The US Women's Rugby Foundation partnered with National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) to award three WRCRA members a grant for a Coach Shadowing experience at PR7s events in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC this summer. Three NCR women’s all-star coaches shadowed their pro counterparts behind-the-scenes at training and on the sideline during games this summer. Jamie Frech, Meghan Flanigan, and Meridith Pyke share their experiences below:
Jamie Frech - Minneapolis (June 19-24)
I had an amazing time and learned so much from the shadow coaching experience at PR7s in Minneapolis this summer! Getting to know high-level coaches and athletes and being given a backstage look into PR7s operations has amplified my knowledge base of rugby 7s and helped me fine-tune my skills as a coach of collegiate women. A special shout out to Angela Smarto for connecting coaches to the broader rugby community and to the NCR for their commitment to advancing women's rugby in the US! And as always, Go Blue!
Meghan Flanigan - Pittsburgh (July 20-23)
I want to express my greatest gratitude towards NCR, PR7s, and WRCRA for allowing me to have an opportunity of a lifetime! Being able to shadow the teams in Pittsburgh for the Eastern Regional Championships was a moment I'll never forget. All the coaches and players were so welcoming, and I was able to witness firsthand the strength and success that is PR7s.
Meridith Pyke - DC (August 2-6)
I had the privilege to attend the PR7s Final in DC as a shadow coach, which was inspiring. The PR7s coaching staff from every team in attendance was incredibly welcoming and willing to answer all of my questions. They provided detailed explanations behind drills as well as insight into their offensive and defensive strategies. It was also remarkable to watch some of the most talented athletes in our sport executing drills and implementing the concepts into their game over the course of the weekend. Being able to observe the similarities and differences between all four teams, diverse takes on fostering team cohesion, and structures of play that highlight a team’s strengths was invaluable. This experience has filled me with ideas that I am excited to bring back to my women’s program at St. Bonaventure University as well as the Upstate New York 7s All Star Women’s Teams! Thank you, USWRF and NCR, for making this opportunity available to me!