Ability360 Heat are now on the final stretch of training for the USQRA (Unites States Quad Rugby Association) National Championships. It has been a long season and we are in to the final couple weeks of preparation.
It has been a very successful season so far for the Ability360 Heat and we are currently ranked number one in the nation, a spot we have held since the very first tournament of the season.
However, this does not mean that we are getting complacent, not for a second. Having that number one seeding means there is a target on your back, we are not champions yet and no team is going to lie down and just let us win. Championships are never handed to you, you have to earn them!
There are a number of teams out there that we know can give us a tight game. We have to make sure that we remain focussed on what we can control, make sure our preparations are as good as they can be and continue to work hard on our tempo and our patterns of play. We know we are a very good team and tough to beat when we play well.
Everyone on this team strives for perfection and that is what makes our scrimmages so competitive. We train as a team three times a week and will have scrimmage day once a week usually from 5:00 to 8:30 at night. To say our scrimmages are intense would be an understatement, we usually only play games up to 20, but every point is fought over tooth and nail. Tempers can get a little heated towards the end of the night and mistakes can start to creep in as players get tired, but it is during this time where we learn the most about ourselves and our teammates. I am pretty sure running that intensity in training is what gives us such a competitive edge, without having the numbers of quality players at training it is hard to replicate the kind of pressure that you will experience in game situations. It has definitely been an invaluable tool for us this year.
I am always looking for ways and methods to improve my training regime. I think it is hugely important to keep it varied so that things do not become stale or boring. I know what works for me and that is keeping things fresh, I love trying new things and learning new skills. I think it is why wheelchair rugby appeals to me so much, I feel that I am constantly learning, every single day. If I ever felt that I had got to the point where I could no longer improve I would probably leave the sport, learning is what makes it fun. Swimming has become a big part of my training here, it has been great, not only because the weather is beautiful and I can swim outside everyday, but because I have been able to see some big improvements to my fitness and performance in a short period of time. I also believe it has helped enormously with my shoulder conditioning. I have been incredibly lucky to have some very experienced eyes watching over me and giving me some quality coaching, which is obviously greatly appreciated.
I am really looking forward to the forthcoming National Championships, and also extremely excited to be heading home soon. It has been a long time away from loved ones at home in the UK.
I was extremely lucky a couple weeks ago to get a surprise visit from someone very special to me.
In the middle of a Wednesday night scrimmage I had to look three times before I actually believed my eyes. It was just a short visit but it really did mean the world to me. It reenergised me in a lot of ways I did not realise I was starting to suffer with. I was able to have a lovely few days away from training to enjoy the delights Arizona with someone very special to me.
So, I am feeling reenergised and refocused and I am incredibly excited to see what this Heat team can achieve at the Nationals in front of an enthusiastic home crowd at Ability360.
If you have not already heard, GB wheelchair rugby recently lost its funding from UKSport for the Tokyo2020 cycle, however the players remain absolutely committed to representing Great Britain at the next Paralympics. Unfortunately it is not just up to us and we need your help and support. For more information please head to: http://gbwr.org.uk