Too late: Three things I remembered AFTER my first session back

In all the excitement of the planning for the first full session back at training, I forgot three things that would have made a difference to training.

Not perhaps the vital difference, but when you’ve coached for so long, it’s annoying when you make mistakes.

I was lucky enough to work with three experienced co-coaches who had been with the team for a long time. It’s my personal coaching effort that I’m focusing on.


All planned sessions will probably have too much in them. That’s almost a given. Better to be overprepared.

One of the essentials is not to overburden the players with too much information. Keep the messages simple.

All the games and skills had few rules and even fewer progressions.

However, the plan was still too involved.

On the night, we took out lots as we went along. That’s fine. But, we might have been more efficient if we had focused ourselves on less.


It was too hard with my language but in the first game. It was an overloaded game, with two attackers to every one defender.

When you “roll out” a game for the first time, you need time for the players to enjoy success before it becomes more pressurised. One of the other coaches had marked out rectangular pitches. We played with a narrow width to start with.

Next time, we will start on the wider pitch and then switch.


I wish I’d brought my whistle.

I don’t use it in the normal session, though it does have some uses sometimes…that’s for another time to explain why.

However, when it comes to the game at the end, the players have to be used to a whistle. It creates a finality to a decision. If the players decide to argue over a decision, you create some learning moments around respect, and the referee’s decision is final.

This week we are going to focus on building better connections in attack, continuity and defence. It’s based around our game model.

Here are some ideas around this to consider:

Touch rugby to teach players defence

Realign and attack

Push, punch, break

Create the mindset and system for quick ruck ball

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