(a.k.a The Fat Boys’ guide to Touch survival)
Now in my 7th season of Touch, I believe I have amassed a certain level of insight into what it takes for a lardy 47 year old to survive in a game of frenetic pace and movement. Here are my top tips:
1. Do some training. Sounds obvious, but it is necessary and, remember, you’re not training to be fitter than anyone else, or even to be as fit. No, you are training to ensure that your heart, lungs and limbs continue to function. It’s all about survival, after all.
2. Join a team with a variety of ages and abilities. Having young, fit, rapid team-mates is a must. You can also delude yourself into believing that you are contributing your many years of experience and guile to the team effort.
3. Know your limitations. If trundling the ball up the middle is the sum total of your contribution then so be it. Look, I know I’m not going to out-sprint the opposition and they know it too. I only live in hope that occasionally we all might forget.
4. Don’t hesitate to sub yourself off when knackered. If you only last a minute, fair enough. Come off, have a drink, take oxygen, have CPR, whatever – you’ll soon be back on again as some other poor sod is gasping for breath.
5. If you need to take a sneaky breather on the pitch there are always places to hide – you just need to know where to look.
6. ALWAYS have a drink with your team afterwards. Otherwise, what’s the point?