EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Have the final word in selection meetings

Possible meeting rules

  1. The chair has the final word. If he wants to move on, then the meeting moves on. Further issues will be discussed at the end of the meeting.
  2. Each view is an opinion. What is said in the meeting cannot go any further unless decreed by the chair.
  3. No one can use derogatory language about any player.
  4. Hands up (or similar signal to chair) to speak. The chair will ask someone to speak.

Pictures Count

With the age of the digital camera, it should be possible for somebody to take a picture of groups of three to five players before the trial, so it is easier to identify which player you are talking about. Download them to a laptop and then they are on display for all the selectors.

The facilitator

Some major corporations use a separate person to act as a “meeting facilitator”. They act as someone who goes beyond the normal role of a chair, to increase the participation of all the people in the meeting and guide them to a consensus.

The role of the facilitator at selection

  1. Ensure the criteria is clearly in front of the selectors. This requires research and discussion beforehand, with a clear set of objectives.
  2. Organise the meeting place after the game which is conducive to discussion and participation.
  3. Set an agenda and how long should be spent on each element. Otherwise some positions might take so long that there is not enough time or energy to focus on other positions.
  4. A good facilitator will be aware of the “group norms”. There will be personal and club agendas which some selectors will bring to the meeting. Conflicts can be more easily resolved with prior knowledge or with some further criteria set down. For instance, if there is a likely clash over a certain player, the facilitator might pre-empt the discussion by saying that this area should be considered on the basis of a set of criteria, not on other areas.
  5. In the meeting the facilitator ensures all the people who need to comment, will comment. They also look for ways to bring the selector into the discussion. A list of questions or ways of approaching a point should be thought out beforehand.

New ways to think about selection

Here are ways that a chair or facilitator can delve into the minds of the selectors to help them make clearer, more informed decisions.

  1. Compare the players to the best player in that position last year. This helps rank the players.
  2. Select a player for a bad weather day and a good weather day.
  3. Who would you like to have next to you if you were playing?
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