Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Why showing off promotes skills by David Clarke

I was up in Pontypridd last night to interview Paul John, the World Cup winning sevens coach for Wales.

As I was waiting, I sat in the stands watching the Ponty 1st XV gathering. First one, then a couple and eventually ten players wandered onto the pitch. They were relaxed and smiling.

Quickly they started playing a game of touch rugby . It was played at just above walking pace. If you shut your eyes, you would hear laughing, jokes and name calling.

Rules? Easy. One hand touch, ball on the ground turnover, touch and push ball between the legs.

As more players joined in, one thing struck me. They loved showing off. Huge spin passes off both hands, one handed passes, basketball passes, through the legs, behind the back. When something good worked, it was met with cheerful derision and smiles. There was no competitiveness in the game itself, just the joy and celebration of human movement.

To show off, you need to practice. It takes lots of skill to throw a 25 metre spin pass. You might not even use it in a real game. However to “look good” in the game where your mates are “showing off” means you practise. Practise at times which are not official practice times. Practise in private. And then show off in public. Good practice!

And here are some “boys” showing off.

Better Rugby Coaching


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