Johnsons 8 Tips For Successful Rugby Coaching
1. Drills teach technique not decision making
Drills can only teach children the proper techniques for skills
such as kicking, catching, passing etc. Drills can not develop the
ability to make the right decision in a game – when to kick
and where to pass. A coach, who prepares the squad through sessions
filled with drills, is only working at one part of the game.
Encourage Team Play
A difficult job for any coach is to coach young players the need
to modify their individual styles for the good of the team. Conditions
and limits, must be set for players to experience good teamwork.
Try limiting the time that each player can have running with the
ball. After time you will see how team-mates learn to make themselves
available for passes and support the player on the ball. The ball
carrier will also learn to look up and scan for support in order
to make the right decision.
3. Keep children moving
Children should never be standing around waiting in a queue for
their turn at a drill. If children are resting for more than 20
seconds to restart the drill, then try and set up another drill
again alongside the first. Alternatively set up a second drill of
a different skill that the children can do whilst waiting in line.
Such as quick hands and passing the ball.
4. A good balance of hard work and fun
alongside the RFU has launched the Martin Johnson Rugby
Camps in 2005.
There will be five venues around the country. Newcastle,
Warwick, Bristol, Newbury and Ealing.
Always remember that fun is definitely part of each game and practice!
If you run your team into the ground during hard practice sessions
and never let them have a chance to smile, relax, or blow off some
steam, you'll soon discover that you have transformed play into
work for the children. Let the kids get their work done on the field
and then let them have some time off a bit in practice. Come game
time, you'll find that they will be more focused.
5. Lead by example
As a coach you should lead by example to gain the trust and respect
of the kids. Coaches of children are seen as role models and therefore
the position carries responsibility. How you behave, dress and your
attitude all set an example. These high standards will rub off.
Children’s concentration spans are known to be less than adults.
Having the full concentration of the children will increase the
value of all exercises and drills considerably. Be realistic, and
be ready to move on to the next drill when concentration wanes.
A number of skills exercises each done for less than 3 minutes at
maximum intensity provides a superior training session compared
to one exercise done time after time.
The importance of ball skills
Whatever you coach on the park will be translated onto the pitch so
how you organise the conditioning sessions is essential.
You cannot over-emphasize the importance of ball skills. Encourage
parents and children to buy a ball and carry it around everywhere
they go. They need to get used to the ball's feel, the way the ball
moves, in short to become totally familiar with it.
Begin every training session with handling drills. These can be
as easy or as difficult as is appropriate to bring the team to the
level of confidence and enthusiasm that you want.
8. Kids don't like fitness
Kids don't actually like doing fitness/conditioning drills, so the
best way to motivate them is to conceal it. The lesson is to try
and combine the conditioning work within the drills. If you want
their support at the breakdown to improve, do your normal bag work,
but have the kids move onto the next bag at a higher intensity so
they are used to this during a game. Also reduce rest times.
Improve your rugby teams performance
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