Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Some great pre season team building ideas here by David Clarke

Here is a team building exercise video. Obviously you can use the equipment they provide, but some of them are generic too.

Remember: rugby is a dynamic game of changing situations and these exercises can build rugby mental strength.


Day 22 of August pre season training tips: our team by David Clarke

August 22

Our team

Pre season is a good time to bond the team as a unit. Here are five ways you can do this.

1. Put players into groups of three or four training buddies. They can encourage each other to turn up, warm up and look after each other off the field. One of the players could be a senior player and another new player.
2. Outline your principles from the start of pre season, and then reiterate them throughout the pre season period. Keep your behaviour to your principles and so keep consistency.
3. Let the players add a principle a week, which is realistic. For instance, turning up on time or being ready for training. Remind them of the principles each week.
4. Set targets for the “way we play” rather than winning or losing. Players can control improvements in strength, speed and skill, but not whether the opposition are any good or not.
5. Be clear when players need to switch onto training hard, be more light hearted or rest. The players can work together to increase the intensity when they need to increase it, and you need not have to shout at them to do so.

Better Rugby Coaching

Team building for rugby needs fresh approach by David Clarke


David Melville runs a team building business.

He knows a thing or two about building a team and a winning team at that. He pulled together a disparate group to come third in 2004 / 05 Global Challenge Yacht Race. This race is a truly unique event: 12 yachts, with 17 amateurs and one professional skipper compete to be the first to sail around the world against the prevailing winds and currents. There is nothing that the sponsor can place onboard to make the boats go faster – this 9 month experience is a fascinating test of leadership and teamwork.

I interviewed him yesterday for an article in the International Rugby Technical Journal. In light of the Lions team building experiences, he has a lot to say on what really works for sports teams. It could change the way you think about your coaching.

One snippet worth considering: how do you react to criticism? In a 360 review, jargon for an open feedback session where players and coaches can “appraise” each other, the coaches often find the process even more demotivating than the players!

Have a look at his website for some of the stories of how he built his team.

Better Rugby Coaching