Some things are so ridiculous that they need to be shared.
Mr T Playset
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Some things are so ridiculous that they need to be shared.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I had an opportunity to work with USA Women's 7's Head Coach Julie McCoy some this summer. She spends some time on Sunday working on the details of the tackle.
Jules has been using "fat mats" to help players develop explosive power. It keeps the body from taking a beating, elevates the fun level, and really lets the players push hard. The entire tackling session was about two hours, and leads into an extensive session on footwork - how to be in the position to MAKE the tackle, how to finish the tackle in a position to poach, and how to poach as you are coming off the ground.
This particular clip is about 4 minutes, and addresses the act of "gathering" a player, rather than simply wrapping. To do this correctly requires significant explosive upper and lower body power.
In this particular session, the key take aways I had were :
- Tackle through, not to the player. Never reach with the arms, rather, drive through with the shoulder.
- Gather the player to you with the arms.
- Finish the tackle in a wide-based, split-leg position to enable the follow up poach.
- Power is generated by extending the hips
- Use explosive lifts - jump squats, snatches, etc, rather than traditional squats to develop physical skills.
I was purusing the Sports Coach UK site, and came upon an interesting (though not necessarily easy to read) article about an initiative in the UK called the Women into High Performance Coaching (WHPC) programme.
Basically its a program which, over three years, strove to prepare women coaches for high performance coaching positions. In the UK (as in the US), there are mechanisms in place to provide gender equity in sport for players (ie Title IX), but there remains a shortage of women in high performance coaching Positions. They mention that despite gender equity among players at the Olympic level, only 1 out of 10 Olympic level coaches is a woman.
The document in it's entirely is here.
The study was conducted in co-operation with the Women's Sports Foundation and the governing bodies of Rugby Union, Rugby League, Cricket, and Football (Soccer).
The 20 coaches who participated all had received some sort of certification, with 13 at Level III or IV (probably the equivalent of being a Level III Coach or Coach Instructor here in the US).
After the program was over, follow up was done to see if this "high performance training" opened any doors or created any opportunities for women to enter High Performance Coaching. Most of the coaches responded that they were continuing to coach at the same level than they were prior to the three year program.
The document in itself is 57 pages, but there's lots of very interesting statistical info.
It seems to me, as a casual observer, that the real issue of gender equity in coaching is related to the idea that men can coach men or women, and women generally just coach women. Now, I realize I might be opening up a can of worms, but I don't mind :) . There are a couple of male coaches out there that I know advocate and welcome qualified female coaches into their mens programs, but for the most part they stand alone. I've personally been at co-ed camps and participated in the coaching of men and boys, but it's always been something that had to be elevated.
I know that some of the top women's coaches (USA level) have been invited to coach high level men as guest coaches, but really that's where it stops. So I'm curious .... are there any women out there who are in HEAD COACH positions at clubs, universities, high schools? What will happen first ... a female president, or a female Head Coach of a Men's National Rugby Team? When all things (coaching skills etc) are considered, is there an inherent difference between women coaching men, men coaching men, women coaching women, and men coaching women?
Don't be shy ...
Monday, November 27, 2006
I spent some time this Saturday on the other side of the fence. Gridiron football, that is. A friend of mine plays in a rough tough league so I watched a game and then adjourned to have lunch with these football players. Lucky for me, their coach was there and I was able to pick her brain.
Despite all the obvious differences, there are bigger ideological differences in respect to the game, what sportsmanship is, and what it is to show respect to your opponents. They had recently played in a match and received an ass kicking (ps, there are some very athletic women out there playing rec football). The other team, every single time they went on offense, tried to score. This, apparently, was a bad thing, and this wasn't just one person's opinion. From what I could gather, once you've sufficiently run up the score, the appropriate thing to do is just take a knee on offense and run through the downs. When I asked why, I was told "why risk someone getting hurt when the game is essentially already won?". This practice of "taking a knee" is apparently pretty standard in all levels of football.
