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Photo by Mr. Mark Ealey

First-year Rugby Coaches

Mr. Mark Ealey —

We asked our young coaches to reflect on what advice they've found useful and what is the greatest challenge for them as coaches.

Jack Ryan

  • Good advice:  Make connections with the players in the team. It's definitely helped me to better understand the players. 
  • Challenge: Understanding the best drills to use in relation to the players' skill set has probably been the most challenging aspect.

Judah Word

  • Good advice: Keep explanations simple and short. Don't over complicate things.
  • Challenge: Dealing with the situation in which too many players have self-imposed constraints on their focus due to what I suppose could be called a B-team mindset.

Luke de Roo

  • Good advice: Be more specific and detailed with my positive comments to the players. This helps the players to understand what they have done well and will hopefully help them to improve their skill set. 
  • Challenge: The biggest challenge I have experienced so far in the early stages of coaching is to come up with specific drills to not only help the players improve, but also to be enjoyable for them.

Ben Fleming

  • Good advice: Find inspiration for content in training from anywhere. I have borrowed a lot of drills from my 1st XV trainings, previous year's experience or even what I find online. 
  • Challenge:  Biggest challenge with the U58kg lads is sometimes to keep them on task and focused, but we all get along well and they are a fantastic group of boys.

Zeke de Gouw

  • Good advice: Choose my use of words wisely. I understand that this affects my players' attitude towards training and playing. For example It's good to use positive phrases and to focus on what they are doing well rather than using negative comments. 
  • Challenge:  Biggest challenge for me is getting the boys to implement these key learnings and skills consistently throughout a game, rather just than a few times in a game.

Nick O'Connor

  • Good advice: Explain why we are running a drill so the boys know what we are trying to achieve. This speeds up the learning process. 
  • Challenge:  The biggest challenge is to keep the trainings short so the boys are always focused whilst fitting in all the things they need to learn.

Sam Lawry

  • Good advice: To make sure that we are not just coaches but mates with the boys as well.
  • Challenge:   The biggest challenge so far is trying to keep all the boys focused and to realise that some boys may struggle with some drills, so learning how to adjust the drill to make it easier for those boys.

Zephyr Quartly

  • Good advice: You have to start with the basics of rugby and then build from there. If you start trying to do flashy stuff before the basics are in place the wheels will fall off. 
  • Challenge: The biggest challenge is to keep the boys attention by not saying too much. They have a short attention span after school so I need to focus on keeping things short and sharp.

Ollie Plunkett

  • Good advice: Always be detailed when praising a player's skills. This boosts their confidence and builds a better relationship between us. 
  • Challenge:  The biggest challenge so far is trying to fit multiple drills in one training without the boys losing focus and not learning the new skills.

Jack Coakley

  • Good advice: New drills or what to look for when the players are doing the drills has been really beneficial for my coaching experience. 
  • Challenge: The switch of perspective from going from how i as a player look at the drill vs how I as a coach look at a drill. For example as a player I just have to focus on myself and the players in and outside of me whereas as a coach I have to concentrate on every player.