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”?