After The Tackle

I am a dad. I have spent a lot of time on chilly touch lines, in stifling cricket nets and smelly riding stables, clutching cups of weak tea in styrofoam cups.

I am always grateful to those who give their time on Sunday mornings to organise and coach children and manage needy and occasionally down right rude parents. I am even more grateful when I learn things in the process.

I can sort of ride a horse. But only sort of, a stable owner on Dartmoor once surveyed me and my daughter on two horses, waiting for the off and, looking my daughter in the eye, pointedly observed, “You can ride, young lady!”. The implication being that I looked a little less at home. Fair enough, but I was writing the cheques so I reserve the right look like a sack of potatoes.

My son played rugby for a while. One grey, cold Sunday morning they were being taught to tackle more effectively.

Their coach, a friend who also coaches cricket in the summer, gave the following advice to boys going into the tackle, some of whom were tentative and a little fearful. Tackling people in rugby, frankly, hurts, especially if you are half hearted about it.

“Think about the moment after the tackle, when you’ve brought your man down and you have the ball.”

I thought that a bloody good bit of advice.

(As is checking that you have pasted the content in before hitting send!)