Now of course I had to share the rugby way of doing things (sidebar: My friend Bekah, also a rugby person, was with me, and I could FEEL the tension rising as she anticipated what sort of incident-causing-comments I might make. I believe I did a wonderful job keeping a meaningful, non-judgmental dialog going)
I told them that in rugby, every second on the pitch is a privilege, and shouldn't be wasted. Games like this are an opportunity to work on things, and the losing team now has an opportunity to work on defense. We can play all our subs. We can try to develop aspects of our game that need work. Bottom line, I said - Saturday's a rugby day, and we want to spend every available second playing rugby.
So then what about the team getting their ass kicked, they said? Isn't it unsportsmanlike to embarrass them like that? Well, personally I think its unsportsmanlike to ever take it light on your opponent. We've all been on both sides of the 80-5 game. If you were on the winning side, don't people who normally never get a chance for glory suddenly find themselves in the tryzone? Isn't it a time where maybe you can see that rookie #3 has amazing foot skills? If you were on the losing side, wasn't it amazing to score that one try?. If you were on the losing side playing against some really amazing players, doesn't it feel great to have shared the pitch with them? And, if you're on the losing side, even though you got your ass kicked, don't you walk away feeling as if your team, together, has faced something really hard, and come away tougher and wiser?
So ... it's an interesting difference between us and them. I know I don't speak for all rugby players or coaches, but to me, "taking a knee on offense" is about the same thing as handing the ball to the other teams #9 at the next scrum down saying, "Here you go - why don't you guys just play offense for the rest of the game?".
Would anyone ever do that?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The post on Coaching the Seal solicited a couple of passionate comments.
Personally, i think the wide range of styles implemented on the pitch is one of the greatest things about our game, and I especially enjoy watching matches where one team implements a different set of tools and strategies than the other.
I thought I'd do a little research as to how the Laws of the Game directly relate to this issue. I'm but a lowly emergency b-side ref, so if there is a Big Time Referee out there who can give us some insight on the topic, feel free to chime in.
The complete 2006 Laws of the Game can be found at the IRB web site .
It seems there are a couple of laws that come into play when more than just one player winds up on the ground in a ruck situation.
Law 16 ... Tackle: Ball carrier Brought to the Ground
Law 17 .... Ruck
OBG is absolutely correct regarding rucking with the head above the shoulders. It is explicitly spelled out in Law 17. HOWEVER, its unclear if the player sealing would qualify as a "rucker". Since they are not involved in the act of "rucking", it seems like they would not.
The following images depicts the behavior by support players that is explicitly forbidden at the tackle (I snipped these from the complete Laws of the Game)...
Compare this to this screen capture from the video:
Hmmm. Neither of these photos, nor any in the Laws, seem to map exactly to what Kathy's coaching in the video. Maybe it's BRIDGING. Yeah, that's it!
A text search of the entire 180 page PDF document did not reveal the word bridge or bridging anywhere in the document. Is there no longer a reference to it? Is bridging no longer illegal? Anyone know?
I WAS able to find the term "Flying Wedge" under Chapter 10, Foul Play.
‘Flying Wedge’ The type of attack known as a ‘Flying Wedge’ usually happens near the goal line, when the attacking team is awarded a penalty kick or free kick. The kicker tap-kicks the ball and starts the attack, either by driving towards the goal line or by passing to a team mate who drives forward. Immediately, team mates bind on each side of the ball carrier in a wedge formation. Often one or more of these team mates is in front of the ball carrier. A ‘Flying Wedge’ is illegal.
Penalty: Penalty Kick at the place of the original infringement.
Interesting stuff, these laws.
Monday, November 20, 2006
In recognition efforts of the 93 players and many coaches, assessors, and administrators who competed in the MARFU U-23 LAU All Star tournament this weekend, the following players have been named to an honorary "All Tournament Side". Great job everyone.
