Two world wheelchair rugby powerhouses collide this week at the Lakeshore Foundation field house in Birmingham Alabama, home of USA Wheelchair Rugby (USAWR) for a combined training camp.
With the 2014 World Championships behind them both teams look to the future after two very different finishes. Entering Worlds heavily favored, USAWR finished in a disappointing third place and is determined to refocus their efforts on the court and has challenged each player to stay disciplined and focused on individual improvement for overall team development. Head Coach James Gumbert has vowed to challenge himself and his staff by “reevaluating all phases of USAWR including performance development, player accountability, and off-season efforts”. Head Strength and Conditioning coach Steve Pate has been tasked with leading the off-season effort. “My goal is to provide each player with an individualized strength and conditioning program focusing on building strength, power, speed and agility, and increasing conditioning and flexibility”. “All the training in the world won’t do a thing unless it is directed and each player is held accountable. We will focus on setting clear goals and each player will be expected to follow the program” – Coach Pate.
The first step to regaining the top seed in world is this week’s combined training camp. After a month away from competition both teams are excited about the benefits of cross training. “Both USAWR and the Aussie’s can learn a lot about each other and this camp helps us both prepare for the 2015 wheelchaur rugby season”, says Mandy Goff USAWR team manager, “I’d like to thank Head Coach Brad Dubberley and the Steelers for traveling to the USA for this opportunity”.
With USAWR up three games to none, both teams hit the court at 7pm tonight for game four of five. “It is our goal to be the best in the world. To be the best you have to play the best”. – Coach Gumbert.