Friday, May 1, 2009

Meet Jack Clark, Cal Rugby Coach

Guest blogger: Jack Clark, Perfect Athlete Ambassador and Coach of the University of California at Berkeley (Cal) rugby team

NEWS FLASH: Bears Beat Army, 42-17, Setting Up Final vs. BYU Sat. at 7 p.m.

Read how the National Rugby Coach of the Year uses the Perfect Pullup: Go Bears!

“We do a lot of pullups because they’re great for grip strength” said Coach Clark. Picture this: if you’re lifting your opponents up into the air by gripping onto their shorts – be it in a scrum, a ruck, or a maul - you have to rely on your gripping, pulling and hoisting muscles.

Rugby is a field sport that requires a huge range of motion, from lots of different muscles, and the goal is always to prevent athletes from getting injured when they find themselves in unnatural positions. The Perfect Pullup helps to build up the muscles that will protect players’ shoulder capsules. Although pullups are for everyone, for athletes, “pullups are HUGE because they address the core, which is very important. The specificity is exactly what we need.”

Coach Clark also talked about the culture the pullup develops within their team. Rather than a competition with a useless exercise like the benchpress, i.e. “What can you bench??” the Cal rugby players have a competitive vibe of, “How many pullups can you do?” For workouts the Bears do a “handful of sets of pull-ups” or “max out” to see how many reps they can do it one set. Last word from Coach Clark: “Your max-out number becomes a big deal to us, and to test well on that test, you have to train.”

The CHARLIE MIKE Teammates are rooting for the Bears when they meet Army TONIGHT, at Stanford University.
Jack Clark was named National Coach of the Year by American Rugby News on Dec. 29 in honor of his 2008 season, a 24-1 campaign that puts Clark’s career coaching record at 440-66-5 (.861) after 25 seasons, making him the all-time winningest coach in the Cal rugby program’s 127 year history.

Clark has also served as head coach for the Collegiate All-America team, from 1985-92; head coach of the U.S. National Team, from 1993-99; and general manager for the national team, from 1993-2003

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