1. Brittany Robison, Kutztown
2. Winnie Chao, University of Virginia
3. Kathleen Brady, James Madison
4. Sandra Carretero, Kutztown
5. Ashley Keen, Drexel
6. Lindsay Wick, Brandywine Women
7. Sherri Villa, American University
8. Emily Tunney, Philadelphia Women
9. Erin Rideout, Mary Washington
10. Laurie Bryan, Virginia Tech
11. Courtney Ayling, Kutztown
12. Kerriee Shuey, Shippensburg University
13. Rachel Winters, University of Virginia
14. Allison Hunter, University of Virginia
15. Sara Miller, James Madison
16. Kelly Schumann, University of Virginia
17. Lisa Hrunka, Shippensburg
18. Nicole Coffineau, VTech
19. Julia Swavola, James Madison
20. Kerryn Winiesky, Kutztown
21. Katie Welter, Georgetown
22. Elizabeth Walsh, University of Delaware
So this weekend was the MARFU U-23 Collegiate All Star Tournament (LAU Round Robin). I thought it would be interesting to blog about the process from my perspective. I'm now starting my second year as the MARFU U-23 coach, and have a clearer vision of how I want the program to progress. All the TU coaches probably have different processes and outlooks, this was mine ...
Three teams competed, representing VRU(Virginia), PRU(Potomoc), and EPRU(East Penn). PRU entered two teams since they were the host union, so there could be a Saturday game and a Sunday game, and teams would only play one game a day. We were in Baltimore and it was cold.
This event is NOT a tryout for the MARFU U-23 team. It is however, the first of several events where players can be seem. I personally really wanted this event to mean something, so selected an honorary "all tournament team", and we will be inviting players to compete in another event as part of the MARFU U-23 Developmental team.
So all day, Saturday and Sunday, was spent watching players. I had a small army of volunteers who were dedicated to this task, and all I can say is THANK GOD. There were a total of 93 players present, and that's a lot. So here's how the process worked ..
First I get the rosters from the LAU coaches via email. I look for familiar names, scan the birthdays, etc (u23s need to be born 1984 or earlier to be eligible). I look to see who's name I don't recognize. Then, when I get to the pitch, the team managers give up match rosters with jersey numbers.
Next i get all the "assessors" together. I try to get folks from every LAU, but it's hard. This year the Philly Women really helped out by sending some of their senior level players to watch, so whenever possible I asked them to watch players from OTHER unions, since they are familiar with some of the EPRU players. I split players up by positional groups - back triangle, back row, inside backs, tight five, etc. Each of the assessors gets a form where they can track the activity of their assigned players. I was fortunate that some terrific notes were taken by all the assessors. Thank you Ginger, Deb, Angie, Mancini, Roshna, Eileen, Bill.
I must add that late in the games there is the crazy scramble to keep track of players, because folks are going in and out, and all jerseys are getting traded. The coaches are busy coaching, and not thinking about random assessor #2, so we go insane trying to figure out who were are watching. If I had my way, at these types of events there would be 30 jerseys, and every player would wear the same jersey all weekend. That would be EASY!!!!!!
At the end of the game, we all have a caucus on the field and i ask everyone to give me a 1 minute data dump on the players they watched. Then we get another pair of rosters and do it again.
By the time the second game kicked off, the temperature had dropped 10 degrees. By half, it had dropped another 10 degrees. By the final whistle, another 10. It was COLD. No matter, we still have a caucus. As soon as we're done, I hunt down the LAU coaches and invited them to a meeting so we can brainstorm about players, do the probables/possibles thing, and also identify some candidates for a scholarship to one of Julie McCoy's Footwork Camps.
We check into the hotel and proceed to the tavern for a much needed beer, lots of appetizers, and some wonderfully heated debate.
This is the part of the process that is the hardest, the most interesting, and always the most emotional. We sat down as a group, and as step one, went through all 93 players with the goal of saying SOMETHING. Whenever we get to a particular coach's players, there's always this slightly perceivable tension. Everyone loves their own players and I'm no exception. So whenever we dialogue about the "favorites" you can just see the coaches itching to say lots of positive stuff, but holding back just to not seem impartial. Eventually everything that needs saying gets out. PS Gabe, I'm still mad at you.
Another thing that's tough about this process is the positional thing. Just like on our clubs, players don't always play where they "project". For example, on a club team the player with the greatest chance of making the national team might be playing 8, but the reality is, she won't make the national team at 8, but she might at 1 or 3. Well, what if you have lots of really good 1 & 3s, but she lights things up for you at 8? Do you do whats best for the player in the long run, or whats best for the team (and all those other really good 1s & 3s) in the short term? There are no easy answers, and every single situation is different.
