Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Team Management | Tags: abuse, Alex Ferguson, coaching young rugby players, rugby abuse, rugby festivals, training to play, young rugby development
In the UK, at this time of year, it is FESTIVAL TIME!
Across the width and breadth of the country, hardy souls tramp across valley and dale to sit in the sun or rain or wind and watch a flurry of foreshortened games against a range of teams.
On the one hand there is plenty of rugby on show. On the other hand, that tends to be if you are one of the better players.
Let’s consider Under 11s and below.
The coaching departments who roll out the Level 1 courses say that this age group is all about training to play. They don’t endorse leagues.
Yet these festivals have “cups”, leagues and all the incumbent competitiveness that goes with it. It unfortunately brings out the worst in the adults.
Here are a couple of things I heard “shouted” at a tournament on Sunday:
“Legs, legs, you have got to bloody tackle, am I speaking a foreign language or something, don’t you understand?”
“If you play like that you won’t play another minute in this tournament.”
This was to nine year olds.
The tournament was beautifully organised, there was some thrilling rugby. But festivals cannot be run on this basis unless there is no cup. One of my fellow coaches noted a number of teams who kept on their best boys throughout the tournament. Where is the “train to play”?
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Team Management, Rugby Training | Tags: coaching U11s, coaching young rugby players, elite rugby, lack of attention, Rugby Coaching
Last week I posted a blog about getting children to listen.
In my further research and then observations over the weekend I reflected on our expectations as coaches.
Over one hour of training should the players be fully concentrating on rugby the whole time?
On the one hand we would expect this because it is only an hour and they have to concentrate for longer in a match. But I think we need to be more realistic.
Elite players in a warm, comfortable environment like an indoor training faciltity will be on task most of the time. 11 year olds, on a windy pitch under lights after a full day at school, then “do the math”!
These extremes will count across all age groups, senior and junior. Our challenge as coaches is to understand these constraints and work within them. If we get frustrated by the lack of attention, then often is a whole host of uncontrollables.
I will be writing more in the next issue of Rugby Coach.