20100831

Rugby Combine

Last Friday I was in town before heading to SF for a Crossfit Football clinic and I did a "Combine" for rugby players.  It's a work in progress at the moment but I think we got some good results.

We ran through 7 tests: Vertical Leap, Broad Jump, 40yd dash, 5-10-5 shuttle, "L" shuttle, 60yd shuttle and a new "Work Capacity" test which was 1 minute of max reps burpee to KB snatch w/1.5 pood.

video
The first 6 tests are the same as you will see in the NFL combine.  I think some of them have merit for rugby players and some do not, a fast 40 time is great but even among football coaches it's efficacy in determining true "game" speed is questionable.  Athletes don't run in straight lines with nothing in their hands.  Having a good vertical leap is nice too but there really isn't a whole lot of solo jumping in rugby and even if you do, absolute height is more important than vertical leaping abilities.  I feel that the various shuttle runs do the best job at displaying athletic ability relative to the rugby athlete.  The other major difference between rugby players and football players is the time domain we work in.  Football plays virtually never last more than 15 or 20 seconds.  This requires a tremendous amount of repeatable explosive power.  A sequence in rugby can last for 3 to 4 minutes of sustained work.  For our test I went with 1 minute as the time domain to simulate something on the longer side of one player constantly working using a complex movement, the burpee/snatch. I think it's a pretty good start and we're going to keep messing with this thing until we get it right.

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