Other things that come up are related to age. There might be a young player on a very steep learning curve who "projects". There might be an older player who is better right now, but is unlikely to advance further the LAU or TU play. Who do you take?
And then there's the school thing ... players from lesser DI, DII, and even DIII schools often are the ones who get the most from select sides, and who bring stuff back to their teams. A lot are player coaches. Some of these players, if they were playing with one of the Big Name schools and a Big Name coach would be insanely good, but they find themselves struggling because they don't play surrounded by high level players, and they don't play competitive matches every weekend. We have to find a way to get them exposed to what they need.
Anyway, we spent a good portion of time hammering things out, and at the end wound up with about 30 names of players that would get invited to a Developmental event. Some of these players are not actually developmental players, but are more seasoned TU select side players. Their presence is necessary to keep the standard as high as possible for all the new faces, and to work on their leadership skills.
Since MARFU is such a hotbed of collegiate rugby, we can count on several of our teams participating in Collegiate Nationals, which means there are lots of spring conflicts. That actually works out OK, because it opens up lots of spots for these developmental players. They'll get prepared through the developmental events, and be in a better position to compete with the top D1 players once the open camp rolls around.
Anyway - my companions and I checked out this fun dueling piano bar down on the waterfront (in Baltimore), and then I left them to their fun while I went back to the hotel to get some sleep. My throat was starting to get sore and my voice was going out. Sunday there were more players to watch. Late in the night I couldn't sleep - I always have a hard time at rugby functions. I was doing spreadsheets in my head, and kept trying to figure out all the "what ifs". IE, what if players x, y, and z are going to nationals and can't come? What about players d, e, and f? What if I was wrong about player x? So, to settle my head I got up, dug out my laptop, went through the lists again, and added 8 more names, positionally mapped to the players I knew were unlikely to be available. In addition, I put together the list of "players to watch", for Sunday, based on input from coaches and assessors. Whew!
So Sunday the two PRU teams played each other. There was more possession this time around, so we got so see some players do things they didn't do on Saturday. (if you've got a great wing, but she never gets the ball, no one will ever know she's a great wing!).
The final game between EPRU and VRU was a barn-burner. It always is. The two teams played completely different games, with the VRU moving the ball very quickly away from the point of contact, trying to quickly exploit vulnerabilities, and the EPRU going vertical as much as possible, trying to suck in players and take it a meter at a time. The final score was 15-10 VRU, but I think everyone had their fingers crossed. At the end of both games the selectors again quickly caucused, to say what we learned about the "players to watch".
I fell asleep about 80 times on the way home (thanks for the ride Ginger), and lost my voice completely. All in all it was a tremendously productive weekend.
Friday, November 17, 2006
I saw this a couple of weeks ago at work - we've been talking quite a bit about viral marketing and consumer-generated content. Anyway - it's quite disturbing and speaks volumes about why young women do the things they do in the name of beauty ...
One technique that has become popular in recent years is the "seal".
The essential difference between this and more traditional techniques is the role of the very first support player. Providing the she arrives to the ball carrier BEFORE the ball carrier has been brought to ground, that initial support player plays an active role in ball retention and ball presentation, rather than just stepping over the player and driving.
The technique can creates controversy because of it's similarity to bridging (which is illegal). When executed poorly, the technique can also bring penalties for "diving over" or "making the ball unplayable". On the flip side, this technique provides a very fast clean ball to the scrumhalf, provides greater ball retention than other methods, and allows for more go forward options and dynamic play.
The following footage is of Kathy Flores, WNT Head Coach, and Candi Orsini teaching this techniques as part of a joint camp between the Eagles, MARFU, and NRU in the spring of 2006.
Thanks to the WNT for their permission to present this footage here.
Though out this session, a few things got my attention.
An attempt to step (evade) the defender was presented as standard.
Keeping the feet moving and going forward was a next best option.
The decision to go down was presented as the BALL carriers decision (ie, not support telling the ball carrier to go to ground, but vice versa).
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I received this a while back from a friend who is currently in a player coach role:
I've been working with forwards on rucking. They are still having trouble getting their spacing and speed correct and recognizing where to go. Is there any particular drill(s) that you can think of off the top of your head
that you could send me to address this issue. I did do some of the drills we have discussed in the past. I know we discussed that rucking is more than one issue and rucking is not always the problem.
