Amy Knows Rugby

This week I would like to feature high school rugby coach, “Amy Rusert”. Coach Rusert is not only the Commissioner at the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association, but also the Air Force Academy women’s rugby coach, the Palmer High School Terror Rugby coach – girls and boys, and the Junior Tigers Summer Youth Rugby director. In Colorado Springs you could say coach Amy “is” Rugby.

If you’ve ever had a chance to see a Rugby match you would be pleasantly surprised. Rugby brings together many skills from many different sports including: passing, running, tackling, kicking the “lopsided” ball with accuracy, and the ability to make quick decisions to support play development. Rugby players must be in shape. Each game consists of (2) 40 min. halves with a 10 min. break in between. Play is pretty much non-stop.

The year after Rusert took over the USAFA women’s rugby team one of the players mentioned, “Last season Amy had to teach us from the ground up. Coach’s goal for the season was to make us all students of the game. At practice every day she’d ask us game-play questions, run by scenarios and even had us take an online laws test.”

Junior Canales, one of her top high school players, told me coach Amy “is the most amazing person I’ve ever met, not just as a coach but a person as well. She is always there to help and support everyone.” Rugby is a very physical sport, I said. How is her skill and ability as a coach? With a smile and air of admiration Junior stated, “Amy taught us all the necessary skills to be a good rugby player, she’s a great coach, everyone loved and respected her. You didn’t mess with coach Amy; she could put you on your butt.”

Rugby is an up and coming sport and becoming very popular with the youngsters. They begin by playing flag rugby at age 6. Some folks may think this a rough sport because players wear little padding; however, that is not the case. From the beginning, players are taught all the necessary skills properly, and because the game depends on teamwork, speed and quick thinking, there are very few injuries – especially compared to tackle football.