England head coach Eddie Jones is no stranger to trying out unique training methods, and in the build-up to the 2022 Autumn Internationals, he pitted the national team against a new opponent: Thorpe Lakes Aqua Park.
Thorpe Lakes Aqua Park is a huge obstacle course on water located in Surrey, England. The park is over 1500 square metres in area with over 20 obstacles, including catapults, steppingstones, and huge slides.
For this training session, the squad was divided into teams of four, which had to transport an inflatable ball from the start of the obstacle course to the finish line without it being stolen or kicked away by the other teams.
It was said that this training method was implemented to build morale among the rugby players. However, one could speculate that there was more to this than merely a team building exercise. Running on a wet and slippery obstacle course is by no means a simple feat: It requires agility, coordination, and cardiovascular strength.
England was going to face Argentina, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa in the 2022 Autumn internationals, and Eddie Jones wanted to make sure his players were in tip-top shape no matter how unconventional some of his training methods may have been regarded. Since the series, there is no doubt that there has been plenty of discussion around whether this type of training session paid off, or not.
obstacle course 障害物コース
square meter 平方メートル