This seems like a great topic to dialogue about. Since it's the off season, let's go for it!
Personally, I see rucking as technique which is part of a the larger set of SUPPORT skills. We can't truly address the issue of rucking without the larger topic of support, and of course we need to distinguish between offense and defense.
Offensive Support consists of actions taken by a player or players to
- maintain continuity of attack
- preserve options
- maintain go forward
- maintain possession
- minimize the impact of errors
So - when support fails, several things typically result starting with the most severe:
- Penalty turnovers
- Slow Ball
- Sloppy Ball
- Loss of continuity
So, as coaches, when we approach rucking, its important to put whatever games or drills we use in context and to ask a lot of questions:
What are we trying to accomplish by rucking? Do we just need good possession, or do we need quick ball? Do we want to attack off the base or are we moving the ball away?
Did the ball carrier get behind the defense? Is the tackler still on his feet? How many players are in support of him? Where are we on the field? How much time to do we have?
What is the defense doing? Attempting to poach? Stepping over the ball? Piling bodies in? Kicking at the ball? Are they contesting the ruck at all, or are they loading everyone up on the fringe?
Sounds like overkill? More penalties happen at the ruck than anywhere else. More turnovers occur there. The team that has the ability to attack effectively through multiple phases of play will always be more successful that the team with a well-rehearsed first phase only plan. In order to get those multi-phase tools to our teams, we must develop outstanding support skills. Those support skills should be learned and practiced by all players, regardless of the position they play.
As to the ruck itself, of late it seems there are a few primary techniques out there. Over the course of the next few days I'll try to get some video examples of each:
- The link/leach/seal
- The long body ruck
- The traditional "driving over" ruck
- Hybrid approaches
So - the floor is open for discussion. How do you coach the set of support skills we describe as "rucking?"
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
So this post is delayed (obviously) and decidedly non-rugby related. Saturday was Veteran's Day. I guess some banks and such took of on Monday, but for the most part it was but a blip on the radar. That's why it's taking me so long to become indignant! Until I looked at the Circuit City flyer in my mail box, I didn't even know it happened!
Well, Veteran's Day pisses me off. I'm a veteran. The only time I've ever HAD Veteran's Day off was when I was in the service. And even then we pretty much always dressed up in our finest to put on a parade for the civilians in the morning, so only had a half day.
So, I call for nationwide legislation. ALL VETERANS SHOULD HAVE VETERAN'S DAY AS A PAID HOLIDAY. Is it too much to ask????
Monday, November 13, 2006
Had to shout out to my friends in Albany (I did a stint with them a couple of years ago - they are an awesome bunch of women). They just returned from the DII Women's Club Championships, where they lost the final to Raleigh but made everyone very proud. There are great photos of the whole tourney online.
I'm a huge fan of Tina Fey - Mean Girls cracked me up. When I found out that my team only sent one rep to LAU Select Side tryouts, I wanted to know why. Internally, I wondered if maybe I was being too much of a "pusher" - I could just see that scene in my head, where Tina's character is trying to get Lindsey Lohan's character to join mathletes.
The answer was "I just wasn't really into it". So I wonder - do I/we push to hard? Enthusiasm is a great thing, but is it possible to be too enthusiastic? Isn't it part of our charter as coaches, to inspire, motivate, etc. Push? What do we do when our players "just aren't as into it" as their coaches?
I realize that not every player is destined for national glory. HOWEVER, I believe that it's very hard for a team to excel if at least a few of the players aren't on that quest for personal excellence. True, the bigger institutionally supported, financially stable programs like PSU, Navy, etc manage to excel year after year without a massive select side presence. But they also play top notch rugby week in and week out. Those players, by virtue of being part of those programs, are already on the quest for personal excellence. That's not who I'm talking about - I'm talking about the other 90% of programs.
