Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

What we can learn from video games by David Clarke
June 28, 2011, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Training | Tags: , , ,

We find our kids spend too much time on them, become addicted to them and end up with pasty white faces…the curse of the video game.

But we can learn plenty from the kids “playing video games” for our own coaching.
1. Why do they play on them for so long
Because they are competitive. The players keep wanting more.
Lesson: players like to play and they enjoy a challenge.
2. They can make mistakes and not feel bad
“Game over” and start again is the worst they can hear.
Lesson: players know when they have made a mistake – don’t make a fuss, let them start again.
3. Practice makes perfect
They keep playing, experimenting and improving – the finger and eye coordination is breathtaking.
Lesson: think about the practice environment – they are playing a game, learning from their mistakes and working out how to solve the problems themselves.
4. No manuals, no help?
To start the game, they may use a brief tutorial, but then plunge straight in. However, they will want tips, cheats and shortcuts. They get this from their friends and surfing websites.
Lesson: be a port of call for problem solving, not just someone who tells them what to do. They will ask when they are ready – are you ready for them to ask?

Dan Cottrell

Don’t read this if you are already a great coach by David Clarke

What sort of coach are you?

I can easily patronise with what I am about to say, so be warned!

Are you the sort of coach who listens to others with every intention of changing what you do IF you think they have said something worthwhile.

Read that sentence again: “with every intention”. That is a very open minded coach. There are dangers with being that sort of coach. You can become unpredictable and confusing to your players.

But it is a healthy attitude to take if you want to develop yourself. As long as you carefully integrate new thoughts in your planning and action, then the positives keep you and your coaching fresh.

Anecdotally I reckon that only one in ten coaches is capable of this. Am I right?

Some areas of the game are “off-limits” for new ideas for some coaches. Imagine telling a former tight head about how to scrummage…

These “off-limits” areas are perhaps justified in the case of a tighthead – well only just. But take an area like tackling. In an area where safety is paramount, coaches will often think back to their own experiences of “learning” to tackle and not listen to new ideas. “I was taught this way, and it was safe…”

And finally: there are coaches who like to have thought of the technique/tactic before. It is a challenge to be told something that they don’t do already. I regard myself as quite open. It goes with the job. I hear new ideas everyday. But I sometimes have to check myself when I hear something I think I should know. I need to listen and not reject.

You never stop learning. Every great coach knows that. That’s why you have kept reading!

Better Rugby Coaching

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

The five best sports to learn from by David Clarke
January 14, 2009, 9:15 am
Filed under: Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills | Tags: , , ,

Rugby is an “invasion game” where players gain ground in order to score points. There is a lot of high level thinking on the specific game to read, watch and listen to. However, similar forms of reserch has gone into other sports and coaches often benefit from a sideways glance or study of these games.

Here are my top five sports to learn from.

1. Rugby League

It is no coincidence that there is a good cross fertilization of ideas between the two codes. The more enlightened coaches have not become slaves to League theories on defence and kicking, but have used elements to enhance their coaching.

Learning from rugby league

Rugby League is good for:

  • Footwork
  • Handling
  • Tackling
  • Tackle systems
  • Kicking
  • Fitness
  • Communication
  • Broken play patterns

Some good sites to visit are:

rlcm coaching

Tomorrow I am going to look at the benefits of netball.