Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Rugby coaches don’t just coach rugby by David Clarke

If rugby coaching was just about 90 minutes of coaching, perhaps twice a week and a game on Saturday, then it would be easy.

Add to that analysis, selection and planning and then the time mounts up.

But it is always the case that you actually spend as much time “coaching rugby” as you do being a mini psycho-analyst.

Take for instance the revelations this week about Gareth Thomas and his sexuality. It was an open secret amongst a number of people in rugby circles. As such, the open announcement was no surprise to some, but obviously a shock to others. He confided in his coach at the time, who was able to give some advice and support.

I have played against an openly gay rugby team and once we started the game, it was a game of rugby and no one cared. Just because you are a man, it doesn’t mean another gay man automatically fancies you. The game is great leveler and is full of fun characters who happily see the ridiculous within themselves.

As a coach, you have to deal with various personal issues for the players. Sometimes you have little involvement and it might be good to keep it that way. However, whether you seek the role or not, you are likely to become a source of counselling for other players.

The more you can empathise, the easier it is to communicate with the players. The more you can study the way the mind works, the better coach you will be. It may be better to spend time on the “mental” coaching of players than the tactical and technical.

Better Rugby Coaching


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