We don't have a pitch. Our scrum "sled" is really just a piece of metal that we would prefer stays chained up to a fence. We don't have access to an athletic trainer. I've had players take a cab to a match because we never seem to have enough cars on game day. Don't get me wrong, the school supports us all the way - but the resources are limited and must be shared across all the clubs. For us, having those few players aspire "beyond their school" has helped to set the high standard for other players. A few go out, get great coaching, play at a faster pace, at a higher level, and osmosis takes over. Suddenly the whole team is faster, more intense, more driven. Is it a coincidence that the only schools who've beaten us in our league over the last two years have lots of select side participants?
So what's the secret? I don't want to change who my players are, but I can't help but want to change "what they want". Any ideas how to inspire without being "a pusher"?
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I recieved this from Ellen in Columbus Ohio.
It's the Coach's Concussion Toolkit, from the Center for Disease Control. Good stuff - a must have for coaches.
Thanks Ellen, I've also added it as a link in the Coach's Resources sidebar.
Friday, November 10, 2006
This weekend are the LAU Select Side tryouts in my union (EPRU). Details are on the EPRU web site. We've got a new head coach this year, so I'm excited to see what he brings to the program.
Despite the fact that my assistant coach and myself are both heavily involved in All Star activities, it's always a challenge to get our players out. When I was a player, I was never the "amazing athlete". I was the one who trained hard, listened to everything the coach said, and perfected a couple of specialty skills. I played my way up to the Territorial level, and hung onto a spot for several years, but never made it any further. Bottom line - I was just never THAT good.
I suppose that's why it frustrates me so. When I see some of the athletes that are in the collegiate rugby community these days, I'm amazed. There is so much raw talent, athleticism, etc. These young women, athletically, are a whole new breed. It's hard not to watch them and think "wow, if only I had those genetics when I was playing .... " .
I guess the reality is that All Star play isn't for everyone. I've got one truly amazing, gifted player, just born to play rugby, who's repeatedly told me that she just likes playing with her friends. It's taken me a while to accept that, and to "give up" encouraging her to play select sides, but finally i'm realizing that everyone's motivation for playing is different, and that ability and desire are not directly related.
However, I DO have 3 or 4 players who will be trying out, and I'm excited for all of them. Three of them have never tried out for an All Star team before, so I wish them the best of luck! We have over 30 women's college programs in our EPRU, so there could be alot of competition. Last year about 45 players showed up, hopefully there will be alot more this year. I feel pretty confident for them, though - all of them have the skills to compete for a position, so it will be a matter of who does what on that particular day.
IF any other EPRU'ers are reading this,visit the site for tryout info.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
We coaches throw around the term "work rate" alot, especially when we're talking with players. Sometimes it seems like an easy answer for every selection question ...
Player: Hey coach, what do I need to do to get into the starting lineup?
Coach: Well, I'd really like to see you up your work rate.
So what is it? Simply put, it's how hard the player works on the pitch, from start to finish. While I was working with the former girls U19 coach, I was first exposed to a statistical method for calculating work rate (thank you Karl!). I did a little tweaking of my own, and present to you the result (im sure it's still quite imperfect).
This method requires a full statistical analysis of a match, preferably using video. Then i use an algorithm that awards points for the following actions by a player:
- Ball Touch - 1 point
- Link - 1 point for the first action at a breakdown
- Ball Running - 1 point
- Tackles - 1 point for each Level 1 tackle, 2 points for every level 2 tackle (no gain or loss by ball carrier), 3 points for a level 3 tackle
- Poach - one point
- Kick - 1 point
- Pass - 1 point
This gives you a raw number reprentative of a player's workrate during a particular match. If you go a step further, you can determine a players "effective" workrate ...
- Missed Tackle - minus 2 points
- Knock, forward pass, or other handling errors - minus 1 points
- Turnover - minus 2 points (only 1 point if the result of a minor infraction)
- Penalty - minus 2 points
Here's a screenshot of some stats I did after a match my team played last year (click to enlarge) ...
I've only included players 1-9 here, and have removed their names. As you can see - it's a telling story. Taking the time to do these sorts of stats really helps you get a total picture of a players performance. When meeting with players, you've got lots of hard data to identify a plan for improvement. This sort of data is also helpful for selections, WITH CERTAIN CAVAETS:
- From game to game stats vary widely, through no fault of the players. If in one match, you play a team that loves to attack the fringe, your tight forwards will have more opportunites to tackle, poach, ruck, etc than they might in another game. If you play a team that loves to go wide, your wings will find themselves working harder and your forward's stats might drop off.
