EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Happy 10th birthday to us

We’ve turned 10 years old and to celebrate we’re giving you access to all of our Rugby Coach Weekly content. Go to our new look website to easily find information on activities, skills, games and plays. As a rugby coach weekly subscriber, you simply need to create an account to have access to a fantastic library of resources.

Rugby Coach Weekly was born out of our monthly magazine which was launched four years earlier, just before England won the World Cup on 2003. So much has changed in the world of rugby since then, but many things have stayed the same.

All of us have experienced extraordinary coaching journeys. You might be surprised to hear that your own might be regarded as that. How can you compare to Sir Clive, Jake White, Sir Graham or Eddie Jones?

My thought is that if you give up any time to work with people to help them develop, that should be applauded. That you seek to improve yourself at the same time, makes your own journey special. You don’t need to have won a world cup, or even the county cup. If one player is a better person at the end of the season, then that’s worth all your time.

Yet, sometimes, that sort of teary-eyed nostalgic view is lost in the enormous amount of administration and politics it takes to run a team. There are plenty of times when you feel unappreciated, unsupported and on your own. Every coach has felt that at some time or another.

We are here to help. Whether you access us through this magazine, the website or the AskDan email. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, however small your query might sound.

My journey…

I’ve now reached a stage where I can say I’ve been a coach for more than half my life. I’ve coached rugby, soccer, hockey, basketball, cricket and netball teams. I’ve been on courses, run courses and watched courses. I’ve written nearly three millions words and done many videos. I’m a hellava better coach than 25 years ago, though I did some things right back then.

What interests me is that I sometimes did good things but didn’t realise why. For example, I was never a great shouter during games. Instead, I tended to watch and let the players get on with things. I put that down to nerves. Now, I believe that’s a better way to coach players during matches.

But I wouldn’t know this unless it had been confirmed through all the reading, listening, experimenting and reflecting I’ve done over the years. Less is more in coaching. We have to work out which “less” to stick to, and which “more” to leave out.

I’ve been lucky to meet and chat to some great coaches along the way. I heard some great insights. But it counts for nothing unless it’s practical for your purposes. I’m indebted to Andy Griffiths, who helped shape and lead this vision, and then to Ian “Didds” Diddams, Paul Tyler, Colin Ireland, Mark Calverley and Eamonn Hogan, who gave the magazine a sense of grassroots reality.

Along with 100s of other coaches’ exercises on the website, theirs are the beating heart of coaching rugby.

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