ball into the right areas in the first place. The kick/chase has become such an important play in recent years, not only because your limiting the chances of a counter attack but you can also give yourself a chance of winning the ball back, not all kicks have to be an aimless punts down field or more importantly result in a turnover.

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Union Versus League; a Coach’s Perspective
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Fred Pentecost

As you may be aware I have begun to dip my toe into the world of Rugby League, I am in fact taking RFL level 1.  Why the diversity? My son plays for London Skolars during the union closed season and I felt that an opportunity was going begging to broaden my coaching base.

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Moneyball & the Oval Ball
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Morgan Whitlock

Billy Beane was a natural athlete. As a teenager he was tall, good looking, fit and strong. Every game came easily to him, and when he played baseball at school he set records and won trophies. Scouts who came to watch Billy Beane play were convinced he was a superstar in the making.

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Tackling: A New Area for Reform
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Laurence Mills

The World Cup semi final between France and Wales brought the issue of tackling laws very much to the fore.  Sam Warburton’s now infamous hit on Vincent Clerc and his subsequent red card not only stripped Wales of a key player in an incredibly important (and bizarrely close) match but also highlighted the difficulties presented by the current rules. 

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