Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Play every game as if it was your last by David Clarke
January 30, 2009, 11:55 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching | Tags: ,

Here is a story from a website called Best Coaches Best Practices.

The site and the book “Best Coaches Best Practices” by Andy Higgins look excellent and I have already ordered a copy.

Here is the story:

“… as if it was your last …”

I had hardly started reading (the book by Andy Higgins) when I was reminded of a life-altering event with my son. Don was six at the time, just finishing his first year in organized hockey. It hadn’t been a stellar year, especially for one such as myself who always harboured dreams of mediocrity for my own hockey skills. Each player had to play goal that year. Don stopped one of eighteen shots, and that was because he was looking into the stands at the time. Fortunately he was on a good team and they won 20-17 (although they always stopped counting at eight goals).

Don always avoided the puck, skating the other direction whenever it came anywhere near him. We suggested that he was there solely to have the best seat in the house – out on the ice. We were driving to his last game, just the two of us. I pointed out that this was his last game of the season. I offered that if he didn’t want to play again starting in September, that would be fine, it would be his decision, not mine. Then I observed that if he didn’t play again in September, this might be his last ever hockey game. I told him that I remembered vividly each “last ever” game I played – organized hockey, track races, basketball and soccer in high school. I suggested that he make sure that this was a game worth remembering. They lost the game, in overtime. When I walked into the dressing room after the game to help remove and pack the equipment, Don had the hugest grin on his face. “I want to play in September dad!” He had played like it was the last game ever. One worth remembering. He chased the puck up and down the ice, knocked one kid down with a not allowed hip check, and had a couple of shots in the general direction of the net.

Don played for another eleven years. He probably scored three goals during the time. He had many assists because of an unerring knack of getting rid of the puck quickly and usually onto the stick of a team mate. If one was handed out, he would have won the attendance award too. He always showed up, even for the 5:30 A.M. games.

One enduring memory of my lifetime was a Saturday morning during March Break when the ice is available for any players who want to show up, the league being shut down for the holiday. There weren’t enough players to fill the teams, so I jumped on the ice. Don and I were on a two-on-two rush, and he was carrying the puck. He lofted a perfect pass over the two opponent’s sticks. The puck landed softly and flat on the ice right on my stick with me now in the clear to score. Never to be forgotten! If it weren’t for early morning classes on Wednesday, he would be joining me for the old guys shinny on Tuesday nights on an outdoor ice rink.

You’re right – parents are coaches too. Guess I got lucky with a little philosophy early one morning.

Bruce Peckover is President, Peckover Financial Services.


1 Comment so far
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nice blog.
see too
sure you can link it

Comment by Hernan

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