Pre-season planning

Here’s an example of a mind-map preparing for a season. It’s the starting point for a discussion of what needs to be covered and who’s going to cover it.

There are some key takeaways:

  1. Delegate responsibilities.
  2. WIN – What’s important now. Concentrate on the areas which will put your squad in the strongest position to start the season. Then add in elements.
  3. It’s not starting from scratch. The players will come with their own ideas. Embrace them.
  4. Core skills need work ALL the time. So don’t think you only have pre-season to nail them.
  5. The pitch zones are fluid. The grey zone here means between the 22s, but it doesn’t need to.
  6. Plan for 80 minutes (or however long your games are). That can mean five lineouts in attack and the same in defence, two attacking back row plays and three backs moves. Start with that, then build as the season builds.
  7. Plan for phase-play in equal proportion to winning the set piece. Withouset-piecece ball you can’t play. Remember you have a whole season to develop the whole game.
  8. Finally, plan for the fact you won’t get all your players there all the time. They are allowed to go on holiday. You might even go on holiday yourself!

And finally, build any attacking and defensive systems piece by piece. Don’t expect the finished product by the start of the season.


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