LOCKER ROOM INSTANT
A day with Provale !
This is the beginning of the second tour of the 2018/2019 season in the training centres for Provale Formation employees. Today, we invite you to discover our trip to Castres with the young players who, will tomorrow become future professional rugby players. Let’s go!
When we organize a trip to a club, the idea is always to optimize it as much as possible to be able to meet players with whom we are in contact for several matters.
Unfortunately for us, last Wednesday, the professionals of Castres Olympique were on their “off ” day planned for a long time and therefore not available.
We still managed to make an appointment with a professional player who is studying the track “Business Unit Manager” created in collaboration between Provale and the Toulouse Business School.
Candice Boulanger, in charge of training and career change, and Mathilde Lacrouts, in charge of communication, took the road early in the afternoon to meet the player and discuss the course undertaken.
Over a good cup of coffee (it was necessary to warm up while outside, the snow was threatening to fall with big flakes), the discussion began:
“How do you feel? Everything going well for you? asked Candice Boulanger.
“Yes, I’m fine, some classes are harder than others,” said the English-speaking player from Castres in impeccable French. Last night, I couldn’t connect because we had training. But I’m going to catch up on the class…”
“Don’t worry, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them. »
“Exactly, I’m a little worried about my thesis. I haven’t been back to school for eight years now and I’m a little afraid I won’t be able to hand out something good. »
“Your problem is legit, don’t worry. A class is planned very soon on this subject so that you have all the cards in hand to succeed. It’s going to be fine. »
“I am reassured then,” smiles the player, who decides to take advantage of his day off to get on with his work.
An hour has passed. Coffee has warmed our minds a little numb. We are taking leave of the player because it is already time to go to the Levezou training centre to meet the young players of the Centre de Formation of Castres Olympique.
When we arrived, the Centre’s Director, Philippe Carayon, who replaced Michel Giacomini, who retired in July 2017, welcomed us with a little smile:
“I hope you are planning to sleep in Castres tonight because you may as well get stuck in the snow ».
We entered the lair of the professional players of the Castres Olympique. The living room is friendly. Everywhere, around us, pictures remind us of the flamboyant past of this club, a stronghold of French rugby.
We’re settling in. The overhead projector is connected, the camera is in place. First-year students settle in. They are new and present themselves in turn:
“Tell us a little bit about your academic background. What did you do? Everything is going well? asks Candice Boulanger.
They are unanimous. The various training courses carried out in parallel with rugby seem to be on the right track. Some are studying in BTS, others in DUT, others in Licence. At the back of the room, Philippe Carayon listens, very attentively.
“And you know Provale? adds Candice Boulanger.
“Well yes, you’re here to defend us,” said a player from the back of the room. »
“We are here to defend the rights and interests of rugby players,” says Candice. »
“And you’ve already heard about Media-Training,” asks Candice? »
“Uh, it’s Internet training! exclaims a young man.
“It was a good try, but no,” smiled Candice. It is an exercise that consists in training to communicate as well as possible with the Media. Have you ever been solicited by journalists? »
The answers are coming from all sides. They confirm that, from the training centres, young players are of interest to the Media, which do not hesitate to interview them:
“I was interviewed when I was selected in France U18,” says one.
“It was about the training I was taking. It was a subject about studies and rugby.
“And the experience was positive for all of you? asks Candice.”
“No, my words were a little distorted,” said one of the young player.
“You could have asked to reread the article before it being published, explains Candice. This is a normal precaution ».
The debate continues. Questions are coming up.
“And do you know the Haters? »
“Yes, I was once a victim of it. It was very violent. Fortunately, I didn’t have a Twitter account and it was my teammates who took a screenshot… Otherwise…”
“Otherwise what?” asks Candice.
Philippe Carayon gets up and intervenes:
“If you are victim of something like this, you have to talk about it. That’s what we did with you. That’s why the club is here. We have solved the problem. Above all, you must not intervene alone. »
Discussions are ongoing. Time flies at lightning speed. It is already time to bring in the second part of the trainees. Those who have been in a training centre for several years, and who have, of course, already had Provale’s visit several times. They therefore only follow the second part of the meeting.
New, more confidential topics are launched by Candice. Surveys on decision-making processes on which Provale must take a stand and which directly concern young players. We ask them for their opinion, they react with great interest and enthusiasm.
Then comes the time to talk about mouthguards. Provale recently conducted a survey on the dental health of rugby players in collaboration with a dental surgeon at the end of her studies (link).
A survey is projected on the whiteboard. Players answer it from their mobile phones. It appears that 9 out of 21 players do not wear mouthguards. Not during games, not during training. The others wear it but only in matches.
“Why?” asks Candice.
“We’re not used to it,” the young players replied in chorus. We tell ourselves that training is less physical than games, that we are less at risk. »
At the back of the room a voice rises:
“I had three broken teeth. If I had a mouthguard, I think I could have limited the damage. The damage is done but now I systematically wear it. »
This unfortunate experience makes his teammates react, the awareness is collective.
Another hour has passed. We are interrupted by the video analyst and coaches at the Centre. It is time for us to withdraw and let the sport side take its place.
The young players greet us. After a final exchange with Philippe Carayon to debrief this meeting, it is time for us to set off again for Toulouse.
It’s dark now. The cold has not stopped. Fortunately for us, the snow is still a little far away. This meeting was again very positive.
On the way back, we exchange our feelings and discuss about some of the highlights of the day.
It’s 8:00 p. m. The Provale car park is plunged into darkness. The nearby Ernest-Wallon Stadium is also asleep.
It will be daylight tomorrow and we will be ready, along with all our colleagues, to set out on the road again to meet new challenges in the collective interest of players.