Peter Dawson - a rugby nobody

Absolutely riveting information about Peter Dawson and the rugby sidestep. Sidesteps are straight forward if you follow me.

Hello! I'm Peter Dawson

Peter Dawson recently Me, recently

This is me fairly recently. I must have been thinking about the opposition! (Photo by Julia)

I'm not an international rugby player.
I've never been an international rugby player.

I'm not an international rugby coach.
I've never been an international rugby coach.
I've never been coached in rugby.
We just "went training".

By these standards I'm a rugby nobody!
But there are other, very high, standards.

As with all information on the Internet, take everything on this site with a grain of salt! Nobody is perfect. I`m pretty close - but it`s best to be on the safe side!

That doesn't mean you shouldn`t pay attention. Because there's something I know.

Something very special - the ins and outs of the rugby sidestep.

P.S.
In November 2012 I was diagnosed as having Parkinsons.
If you`re interested, this is a bit about my experience.

Peter Dawson - the old one

Peter Dawson previously Me, previously

When you look around the site and see video clips of me taken fairly recently by my wife Moira, please use your I-M-A-G-I-N-ATION!

You may find this a useful guide

when the legs were sidestepping for real

this is what the head looked like.

Peter Dawson a long long long long time ago

Aim, a short well worn path to sidesteps

I feel happy saying sidestepping means enjoyment for players and spectators alike.

My aim is to create a buzz, more interest and knowledge, a real desire to improve your rugby skills. Show you can learn to sidestep at almost any time in your life because it is just another basic rugby skill.

Remember, you want to create chaos as a rugby player. When you do your extra training alone, avoid marking out your training areas with coloured cones!

Avoid taking things too seriously.

Find a way to enjoy what you must do enough of to be as good as you want to be.

Play your part in the sidestep revolution

I`m Peter Dawson
I`m not Peter the famous Dawson (singer)
I`m Peter the unknown Dawson - the nobody
so help!

Talk to your friends. Ask old codgers about the good old days. Use blogs and forums to find out more. Look for old video clips.

More sidesteps mean more exciting rugby!

All players expect to tackle so expect to sidestep as well as tackle!

Instead of one Phil Bennett look-a-like in a team I see teams with 6 or 7, may be even 10 or 12 maybe 15!

You never know, keep looking and one day you may find this - a large and well known site concentrating on rugby which will provide sidestep classes. (Hint - keep coming back to this site).

Avoid my long journey to sidesteps

I knew nothing about sidesteps

I played rugby at school. I was quite good at gymnastics and basketball but was only OK at rugby, playing for 4ths and 3rds at Leeds Grammar School.

Update - looking at my old school report book I saw congratulations on making the 2nd XV...I was better than I thought!

Out of school I was interested in rock climbing.

I remember being on a climbing holiday in Scotland with school friends. One was fullback for the First XV (are you still there John?) and he challenged me to get past him. I dummied one side then the other then ran straight into him. I hadn't a clue!

I saw my first sidestep

Several years later I remember going to watch Leeds RLFC vs Salford at Headingly. Salford had their new player David Watkins, the former Welsh Rugby Union player.

He did something that day that was fantastic!

He beat a Leeds player with something magical. I didn't know how he'd done it, but I left Headingly inspired, with this fantastic picture in my brain, determined to be able to do it as well.

Amazingly that was the only time I ever saw David play. I've seen him relatively recently on film/video and read about him too. I wish I'd seen more of him at the time. Here is a short film about David on YouTube

With some experience

When I was younger I was impressed by Cossack dancers squatting down, flicking out their legs. So much that I taught myself to do it.

I once saw someone lying on his back, flip up onto his feet with just a flick of his body. I got to work. Grabbing the arm of the sofa for the first few weeks, practicing and practicing till I could do it.

I had an old Ford Anglia with a dud battery. Many times I had to push it backwards uphill in the morning so I could bump start it downhill. That gave me great leg strength. It came in useful

These are a couple of examples from a number of totally useless things I was able to do, just things that took my fancy!

It was all learning and all valuable experience.

So, with gymnastics and some unusual additions, I had some experience and skills for extending my repetoire.

I got a sidestep of my own

What I saw David Watkins do was from a standing start. Over a couple of years, working out how he did it and just playing about, I found I'd developed a range of evasion techniques that were useful in many situations on the rugby field.

I practiced everywhere, just because I loved doing it. I used to sidestep everything. Lamp posts, telegraph poles and shoppers, leaving it as late as possible without braining myself (or the shoppers!).

To me it was a sport in itself!

I never shared it with anyone. Not because I didn't want to - I just didn't think of it and nobody asked.

Then one thing led to another

I played for the Old Leos thirds, later for Yarnbury, a small local club.

My rugby improved.

After one game a huge bloke came up to me in the car park and said "Have you ever thought of playing rugby league?"

I hadn't, and told him so.

He told me he was the chief scout from the Warrington Football Club. You could have knocked me down with a feather. Warrington interested in me!

You might not be impressed, but I was! Not least because he was from the other side of the country.

Open mouthed, I dropped my washbag on the ground and had to scrabble around at his feet trying to pick it up.

And another

Some years later I went to live in Portsmouth and played for Portsmouth Polytechnic. We made it to the Southern Rugby League Cup Final (Dave Davies from Wales, worked at Ferranti please contact me - what a fantastic player he was.)

One of the people there that day was a scout for Keighley. I went for a trial, but they didn't want me because I was too small!

I'm sure they were right in my case.

What David Watkins did with his sidesteps

I learnt much later that the Peter Dawson of that time was almost exactly the same size and weight as David Watkins who went on to captain the British Lions at both Rugby Union and Rugby League.

What a man, what an achievement!!

Such a small difference between him and me - just that little bit extra where it counts - between the ears!

Learn to sidestep

So, learn to sidestep. It's great, you'll love it!

Some say it's a gift...it`s not. Nobody is born with a sidestep!!!!!!

Those who say "I've always had one" just don`t remember learning.

Either that or they aren't telling!

Like learning all rugby skills, it's quicker and easier when someone shows the way.

Find someone good who can help you - (pick me!, pick me!)

I'm certain you'll enjoy yourself

Practice enough and you just might go a side step further than Peter Dawson and - be a rugby somebody!

or just sidestep and be happy!

You can help promote the sidestep

Please, LINK to this site. If you enjoy yourself, chances are other people like you will enjoy themselves when you let them know you enjoyed everything about this site :)

Help others, maybe suggest to your club or your favourite blog or forum they might enjoy a visit and link here to help their visitors.