Scotland U16 Development camp: Valladolid blog

As part of the Scotland U16 player-development camp to Valladolid, funded by Erasmus+ and New College Lanarkshire, the players have been tasked with documenting their experience.

Our second blog comes from flanker Finlay Lennox, who attends Robert Gordon’s College.

Day 4

We started the day off by waking up at 7.30am to have our hydration levels measured by a dietitian. This involved testing our first pass of urine which allowed the dietitian to give us a score at the end of the day.

This was a strange experience for the boys as urinating in a small bottle is far from the norm in our everyday lives. After the urine test we then had to weigh ourselves and fill in a sheet that consisted of different questions, making us think about our true feelings and what state our body was in after a night’s sleep and the previous sessions from before. Following this we had a delicious breakfast and got the bus to the training ground.

Our session consisted of some nuts and bolts which are our basic skills, and then we had several attacking based drills that were tiring on the legs and the lungs. This helped develop our attacking set-up, and we also worked on our running lines and using footwork before contact. We then had a quick turnaround to the pool, which was freezing cold, and went into a recovery session.

After a filling lunch and some much needed time off our feet, we were back out to the training ground for a sprint mechanics session which focused on making us faster and more agile. Afterwards we had a much enjoyed game of Hawick ball which created much amusement for the coaches who eventually joined in.

Finally, we had reached the end of a long day and did some prehab, ate some good food, and headed to bed with full stomachs.

Day 5

We started the day of at 8am with a weigh in and some foam rolling. From there we went to breakfast and at 9.10am we made our way to the rugby club for training. However, at 10am the weather took a turn for the worst and we found ourselves trapped in a thunder and lightning storm resulting in the training to be near called off.

After about a half hour of waiting the weather cleared up and we were able to train again, working on different plays off 9 in a punch shape and off 10 in a bang shape. We then played a series of touch games but we started to see another storm brewing and when it arrived we quickly finished our training session and retreated to the changing rooms.

We then returned to the hotel for lunch and from there we had a rest in the afternoon and went to prehab at 4pm. After prehab we had a snack and then went into a strength and conditioning workshop.

At 8pm we went to dinner and had another scrumptious meal. We then rested our bodies until we went to bed.

Day 6

This morning we woke at around 8am to receive the great news that we would be going to watch the Lions game; everyone was buzzing with excitement. We went to the local VIRAC bar where all the players go to socialise and enjoyed supporting the team. Unfortunately, the Lions did not get the result that we had wanted.

We then travelled to training for our final attack-based session with the coaches Shiely and Brian, where we made lots of progress and minimised the number of mistakes made throughout our games.

Afterwards we headed back to the hotel on the bus and had a quick lunch, followed by a nap. This left us refreshed for our afternoon skill sessions and strength and conditioning sessions. During S&C we focused on deadlifts and chins as this helps us all become stronger and more comfortable in different positions with our body.

We finished the day with a fun quiz, which drew some very dubious answers, and ended with an intense tie break. However, in the end the Tigers, a duty group, came out on top scoring a whopping 22 and a half points. This was a fun end to a tiring week.