Coaching Blog

A Game Sense Approach to Coaching.

As Technical Director of Rugby Ontario I spend a lot of time around the playing and practicing of rugby in Ontario and across Canada. One thing often stands out to me as one fundamental issue (amongst others) that coaches must address for the betterment of the game.

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ReFlections from Andrew McMaster from Nations Cup

 Overall, the experience was what I expected, with some high-level play and good knowledge and compliance by players. That being said, the three referees undoubtedly brought the level of play by being both strict and consistent. I was a little surprised by how informal the PR process was, but the three referees were all at the end of their season, so this may have played a role. With regard to specific thoughts on my experience on the pitch, I have broken it down into three categories – communication, technical observation and tactical considerations – to be in line with my weekly game planning and review process.

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Planning for Performance: Season Planning

All coaches undertake some level of planning when it comes to delivering an effective practice.  This planning could be in the form of email exchanges or phone calls to coordinate with assistant coaches, or spending the first ten minutes practice sorting out the session while the athletes play touch.   Some of the factors that go into planning are the number of athletes, their level of rugby skill and athletic ability, the length of the session, the amount of space available and the number of days to the next game.  These are all important factors when determining the goals of your practice.  It is counterproductive to plan a practice that develops advanced strategic play when the basic technical skills required are lacking – for example working on advanced scrummaging techniques (nudges/wheels) when basic body positioning is poor.   In my experience, effective coaches take a step back from session planning and start with a season plan. They establish goals for the year – what techn ...

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