Ask Dan

Got a coaching question?

Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coach Weekly’s head coach and editor can help.

A former player for Bath and Bristol, Dan is a level 3 coach, level 2 referee and course tutor. He has coached international rugby with Wales Women, representative rugby with Ospreys U25, U18s and U16s and is currently coach with Swansea Schoolboys U15. He also coached his son’s team from U6s through U16s.

He’s a regular contributor with ConnectedCoaches and a former director of rugby at Cranleigh School.

It’s always good to have somebody to ask for advice when you encounter a problem with your team. Whatever your coaching problem, Dan is perfectly placed to help.

Check out recently asked questions to get the advice you need. If you are a subscriber drop Dan a line (you’ll find his contact details in this week’s issue of Rugby Coach Weekly digital magazine) and he’ll even send you the resources you need from our archive of coaching sessions.

COACH QUESTION: How to coach the forgotten contact skills

in Ask Dan, Contact, Rugby drills

"With the return to rugby, I’m really worried that my team (U13s) will have forgotten lots of things about rugby. In particular, I’m trying to work out when and how to introduce contact and tackling." This question came from a coach in Gloucester and is typical of lots of concerns around this area of the game. It is true that the players will have "forgotten" lots of skills.  Here's how I would approach this situation. On the next page are two tackling exercises to support training. MORE

How can I introduce more “dog” into my players

in Ask Dan, Rugby coaching

received these two emails within a few hours of each other, so this isn’t an isolated situation. However, I will hasten to add, it’s not a problem either. Up to the age of 17/18, boys grow at very different speeds. This is both physically and mentally. It’s likely that the more “aggressive” teams you face have a number of boys are ahead of the curve in this sense. They are more mature than their peers. MORE

ASK DAN: Activities to make us more clinical in...

in Ask Dan, Attack

A question from a coach who works in senior rugby. On Sunday we were in control of the match (15 to 3) at the end of the first half. Unfortunately we lost 15-21. The main point according to what we have seen, was the lack of patience and skill in maintaining possession and instead a... MORE

Concussion Guidelines

Concussion at grassroots – you are working alone too...

in Ask Dan, Contact, Tips

Though you may have been on the courses, it’s not you who has to get up-to-speed. The framework provided to clubs includes such areas as concussion awareness indicators and “Graduated Return To Play” (GRTP)schemes, to help clubs deal with concussion in the most appropriate ways. However, despite these excellent resources and help, down at the... MORE

Stop us being too flat in attack

in Ask Dan, Attack, Defence, Rugby coaching, Rugby drills

  Q  How can you improve players’ alignment to stop them getting too flat, so they attack with pace.  Nick Howe, St Paul’s School, U13s A  While you can drill alignment, it rarely transfers into matches. That’s because players don’t sense the context and therefore, when they reach the same situations in matches, they don’t... MORE

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