Sarlat Rugby bulks up with Olympian strength coach Manuel Padrón

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Strength and Conditioning coach Manuel Padron adresses Sarlat Rugby Players
Preparing for the coming season after over 7 months without games will be no joke. But preparing to win and move up a division or two will be even more of a challenge. Luckily Sarlat Rugby is bringing in the talent they need to make it happen. Starting with a new strength and conditioning coach: Manuel Padrón. An Argentinian ex-rugby player who has taken Rugby teams to Olympic victories!

In order to succeed in the coming season and advance to the next division, Sarlat Rugby is strengthening the team. To the core group of players who signed back up with the team have been added a number of national and international players. A rugby team is only as strong as its training, however, so Sarlat Rugby’s latest hire is of particular note. The new strength and conditioning coach, Manuel Padrón, certainly has the experience and track record needed to take Sarlat Rugby to the next level. 

Manuel Padrón has over a decade of experience working with top-tier rugby teams to help them achieve their peak physical condition. Having trained Olympian medalists as well as the Argentinian national team, this bright young coach will be a powerful asset for Sarlat Rugby. 

“Manuel brings valuable experience and insights from his time with the Jaguars, The Pumas, and the national Argentine Rugby Sevens team. He is personable, easy to get along with, and will fit right in with the rest of the staff”

Sarlat Rugby head coach Stephane Labrousse

From player to trainer, Manuel Padrón lives for Rugby

An avid team sport enthusiast from an early age, Manuel Padrón grew up with the Argentine passion for sports. The choice of rugby came naturally he said, out of his love for the game. Indeed, he signed up with Olivos Rugby Club at just 15, where he would play for 8 years as a third row, rising through the levels. He would soon find, however, an even greater calling. 

While playing, Manuel continued his studies, delving into the science and insights of physical training. Powered by a drive to help others unlock their potential, he quickly found himself loving the supporting role on the pitch. Knowing the training difficulties facing rugby teams in particular (avoiding and recovering from injuries, varying training for different positions, and so forth!) he naturally gravitated towards the challenge of strength and conditioning coaching in Rugby. 

Given a chance to pursue that dream by his own home team, the Olivos, who already had seen his potential on the pitch, Manuel joined them as an assistant coach. He quickly made a good impression and has continued to help them design and implement training routines ever since. But his skill and ambition would take him further still, across borders and continents, to the Olympic games, and now to France. 

Manuel Padron Speaks with US media in Las Vegas
Manuel Padrón has traveled throughout the world with several Argentinian teams

Manuel trains Olympian rugby athletes and top national teams

Manuel was driven to deepen his knowledge and understanding of the rigorous world of training top-tier athletes. He pursued and completed a number of additional qualifications and specialized certificates from USA-based coaching education programs like ALTIS and EXOS. His efforts would not go unnoticed, and soon all kinds of doors were opening for the promising young fitness coach.

In 2015, the same year he started training with the Olivios 1st team, Manuel was chosen to help coach the Pumas Sevens, the Argentinian rugby sevens team. Joining them as an assistant strength and conditioning coach was a great opportunity, and responsibility, which Manuel met and exceeded. Manuel quickly impressed the coaches and developed a strong rapport with players under his care. As a result, he was offered an even greater chance: a ticket to the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016. 

As part of the coaching team for the National Rugby team which would defend Argentina’s honor in the Brazillian Olympic Games, Manuel was training athletes at the very peak of their performance. While the team did not make it past the quarterfinals, he would still get to taste gold. Two years later, at the Junior Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, the U18 national rugby team won the gold. A home team victory that Manuel, as part of the coaching staff for the team, will never forget. 

Manuel Padron proudly displays olympic gold medal earned by Argentina U18
Manuel Padrón will never forget the Argentine victory at the Junior Olympics in 2018

After two seasons working with the U18 National Team, traveling with them to tournaments across the globe from Biarritz to South Africa, Manuel was a natural choice to help coach the senior national team: The Pumas. But he had tasted the international scene, and when the opportunity arose for greater responsibility in an ambitious growing team, Manuel lept at the opportunity to join Sarlat Rugby. 

Perfect fit(ness) for Sarlat Rugby 

When he was contacted by Stephane Labrousse, Manuel was immediately intrigued by the offer. The Sarlat Rugby project would offer him a chance to get in on the ground level of a rugby saga. Manuel would get to be the head strength and conditioning coach, responsible for crafting a crucial portion of the player’s training regimen. It would also give him the chance to live and work in France, and a beautiful corner of it at that! 

Manuel did not come here for the natural beauty, however. He came to help Sarlat Rugby achieve its goals. He will have his work cut out for him to get the players in peak shape for the season to come. Coming from teams far and wide, with a variety of training backgrounds, many have also played few games in the last season; Manuel will have to make sure they are ready for the tough season to come. He is already making plans. 

Manuel plans to bring his insights, programs, and experience from the highest levels of Rugby to benefit the growing Sarlat Rugby team. But he also plans to take a communication-focused approach, working with each player to hone their strengths and shore up their weaknesses. Developing training profiles for the different positions is the first step, following through with individualized attention and dialogue is the next. 

He has already begun the process, joining the team at gym training mere days after getting off the plane. Immediately his charisma and smiling nature helped him begin forging bonds with the athletes, and he gave his introductory speech in French, a language he assures he will be speaking fluently “within two weeks”! Certainly, Sarlat Rugby is glad to have him on the team, and looks forward to what he and the players can achieve together!

Manuel Padron has already begun building relationships with Sarlat Rugby players
As Manuel Padrón says, communication, charisma, and camaraderie are crucial to a good coach.
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