Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

If you don’t ask, you will rarely get by David Clarke

About this time last year, Bill Pratt begged me to come down to Thornbury RFC to do a session with his Under 14s.

His second email was worse!

 “Dan, I will not keep writing to you. Bust a gut and train my boy’s on Thursday. We are away to Dursley and we need some work on defence. One session is all i ask. Go on you know you can!! Bill.”

Well, what could I say. Though it took some time to find a suitable slot, I “bust a gut” and trained them last night.

I arrived on crisp autumn evening at the grounds on the outskirts of Bristol (where I brought up). Bill was there to greet me and my first impressions where that it was a well organised junior club.

I split my session into two themes, body shapes in the tackle and body shapes into contact. It was a “kitchen sink” session, so I covered four times as much as I would in normal session, with the idea that Bill could build on any or all of the points over the next month or so.

There were 22 boys (now under 15s) in all. They were polite, chatty but attentive and obviously enjoyed their rugby. They were responsive to questioning and gave some good feedback. They worked hard and with purpose in the exercises.

It is sometimes easy to come in to do a one off session and hold the players attention because you are a fresh face and new voice. However it is easier if there is good environment for the players to work in. Bill and his co-coaches are rightly proud of their boys. This pride manifests itself in pride and desire in the boys.

My initial reflections are:

1. Got to keep asking, what is the worst they can say?

2. Be proud of your team, they will return your trust.

There was some video of the session, so with any luck I might be able to post some next week. Then you can see whether I taught them anything!

4 Comments so far
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Thanks for your comments and a special thanks for comming down and giving your time to help the team,(Perhaps Bill will give your ears a rest for a bit now). You’ll be pleased to hear we posted our 4th straight win of the season on Sunday, (27-5 against Old Patesians). I’m sure the improved body shapes helped!

Comment by Tony Barrass

It was great that Dan did a session with us.
As a team we are making tremendous progress in every aspect of the game, however was fantastic that Dan agreed to come along (he had no choice really, as I was I would not give up pestering him) The session was really good and it helps enormously for the boys to listen to someone else, especially someone with so much credability and experience. Dan got the boys to relax and enjoy the session from the moment it started. It was great. Big thanyou from Me and the coaches. Bill.
P.S. See you next Thursday 6.00 sharp!

Comment by Bill Pratt

thanks dan for coming down i think we all enjoyed the session and it was useful getting training from a proffesional source.I feel the team members that were at the session benefited from our new tackling technique and positions and hope to improve our defensive game using these methods cheers
ryan kent

Comment by ryan kent

Mearsey has agreed to come down in the next few weeks, so has the main number 2!!! Mr Dawe (bollocks to Brian Moore, stupid name and he was a solicitor, not someone who could carry a ewe under each each arm, tosser)
Pratty. Keep you posted!

Comment by Bill Pratt

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