Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Eagles High Performance Pathway Summarized

With the Selects busy down in South America at the Americas Pacific Challenge we thought it would be a good time to remind readers of the high performance player pathway. To get more clarity on the situation we asked Director of Performance Alex Magleby to explain what a young player would in theory progress through before playing on the Eagles.

According to Magleby it begins by playing on the Regional Competitive Team in one of the RCTs. From there a player would progress to the High School All-Americans, Junior All-Americans, the Eagles Selects or the College All-Americans, and then the Eagles. That said, Magleby stressed that it's not as linear as it appears. "It's not perfect. Some players aren't available for the competitions that lead into the RCT. That's why National Tracking Camps now go down to the High School level."

Take the jump to read more.
It's a similar system for women although without a Selects team.

In essence if you are a 16 year old player and you want to potentially be put on the radar for the Junior All-Americans you need to play at an RCT or show up at a National Tracking Camp. In many ways that makes sense. With limited resources U.S.A. Rugby and Magleby in particular doesn't have the time to go over individual film. Having players in a concentrated place and playing against tough competition helps gather data on that player and put them in the system.

Additionally, having a player find their way into an RCT or National Tracking camp see them matched up against others striving for the some thing, something that Magleby says is important. "We can measure a lot of things but at the end of the day it's performing in competition."

Of course the pathway is fluid. A player may not blossom until they are at an older age. A player may not even pick up the game until college. Still, the idea is that there is a clear pathway if you want to play for the Eagles in a World Cup or on the Sevens Series. This is the pathway we've seen for players like Ben Cima and Hanco Germishuys. Both played at the HSAA, JAA, and now the Selects, level and both looks like future Eagles stars (although they each have caps from the ARC). With the pathway now clear and tournaments like the APC giving players chances the odds are better that more Cima's and Germishuys's emerge.

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