In the first of a regular blog for Try Tag Rugby, Grace talks about her background in sport and finding Tag Rugby.
Hi! I’m Grace Brown and I want to welcome you to the Try Tag Rugby Blog! I’m excited to be chatting with you over the next few months. We’ll be covering topics such as injury prevention, providing training guides and lots more.
So who am I and why am I talking to you?
I signed up to play Try Tag Rugby in 2013 as an individual was instantly hooked.
It was a bit of a long and windy road through other sports before I got here.
From a young age, I have always been into sport and the sport. Rather strangely, the sport that was available to me when I was younger was table tennis. Yes, table tennis. I picked this skill up quickly and by the age of 12 I was in the top 5 in the UK.
Throughout my teenage years, I competed across the UK and Europe and represented England for table tennis at 14 which required 20-30 hours of training each week through most of my teenage years.
When I was 18 I realised that I had reached the peak of my table tennis career and switched to running after attending a trial session. I got really into athletics and went full throttle with training. Within a few years I managed to get qualification for the AAAs for the 400m.
In my early 20’s I decided to go up a distance to 800m and was able to compete in national competitions for my club. I had a lot of injuries as I came to track relatively late which held me back a bit. There were some strong years in my mid 20’s but in 2012, after years of relentless training twice a day, 6 days a week, my body had had enough.
At 28 I decided to stop competing in athletics.
Along Came Tag Rugby
Being someone that always had structured sport in my life, I was looking for something new. After having been in individual sports for so long, I was in the market for a team sport to focus my energy into. I tried football, volleyball and others.
It wasn’t until I came across Tag Rugby that I found my niche. I loved the social side of it and learning new skills and my background in sports really helped me.
In my first six months I was asked to go and trial for the first ever Great Britain women’s team. I got in! Admittedly, I was a little inexperienced and gung-ho about the whole thing but soon settled down. From 2013, my competitiveness got the best of me and I worked my ass off to get to the top.
Last year, 2018, I was lucky enough to represent Great Britain in the first ever women’s team that they took to a World Cup. This was a huge achievement and an experience I will cherish forever.
Turning Sport into a Career
It’s no surprise that sport and fitness carried over to my career. I’ve been a PT and S&C Coach since 2009, working with general population to elite athletes including Australian Women’s 7’s Rugby team, the Sydney Rooster under 20’s men’s and Cronulla Sharks. I’m now based in London, training my amazing clients out of a studio near St Paul’s.
I am lucky in that I am able to prioritise my training and fit in a lot over a “normal” week, which isn’t the case for everyone.
Here’s what I do during the Tag Rugby season to keep myself strong and fit for playing.
My Tag training regimen
- Strength training! It’s the foundation of all sporting prowess and, indeed, should be a big part of anyone’s program, sporting or otherwise. I use strength training for injury prevention, speed and power, which makes it easier to stay fit overall. It helps me keep up with all the young guns!
- Mobility, Stability and Core such as different forms of stretching, core strength and stabilising the joints, from the ankles up to the shoulders. I include movements in my strength training programs such as in compound and unilateral (single leg etc) movements and in dynamic warm-ups which address these areas. I also throw in yoga once per week.
- Sprint training. I do this twice a week, which involves intervals, fartlek, and endurance training.
- Plyometrics. These are usually included in one of my strength or running sessions, depending on what phase of training I’m in. I’ll be chatting to you more about plyometrics soon!
- Playing Tag 1-2 nights per week. Obviously! Don’t discount this as part of your training. I generally play in the Super League. When I’m in the Great Britain squad, there’s also team training to be added.
Since I started playing Tag, I’ve had the opportunity to train some of amazing Great Britain Tag athletes and they’ve found this training beneficial for injury prevention and athletic performance – stronger, more resilient, more powerful, more agile. If you would like a program set up designed specifically for you, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the next few months I’ll be covering different topics – for everyone from beginner to elite level tag players – such as injury prevention, mobility and warm-ups, beginner strength training, and many more. I’ll even throw in some programming for you to try.
If you have anything you would like me to cover on the Try Tag Rugby blog, hit me up on email@example.com.
Grace Brown is a Strength & Conditioning Coach and PT based in London. She has played Tag Rugby since 2013, and is a long-standing player for Team Great Britain. Her greatest Tag Rugby achievement to date was representing the first ever Women’s GB Team to go to a World Cup in 2018 in Australia.
Grace has been competing in representative sport since she was 12, representing her country in Table Tennis, Track and Field and Tag Rugby.
Her love of sport crossed over into her career early on, and she has been dedicating her skills to helping everyone from professional athletes to everyday human beings achieve their goals in and out of the gym for over 10 years.