EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

I volunteered to coach my son’s team, but I’ve no idea what kit I need. I don’t want to look like a fool on the first day – have you got any tips?

A good coach arrives at training ready to deliver his or her session. Assuming there’s a co-coach or team manager who looks after the health and safety, what does that good coach look like from car-to-pitch?

First, they should be corporate in their appearance. Club caps, beanies, rugby shirts or training tops are excellent ways to identify themselves with the team. It’s even better if they are labelled “coach”. Then at matches, opposition supporters will easily understand if an identifiable coach comes onto the pitch to deal with an injury.

Suitable footwear is the other piece of clothing that’s essential. If the players are wearing boots, then so should the coach. How can you demonstrate footwork skills if you are in Wellington boots or trainers?

In terms of equipment, a big bag of pumped up balls and cones are all they need to set up a pitch and game. They will have sorted the cones into colours at the end of the previous session, and have a bag of bibs and a spare pump as well.

They will always need a whistle for games and sometimes as a crowd controller.

Finally, in the pocket, they will have their plan. An index card is often enough to keep the key points on, all inside a polypocket to keep it dry.

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