Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Honest rugby coaches by David Clarke
March 9, 2010, 8:53 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Team Management | Tags: , , , ,

Dropping a player is never a good feeling.

I was going to say it would be great if we could just say “The team is…” and not have to justify any selections afterwards. Actually, the process of telling a player they are not in the team is a good learning experience for both player and coach.

A dropped player needs to know his worth and the reasons for not playing. You want him to continue to improve, even if you think he will never make the team again. Other players will be so close to selection, they might be playing next week. So not a good time to burn bridges.

From your point of view, you can learn much from the dialogue, about the player and about the team as a whole.

In recent weeks I have been speaking to many top coaches about “selection” and communication. Honesty is one word which keeps being mentioned.

Wasps director of rugby, Tony Hanks, said that it was difficult sometimes to be totally frank with a player, but vital not to be dishonest.

I have had a few very tough selection decisions in recent weeks, with, in some cases, very little to choose between two players who are both on the up and improving all the time.

I enjoy the job, but it can be heartbreaking at times!

Better Rugby Coaching


Should we encourage try celebrations? by David Clarke

I am pondering on whether I am a grumpy old rugby coach when I tell off my players for celebrating their tries with whoops and high fives.

Of course, now I remember, I used to do it myself when I scored tries once upon a time . No one told me off then , though I did get a bit of stick and a few funny looks.

My view is that the scores against the opposition should be “celebrated” with respect. Show you are happy, but don’t wind them up too much.

On the other hand if you have been in the papers during the week then you might want to prove a point. I wonder if Shaun Edwards said anything to Danny Cipriani and Josh Lewsey after this celebration?

Fighting in training – it happens by David Clarke
October 10, 2008, 9:55 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Team Management | Tags: , , , ,

Anyone who has played senior rugby will know that sometimes, in a high pressure training session, you are going to have a spat.

The latest headline for Danny Cipriani (or “Kelly Brook’s hunk” as some papers put it) is no different an occurence as one would find on any given week in club training. You don’t have to love your team mates and sometimes tempers will fray and in a physical game, some pushing and shoving will take place.

Where do you stand as a coach when this happens? Don’t condone it of course, or even encourage it. It is the product of a high pressure environment. You need to push your players into these types of situations and see how they react.

It is how you handle it afterwards that counts. Reconciliation and communication are required. And then move on.