EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Experts don’t start as experts

I’d be very surprised if any experts had not been involved in delivering some pretty naff sessions in their time. As I said earlier, you have to go through the shit to get to the sugar, and once you understand that, the process becomes bearable, and dare I say, enjoyable.

One of the main problems in the promotion of coaching through games is language. It’s assumed that those who present it as THE preferred delivery method have always a) delivered that way and b) have always been good at doing so.

This can give us a false expectation of our own ability. In doing, it can lead to potential frustration, lack of confidence and eventual abandonment. Let me tell you, from my own experience – and quite likely many of those who now promote coaching through games – my journey is littered with mistakes, poor sessions, panic, and uncertainty. When I think of some of my rugby lessons as a teacher, it was embarrassing.

I still make mistakes, but the difference now is that I recognise them quicker, have the confidence to acknowledge them and the experience to rectify them more easily.

The way forward is to embrace these mistakes as learning opportunities once you get over the initial depression of a poor session. The learning not only helps to deliver better sessions, it helps enormously in developing empathy with players, who also go through that process when learning new skills and game understanding.

You can see from the “circle game” in the next topic, things do not always go as well as expected.

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