EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

My best observations from recent webinars and podcasts (part two)

Here is part two of some of my key takeaways from recent webinars and podcasts.

For part one, click here.

To remind you of my approach:

These are the main points that stood out to me, for whatever reason. So, it doesn’t mean it is all necessarily new, but it’s content that I wanted to ensure I revisit and think about beyond the webinar or podcast itself.

I have a commitment to keep the notes nearby and give elements a go in practice as soon as possible. The sooner I can try it out and get some feedback from the process then hopefully that helps me to improve.

My suggestion is that if you find one of my notes useful, don’t just nod approval. Write it down and be prepared to use soon.

JACK AND FISH SBS: DAVE COLLINS

  1. “What” and “how” depends on the “why” and “why not”.
  2. “Nested goals” – individual goals within overall team goals.
  3. Raise pressure in specific circumstances rather than at a certain age or not. Pressure is good for development so something challenging is key.
  4. It is important to set people up with the skills to manage failure.
  5. “Pressure is in the eyes of the pressured”: know the player

COACH LOGIC: DEFENCE IN THE COMMUNITY GAME WITH PHIL LLEWELLYN

  1. Defence focus on decision-making relative to time and space. Humans and teams are generally predictable and this can be exploited.
  2. Consider your approach: named roles and defensive structure or communicate with clarity?
  3. Walking touch useful to help players verbalise what they see, think and do as part of the learning process to build positive habits.

MAGIC ACADEMY WEBINAR WITH LEE BLACKETT AND JACOB UMAGA

  1. People being comfortable in meetings might look different according to the individual (eg Jacob Umaga lays down).
  2. For everything we do in training, what is the return on investment?

UK COACHING: COACH DEVELOPER GROUP WITH ANNA STODTER AND CHRIS CUSHION

  1. When developing coaches, understand their biography so you can have the most impact.
  2. Also, help them to understand and unpick their own biography (“Why does that work?”, “how do you know?”, “where does that come from?”).

MAGIC ACADEMY WEBINAR: COACHING ON THE TALENT PATHWAY WITH AIDEN MCNULTY

  1. The pathway is only a small part of the journey, so help them to navigate during and beyond.
  2. Challenge and speed bumps need to be purposeful, skilful and with support.
  3. Prepare players for transition beyond school through support networks (eg link up with similar people in similar situations but a bit further along the journey).
  4. Strategically plan to involve and engage parents.
  5. Plan for interaction: who will find it easy/hard? How will I then adapt, support and stretch them?
  6. Stretch isn’t just skill-based – talk, show up, gym etc.

JACK AND FISH SBS: BEN IVES

  1. There are expected behaviours from role/identity in society and we seek confirmation of those behaviours by presenting a credible performance to get buy-in from the audience. Very prevalent within coaching and sporting cultures.
  2. Performance mediates our behaviour for various desired outcomes: agitate, change, influence, buy-in, trust.

JACK AND FISH SBS: PHIL DOWSON

  1. Chris Boyd: stimulated informal and random conversations (eg. pick team to beat Crusaders and explain why? Or who will come Top 4 and Bottom 4 and why?)
  2. Chris Boyd coaching feedback is subtle and supportive: What did you want, did you achieve it, how can you improve?
  3. Chris Boyd made all coaches DoR for a week to build empathy across staff for the demands of each position as well as development for the coach.
  4. Resist small “added extra points” in meetings when you’ve planned key takeaways that you want them to remember.

MENSCH: BEYOND THE CONES BY JONATHAN HARDING

  1. Menschenfanger: people catcher.
  2. Will Hogg’s 4 stages for Organisational Change: a case for change; a compelling picture of the future; a sustained capability to change; a credible plan to execute change.
  3. The idea that victory was possible due to a number of factors combining at the right time in the right way is underappreciated.
  4. Employing a coach based on past success is irresponsible. The question that needs to be asked more often is whether the coach is capable of replicating that success by aligning new or similar pieces of a different jigsaw.
  5. The game has to be about more than winning: you are part of something and along the way we must cherish it, because when it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
  6. “If only the best counts and effort doesn’t count then life is s***. If I’m not as smart as Einstein, should I not try even a little bit because I will never be him?”. There has to be value in everything we do, beyond just results, as that is what we leave behind.
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