SIS News Archive

The Art of Touch!
Posted 11/19/2013 04:25PM

What does the famous Chinese Philosopher Sun Tzu and touch rugby have in common? Maybe he would have been a good player when younger, because his ideas fit perfectly with touch rugby.

The Boys and Girls Middle School Touch season began with a friendly tournament in Guangzhou. Getting up at 5am and sitting on the team bus for several hours gave me time think how to maximise the teams' potential. I began to flick through ebooks on the ipad and I came across a copy of Sun Tzu's book. I realised the strategies and lessons he outlined can be applied to sport in general and in this case touch rugby. It's an especially useful guide on how to win through outsmarting opponents.

There are three factors that can determine who will likely succeed. The firstly is applying and following the rules and techniques of touch rugby to gain the respect of your teammates, opposition and spectators. The secondly is follow coache's advice. Finally, know your role or position and the responsibilities that go with it.

The teams objective should always be to do your best to bring victory. Don't become like the hare in the story "The Tortoise and the Hare"! Always use your best effort to play well and achieve success.

Have an effective Strategy. You can do this with good preparation. This means knowing about touch rugby, learning about the tactics good players use. Look for the strategies that prove most beneficial by using your intelligence and skill.

"Know your opponent and know yourself." Knowledge of your opponent means that you know their habits, strengths and limitations. But also know your own strengths and limitations. This will help players be flexible and able to change tactics when necessary.

Focus and apply your skill and energy at the most effective time. Pace yourself by learning when to sprint and when to hold back so that you conserve energy. The best team is when all players commit to their strengths throughout the game.

Focus your energy at the opposition limitations and avoid their strengths. As Bruce Lee said "Be like water." It always finds the path of least resistance.

Have a common language between you and your teammates and coach. Have good communication and trust in your team. Successful teams achieve through communication and support.

Vary your tactics, to achieve success. Always have more than one approach to utilise all your strengths.

Sustain all your effort and concentration throughout the game. Try to understand your opponent's strategy. Clever players are proactive not reactive.

Use the best position and tactics in relation to the environment and your opponent. Focus on your opponent's strategies. Apply pressure so your opponent must rely on their weaknesses. If your opponent isn't prepared,  apply your skills and tactics here.

Compete with energy. Be "fast as the wind" and as "unmovable" as the forest. That means that your actions must be very quick, but your game and positioning should be consistent. The winner is the one that shares the same spirit throughout the team.

The team we took to Guangzhou demonstrated many of these skills and strategies and with continued participation and practice, greater success will surely follow.

Shane Gower, ES Teacher


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