Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Forty seconds to change a player by David Clarke
October 26, 2009, 12:37 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Skills, Rugby Team Management | Tags: , ,

If you had forty seconds with any player, what would you do to make them a better player?

Well, it does depend on so many factors, like how much you know the player.

But let’s say you have never met him or her before. You know the standard of rugby they play and what position they are.

Would it be a tactical, technical or conditioning thought?

I think that I would use none of the above. Instead I would work on giving them a method of thinking about their own game and how they approach it. It could help them build on something they have already, or something they might consider anew.

I would ask one quick question and then give my reply based on that answer.

As the week unfolds I will say more about this.

Better Rugby Coaching

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10,000 hours in reality by David Clarke
October 21, 2009, 9:03 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Training | Tags: , ,

To become an expert in something, you need to practise for 10,000 hours.

That means about 3 hours a day for 10 years.

Though this statistic is daunting, the research behind it says that people who practice more are better than people who don’t. Studies have looked at comparable talents, examined their practice routines and seen that the sweat and tears pays off.

As I write this, I am “touch typing”. I must have done the 10,000 hours by now!

Better Rugby Coaching



Very lucky to train on this by David Clarke
October 19, 2009, 7:33 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, International Rugby Journal, Rugby Training | Tags:

This is where I am training the Welsh Women squad this weekend.

Unfortunately, though it is to Millenium Stadium specifications, it does alllow in the rain and wind!

Look out for an excellent article on playing surfaces and training areas by Pitchcare.com editor, Laurence Gale, in this month’s International Rugby Technical Journal.
Better Rugby Coaching



Improving your passing drills by David Clarke

Here is a great video of a team training, and concentrating on passing. They then go into a game of touch.

The passing drills are pretty standard. The players are enjoying the training. However the quality of processes and therefore outcomes are not high.

What coaching input might you add?

Better Rugby Coaching



Dealing with the injured player by David Clarke
October 15, 2009, 10:38 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Fitness, Rugby Team Management | Tags: , , ,

An injured player is damaged physically and mentally.

There are plenty of sites and people who can help fix the player physically, but what can we do as coaches to help the mental anguish.

An injury leads to a number of mental states, which can go from despair to denial to realisation.

Avoiding psycho babble at this stage, you have to empathise with the situation first. Then you need to reassure the player about coming back to play.

It is such a crucial area of man management which is often left to quick words at rushed moments which can exacerbate the player’s emotional state. More on this area in the next few weeks.

Better Rugby Coaching



I need help by David Clarke
October 13, 2009, 10:56 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, top tips

I was asked for rugby coaching help five times from Friday through to Sunday. I won’t identify the people who asked, but the requests were similar in nature though different in detail.

Here are three answers you might have heard if you have asked for help:

1. What works for me….

2. Google it, there are lots of sites out there…

3. Here’s a good drill…

Having fielded many questions from lots of different sources, I try to steer away from those sorts of answers.

First, the person who is asking for help is often worried or anxious. Therefore he or she needs empathy for the situation. I often need to ask some questions in return to find out more. I also need to align my feelings with that coach’s feelings.

Second, I need to understand the relative abilities of the coach and players. Sometimes that can help answer their question. The coach’s expectation can outweigh the capability of the players.

Third, I have to balance the amount of knowledge I can give, with helping the coach work out the answer. One way of doing it is to offer alternatives. The coach can choose which might work for him, thus getting him to buy into the solution.

Fourth, and most crucially, the majority of coaching relies of the method of delivery. The best ideas can be lost in the fog of explanation and drills if the message is not clear. My own experience tells me that my sessions work best when I have got the delivery spot on and not necessarily the idea. The coach looking for help should be able to relay the information back to you with confidence if he is going to be able to do it with the players in training.

By the way, you don’t need to Google it! Just go to the Better Rugby Coaching website, look at the toolbar on the left, and put in what you are looking for. 400+ articles and videos should get you to some of the answers.

Better Rugby Coaching



US Football punting lessons by David Clarke

October 11, 2009 From the New York Times
A Convergence of New and Old Punting Styles

By JUDY BATTISTA
The Giants’ Jeff Feagles will probably stop to watch the Raiders’ Shane Lechler work when their teams meet on Sunday, a punter from a fading era admiring the work of one of those who will eventually make his kind extinct.

Feagles and Lechler represent the intersection of punting eras. Feagles’s pinpoint directional skill is going the way of the leather helmet, replaced by booming spiral kicks like Lechler’s as well as end-over-end punts that have become the norm in the N.F.L. because they are easier to control, more difficult to catch and harder to block.

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