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Rugby Wisdom Podcast - Alycia Washington: USA Eagle, Barbarian and Yale University Coach

March 08, 2022 3 min read

June 30, 2020

Craig Wilson was born in England and is currently the men's and women's Head Coach at Yale University. Wilson was internationally capped for the Hong Kong National Team and has represented professional academies at Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints. He has played in both the Scottish and Hong Kong premiership and coached the India National Team at both XV’s and sevens.

Rugby Wisdom Podcast

Alycia Washington

Craig Wilson:Thank you for tuning into Rugby Wisdom in 3 with me, Craig Wilson. This is the impactful podcast that does not impact your time. On today’s show, I’m joined by Alycia Washington. Alycia currently has 22 caps for the United States and reached a World Cup semifinal in 2017. She has also represented the infamous Barbarians, defeating Wales at the Principality Stadium. Domestically, Alycia plays for New York in the Women’s Premier League and coaches in the Ivy League with Yale University.

Alycia, welcome to the podcast.

Alycia Washington: Happy to here. Best part of my day.

Craig Wilson: Hey, look, it’s so cool to have you on the show. I’ve witnessed firsthand with Yale how much wisdom you have and I know the listeners are gonna love it. So, let’s get into it. As a captain and Barbarian, what has been your main source of motivation?

Alycia Washington: Yeah. I mean, I think for me, a lot of the motivation has come from the doubters, the naysayers, the less than positive people along the journey, and that was especially true in the 2014 cycle, where I was going through a bunch of camps, finally got in front of some of the national team coaches at a camp, and I was told that I was too short to be an international lock. Not fit enough or fast enough to be in the back row, and also not yet big enough to be in the front row, so there really was no place for me. And you know, kind of heartbroken for a second, and then I realized I’ve never let someone else dictate my future, and it wasn’t fair for me to start doing that now. So, I sort of used that doubt as my own motivation and said out loud to my friends, my strength coaches, like, “Okay, 2014 may not be my year, but 2017, it’s happening and that’s just the way it’s gonna be.”

So, worked to get faster. Couldn’t change my height, but sort of controlled the controllables. Worked to get faster, worked to get fitter, worked on my handling, and there was so much I didn’t know that I didn’t know, and I feel like that extra three years and the motivation I got from the doubters really helped sort of propel me into 2017 with much more motivation than I ever thought I could have.

Craig Wilson: That’s awesome, and now you’re sitting with 22 caps. You’ve been to a World Cup semifinal. You’re planning to get to another World Cup final and win it with the U.S.A in New Zealand in ’21. But also, you’ve represented the Barbarians, probably the most rugby club in the world amongst the best players in the world. Can you just share briefly what that was like?

Alycia Washington: So, I mean in a word, incredible. Absolutely just like one of the best weeks of my life, and I think it just goes to show that it’s really about the bonds you create with people that are around you, and for me, the sense of joy and love you have with your teammates are just as much principles of rugby as go forward in support. If you don’t have those, then the game isn’t gonna be much fun. That’s really why we’re there. So, just having that bond, and just making sure that you show that love and express yourself on the field with your teammates really goes a long way.

Craig Wilson: No, that’s awesome, and look, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom. To be an Eagle, to be a Barbarian, to work hard, enjoy along the way. We can all learn a lot from that. Thanks for your time, Alycia.

Alycia Washington: Thank you so much.

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