EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Tips to refresh your rugby coaching style

Coach with the team

Don't forget that a side grows with the coach. Let the team help make coaching decisions. Don't dictate, facilitate.

Make the players the centre of their development by asking for their opinions. A team meeting, inside, with pen and a blank piece of paper can be valuable. You can learn from what the players have to say.

However, you must have the final word. Maintain authority but be ready to concede ground.

Be organised but be flexible

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. However, a rigid plan may not be as productive as a flexible rugby coaching drill session. A great practice does not need to tick all the coaching boxes. In fact it only needs to tick one – development.

Some coaches say that if something is developing well in training, they are happy to continue to develop it. Other parts of the rugby coaching session may well be sidelined until next time.

The simple lesson is to have an extension plan for your rugby coaching drills if you need it… and a bail out plan if the session goes wrong.

Be yourself as a coach

Use the styles of those you admire to enhance this state. Though there are some core common factors amongst the best coaches, there are also a wide variety of styles of delivery.

At conferences, or on TV, the best rugby coaches seem to be at ease with themselves and with the material. Their TV manner is usually not far from their day-to-day style of communication.

However, these coaches' language and actions are carefully considered selections of previous influences. You need to choose which bits of which coaches you want to adopt to enhance your own rugby coaching style.

Praise the little things lots

A player who gets the little things right all the time can make as much difference as the player who makes one significant change to the game. So, motivate your team with plenty of praise for the right attitude, for making maximum effort, tackling hard but fair, and so on.

Build the "little by little" players up. They are the ones who you can rely on each week to get things right and their motivation can be key.

Indulge yourself and look the part

If you are lucky your club will provide a training top. Go one better and buy yourself a quality set of training clothes.

Top tips for invigoration

Cue cards: Think deeply about what you are going to say in rugby coaching drill sessions and put it on card. Refer to these in the session to keep your coaching momentum going.

Theme for the week: Outline a theme at the beginning of each week with the team. For example, accurate passing. At the end of the rugby drill return to the theme and ask if it is has been achieved.

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