Featured Rugby Player Whitney Wilson #TheHeartOfRugby
Mike with RugbyNation.com Commentary: I noticed Whitney’s profile when she followed my www.Twitter.com/RugbyNation account. I was impressed by her intro “Eat. Sleep. Rugby. Aspiring @USAwomeneagles player” and thought to reach out and ask her to tell her story. She didn’t think her story was special at all, but I do.
Whitney’s story should ring true to most of us living in the USA. Her story really is our story. Her passion is our passion. She shows how most athletes in the USA literally stumble on to rugby, and though there aren’t many coaches or players to teach us what we need to do, the tough and passionate find a way to figure it out. And, the very tough like Whitney figure out a way to reach the highest of goals.
We wish you all the best of luck with your goal of playing for USA Women’s Eagles.
This is Whitney Wilson’s Rugby Story and our featured player in our #TheHeartOfRugby series.
May she help to inspire you as well. Follow her at www.Twitter.com/wwilson1029
“I started playing my Freshman year of high school, almost 3 years ago. I had played soccer my whole life, and it was time for a change. My older brother played rugby so I said sure why not and I gave it a try! My first year it was a disaster. Rugby, especially girls rugby, is not big in the state of Texas. There were 9 girls when I started, and I was never taught how to truly play. There wasn’t a coach dedicated to our team, yet somehow I still fell in love with the game. The next summer a teammate and I worked on recruiting girls for the team, trying to make it a real program. With the seniors graduating, we were left with 5 returning players. From there, we went to schools in our district, sat at registration camps for 5 hours a day everyday for a week, and we got up to 18 girls. We got 3 new coaches and really launched our program. It was then that I was truly taught the beauty of rugby and found my place. We blazed through the season undefeated, and took home the 2012-2013 girls state championship. I was named the MVP back for my team as well as the state of Texas. I dedicated the summer to rugby and bettering myself as a player. Our Texas Select Side Team went to The Rocky Mountain Challenge in Denver, Colorado and got demolished by all the other well experienced teams. Despite the loses, I still played some of the best games I’ve ever played at that tournament. I was selected as woman of the match for one of the games and I was also selected to the All-Tournament team. Later that summer I was accepted to the Serevi HS Girls High Performance Camp. I was introduced to a wonderful coaching staff and I was challenged by playing at a level I had not yet experienced. I was playing with girls that were on the HS national championship team, but I kept telling myself that even though I didn’t have the experience and I wasn’t quite at their skill level, I still had the heart and determination. My goal is to play on the Women’s National Team and I never fail to remind myself of that when I’m feeling lost. Rugby settled down for a bit and I kept training. I may not be the strongest and fastest now but one day I will be. I went to a few high performance camps throughout the fall and in December, I was asked to play on the Serevi Selects Team at the Las Vegas Invitational in January. I was the captain of that team and it was some of the best rugby I have ever experienced in my life. All the competitors were amazing and completely and utterly talented, at first I didn’t think that I stood a chance. But I just had to remind myself that I was there for a reason, they selected me for a reason. Even when you know you’re not the best, you have to keep reminding yourself that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. We took 4th in the tournament and I went home with more things to work on. This season we are currently undefeated, only a few more matches until the state tournament. I always keep my goals close in mind, always reminding myself that I can do it, that I am able. I train everyday, and I push myself and my team to be the best that you can be. Always work hard, never quit. If you push yourself, you will grow as a person and a player. I watch film of professional games as well as my owns games to try and find things that I can do differently. I think about game scenarios 99% of the day, always trying to figure out how I can better myself.
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