EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

How to review your season ready for next season

Sometimes the most logical answer to a problem isn’t the right one. So when assessing how to improve performance, apply the DAP principle to your thought process – Deep, Accurate, Practical.

So, you’ve reached the end of the season or you are getting ready for next season.

The most difficult thing you’ll do at this stage is try to make rational, long-term strategies based on what you “think” you did last season, as opposed to having any real evidence to back it up.

It’s here you have to be very careful. The key word in this process is think:

  1. Think Deeply
  2. Think Accurately
  3. Think Practically

Let’s take a couple of examples that may come up in your analysis…

EXAMPLE 1

“I NEED TO IMPROVE MY KICK-OFFS”

Many coaches would look at the kick and the chase and that’s it. However, let’s really think about the issue.

  • What’s wrong with my kick-offs? My team doesn’t chase very well and the kick isn’t always accurate.
  • What happened last season that I’d like to change? If I have to kick the ball to the opposition at the restart, I’d like to get the ball back or put more pressure on the receiving team.
  • What do I think can help? I need variation in my kick-offs to put uncertainty into the receiving team.

Now all of this makes perfect sense but maybe the issue here isn’t solely the kick or the chase – is the issue here one of defence? Although you can work on a more accurate kick, the issue seems to be what happens after the opposition has received the ball, as they will often do in matches at mini and junior level.

Would working on kick chase, defensive line speed and one-on-one tackling sort many of the issues here?

EXAMPLE 2

“WE LOSE A LOT OF LINEOUTS”

  • What is wrong with them exactly? We possess a small set of forwards so lose most of the lineouts.
  • What happened last season that I’d like to change? I’d like to create lineouts that allow us to win the ball more often.
  • What do I think could help? Reduce numbers in the lineout to create more opportunities to move up and down it.

Again, very practical solutions but have you thought about why you have lineouts in the first place?

The real solution might be – Don’t kick the ball off the field unless you feel your team has to. Nobody has said you must replicate what they do on TV.

By thinking Deeply, Accurately and Practically, you may find that the solution to your problem doesn’t lie in the area you first focused on. Think laterally and it will allow your young charges to grow into the adult players we all hope they’ll become.

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