- You've got to exercise caution when comparing positionally. For example, the scrumhalf will always have a high work rate, as long as she's doing her job. They have the opportunity to touch the ball more that other players, so the stats will reflect that.
- Make sure you annotate how long a player was in. Some players may have a high work rate for 40 minutes, yet when you look at them for 80 minutes, the numbers don't change (this is player who "paces" him/herself).
- Stats are a great tool for positional assessments - which lock is working the hardest, which prop, which wing? Is there anyone who's where they need to be, but not being effective (WR vs EWR?) Is it better to split halves between two particular players, and therefore get a higher EWR over 80 minutes?
Anway - those are my thoughts on Work Rate. There are several commercial packages out there to help you with statistics, but I don't have any. If you decide to try it out, drop me a line.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I've watched hundreds of rugby matches, and every coach has their own particular style .
Here are a few diverse examples ranging from maximum coach involvement to minimum:
- Two coaches on either sideline, communicating by radio to call each and every phase of play , offensively and and defensively, verbally communicating with captains and decision makers non-stop.
- The coach who yells non-stop, positive, negative, pretty much everything there is, moving up and down the sideline with the play.
- More reserved, the coach who moves up and down the sidelines, dialoging at stoppages, words of encouragement here and there. On-pitch meetings during injury stoppages and in the try-zone (when a try has been scored)
- Occasional try-zone only intervensions.
- Use of messengers (ie coach doesn't personally address players during matches, rather, he/she uses trainers, subs, or water carriers to convey information)
- Silently watching from behind the try-zone. Half time adjustments only.
- The international coach, in the stands during a match.
What's your preffered method and why? Do you believe that you, personally, adhere to the method you prefer?
In this corner of the world, I'm a rugby coach. Over the past 10 years I've worked with women's clubs and colleges. I've been lucky to help out with our U19 and U23 National teams, and I believe the age grade programs are our future. In 2009 I was the head coach for the Collegiate All American Women, and my view on development of our younger players was cemented.
I started playing rugby myself back in 1982, at the State University of Stonybrook. Back then, if you showed up at a game, and the team was short, someone would just throw you a pair of cleats, and you'd play in your first game. No CIPP, no NCAA, no CDP. A coach was usually someone on the guys team, preferably with an accent. Things have changed.
Coaching is serious business now - you better have a coaching resume and current certifications at a minimum if you want to coach, and you need to know about more than just the position you used to play.
I've coached in Colorado, Albany, Westchester, and Philadelphia. I was privledged to be the head coach at Temple University, the Philadelphia Women, and with the MARFU U-23 Side, and I was an assistant co. Life often brings you back full circle, and that's what it's done to me. I'm back in Colorado coaching the Glendale Raptors, and it's beyond amazing. Rugbytown USA indeed.
Enough of rugby - pictured below are some of my favorite things...
This is Ewing Ranch, lot 143. It's 40 acres and it's one of two lots we own. It's located in the heart of the San Luis Valley, equidistant from Mineral Hot Springs, and the Great Sand Dunes. That's Colorado, in case you haven't guessed. My partner and I are currently developing the property into the "Colorado Sports Ranch", a seculded place for elite athletes to train at altitude (7600 feet!).
Pictured below are Tawanda (left) and K2 (right). The are no longer with me, having lived to the ripe old ages of 15 and 16 respectively, but it feels nice to still see there pictures here. We have a new dog family, featuring Billie (12 year old medium sized brown dog), Simba (K-2's doppeganger with brown eyes), and Max (a lord-knows-what puppy of unbounded energy). Add to those guys two horses - KC and Baby, and an assortment of cats and we've got our hands full.
About My Blog:
In the great sport of rugby, coaches of the world (well, at least coaches in my world) could use a forum to dialogue about our experiences, exchange ideas, vent, and just plain blab electronically.
Though my personal experience is limited to the female gender, this blog is not intended to be gender specific.
While this is MY place to do that, I'm hoping others might get some of it, and I might get something out of others.