Ten things a rugby union coach should do when coaching/training drills to kids.
I am a father of two very rugby orientated son’s both of whom are playing junior rugby for our local rugby club. I have been coaching for a couple of years after being inspired by the will to be more involved with what my boys are interested in and by the great friendships that are forged by being involved in such a team orientated sport.
I have been involved with managing groups of people within my work environment and have gained a lot of experience of leading, communicating and motivating to get the best results.
The Ten Things I think you should do!
The following ten points are what I have learnt whilst coaching and maybe they will help you in your ventures. So here we go!
Always have respect for your players, identify their strengths and weaknesses and improve on them.
Keep the players moving whilst training; keep them all involved because if they are standing around they soon begin to lose interest in what you are teaching them.
Deal with disruption quickly and effectively because ignoring or spending time pampering to disruptive players is a sure-fire way of upsetting the whole team (and parents.)
Always get the parents involved with organising and assisting you with drills e.g. holding pads, setting up grids for drills etc.
Always be truthful to players and parents particularly when discussing performances. Tell it the way it is- if little Jimmy is good on the wing, but messes about at training- tell him and his parents.
Always encourage communication within the team ie; from the moment you start warming up for training ask them to count out loud in turn to keep motivation between players up.
When doing drills choose the type where players work in pairs or small groups and select a balance of both good and not so good players, ask them to encourage and motivate each other.
When warming up always try to do drills relevant to playing rugby union.If you send them for an initial run give them one or two balls and get them to pass as they run. For a change from running around the pitch play a game of touch rugby – but start off by walking and build up the pace as they warm up.
When practising different aspects of the game I think it is important to do the following;
Explain how to do the move.
Seek confirmation of understanding.
Analyze how it went (ask what went well and what didn’t go so well.) Make suggestions that will improve what they are doing.
Practice move again using any information gleaned from analysis.
Always balance criticism with encouragement – explain one positive, then one negative that way the players will always feel good and want to improve on what they are doing.
This is the way I have coached junior rugby union. It may not be all what the book says, but it works for me and I am always open to criticism or suggestions if you have any. I have other aspects of this great game to look at in future blogs. So look out for me!
Most of all enjoy!
Yours in Rugby Union.