Phil Dollman column

Phil Dollman, Chiefs favourite and Sidmouth Rugby Club player coach

Phil Dollman, Chiefs favourite and Sidmouth Rugby Club player coach - Credit: Archant

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With not a lot happening on the pitch at Blackmore Field, it’s not just the game time I’m missing.

As with most organisations, there is always plenty going on behind the scenes.

One of the most important roles that I and fellow senior coach Jack Yeandle play is making sure there is a positive and supportive environment for the players to enjoy.

We want them to work hard but there is always a fine balance between the demands we put upon the teams and ensuring coming here is fun.


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These are not professional sportspeople.

They have day jobs and playing rugby is a form of recreation.

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Jack and I put in a lot of effort to make sure that training, which resumed this week, is varied, and ultimately enjoyable.

If you’ve been doing a day job for eight hours and you are committing another hour and a half before you go home, it’s not going to work if we make it a chore.

It’s a long shot from the Chiefs where every move, step and breath is monitored and the games are videoed from various angles to allow detailed scrutiny.

At Sidmouth, the closest we get to fitness tech are the player’s own smart watches.

We do have video analysis but the footage is shot with a single camera.

One big incentive is being picked for the team and running out in front of family, friends and a few hundred fans at the weekend.

But of, course, we don’t have that carrot to dangle at present.

It’s great to see that top tier clubs have been given the go ahead to welcome back supporters and I hope we will follow suit, in some shape or form, next year.

I know it’s difficult to apply regulations that are fair to all but maybe, just maybe, this signals the light at the end of the tunnel.

If we were allowed to play again we could comfortably fit 100 people into Blackmore to watch while observing social distancing protocols.

Now there has been some relaxation of the rules, let’s hope that day isn’t too far in the future.

Watching live sport is one of those many things we took for granted but now sorely miss.

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