The HSBC Sevens World Series gets underway this weekend in Dubai, and with the USA looking to add to their one win last season, here’s a look at their preparations for the Road to Rio with interviews with speedster Carlin Isles and coach Mike Friday.
Friday has worked wonders with a small national pool, finally culminating in a win at the London leg last year. This year they will be looking to go one better, with qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero the ultimate goal.
“We put them through situations continually in a training environment which ideally would be harder than match time,” says to assistant coach Mike Brown. “You can’t mimic the emotions that they feel when they are playing in a competitive environment, but we try to get that outcome by increasing the intensity and duration in how they will train.”
“My coach is always telling me to put on weight, eat this, eat that,” laughs Isles. “But I also have to make sure I stay sharp.
“I’m quicker than Usain Bolt in the 20 and 40 metres. I’m maybe in the top 50 sprinters in the world… When I’m in the clear, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s like I’m flying, I’m floating, It’s me in my own little world.”
The USA will face New Zealand, France and Portugal in this year’s Dubai Sevens.
UPDATE: Isles scored a scorching try on the opening day in Dubai. View that here