It may be Christmas, but it's also contract time at the Olympic Training Center.
USA Men's 7s Head Coach Matt Hawkins is working on a list of players who USA Rugby will offer contracts to for the New Year. The new contracts are set to start January 1, although players are expected to assemble for camp a couple of days before that.
With the team struggling, it certainly has to be a nerve-wracking time for some players.
Hawkins said he is trying to put a performance component into the contracts. Players who play well - and therefore get picked for the World Series tournaments and start for the team - should be paid more, the coach told RUGBYMag.com.
"Guys who are performing should get more," he said.
Offers are expected to be sent out next week, and it's possible there could be a shakeup in the list of players at the OTC.
Life with the USA 7s team is not an easy one. The players are not paid a lot of money, and some, especially the younger ones, have struggled with what to do with themselves when they aren't training.
Some players have been finishing their schooling or working toward a new degree. Athletes are the OTC can study with Devry University free of charge.
Still other players have looked at getting additional work - something Hawkins not only supports, but encourages.
"What I would like is for everyone at Chula Vista to either have a part-time job, an internship, or be studying," Hawkins said. "You've got to have dreams, you've got to have goals. I think having that extra thing makes you more focused, more worldly, and helps make you a better player, as well."
Hawkins has asked RUGBYMag.com columnist Karen Donoghue to advise players on college options, and he is also working on a plan to help players with housing.
"Living in San Diego isn't easy," he said. "I want to work with the rugby community to help with the guys' housing. If we can get help there, it means we can offer the players more. At the same time, I think we've got to be more engaged in the community - we need to access the resources that are here in San Diego and also be a resource. San Diego has a huge rugby community, but the OTC is like Area 51; no one knows what goes on here. We need to change that."