Preseason Training Kicks Off for the Glendale Raptors

Sara Wright   16-Feb-2018   Luke Wyckoff

Glendale Raptors Preseason Training

As told by Raptors Head Coach Dave Williams

Coaches Blog, Glendale Rugby Date 1.30.18, the location – Glendale’s High Altitude Training Center

Tonight was the first ‘official’ team session of 2018 and we needed to spend the evening sorting out a ton of medical and administrative loose ends. Glendale is fortunate enough to have its own medical staff, led by Dr. Amy Valenta. Dr. Valenta has been the Medical Coordinator for the Glendale Raptors since 2007 and along with being the owner of Denver Back Pain Specialists, Catalyst Athletic Performance and Infinity Physical Therapy and Sport Rehabilitation, she has also recently been named the Medical Director for Major League Rugby. She, along with the Raptors’ Physical Therapist Richard Quincy and their highly trained staff, bring a wealth of experience in treating rugby specific injuries to the team and are invaluable resources for keeping players healthy and competitive.

Tonight, we were lucky enough to get several of the medical staff onsite at the same time to knock out a majority of our physicals and medical paperwork in one evening, which is no small feat. We did have four key players away with the Eagles for the America’s Rugby Championship, but they can get everything done easily enough upon their return. We also handed out a bit of kit, distributed several associate player contracts for players to sign and made sure we had all of the other administrative odds and ends completed with our team prior to starting our full-time training. It’s nice to have this kind of stuff out of the way so we can now put our focus where it needs to be – on rugby.

Coaches Blog, Glendale Rugby Date 2.1.18, location – Glendale’s HATC and Turf Field

Our preseason training schedule has our team working out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and after Tuesday’s team admin and medical meeting, today marked the kick-off to this intensive training regimen. With my background in strength and conditioning, there’s no doubt that I have always put a heavy emphasis on fitness for our athletes. In fact, I have even scheduled our Under-23 Academy players to hit the gym just before the pros so we can see how these younger players are progressing. The Academy is on a different training schedule, with their team practices on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and this time with them is invaluable as it gives me a chance to evaluate their work ethic in the gym, as that almost always translates to the field.

Glendale Rugby is fortunate enough to have a top of the line work-out facility for all of its rugby players. Even during the holiday break, a lot of these guys were in here working out almost daily. This morning, I got to the High Altitude Training Center by 7:30 a.m. to start with the Academy and then with the pros on their full-body strength and power workout, followed by rowing intervals. We then dove into individual and unit skills that lasted until about 11 a.m. The lads get a break and are back to the pitch starting at 6:15 p.m. to start their team training session. We focus on individual and unit skills for the first half of practice and then the team pattern and shape of attack and defense for the last half.

The Raptors had a really good preparation season year last year, and this pre-season training, thus far, is going really well. We do have a few new guys we are incorporating into our program, but that has been pretty seamless. Everyone is coming together as a unit and we are doing everything it takes to ensure we are ready for our home opener on April 21.

Here’s a detailed look at our pre-season training schedule for the Raptors:



  • Lower body strength and power followed by Watt bike intervals
  • Individual and unit skills post weight room


  • Yoga and off feet conditioning



  • Upper body strength and power
  • Individual skills and bag conditioning to increase the tolerance to collisions


  • Full team training session, focusing on individual and unit skills for the first half and then team pattern and shape on attack and defense

Wednesday - Recovery day



  • Full body strength and power followed by rowing machine intervals
  • Individual and unit skills post weight room


  • Full team training session, focusing on individual and unit skills for the first half and then team pattern and shape on attack and defense



  • Strongman session and individual skills

Saturday - Top up conditioning

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