Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Rugby Players Guide to Keeping Coaches in Line

A Rugby Players Guide to Keeping Coaches in Line
(adapted for rugby) 

The basic training of every player should, of course, include all types of skills and practices in all facets of the game.  One important area which is often neglected is the art of one-upmanship. The following guidelines are intended to develop habits which will promote the proper type of relationship between player and coach.

1. Never be satisfied with the start time. Show up at practice earlier than required and push for an earlier time change and when this happens start showing up at some random later time.

2. Just before a big game suggest you want to change positions or you might quit.  Let the coach know you're there as a personal favour.

3.  Engage with a newer player while the coach is explaining something and interrupt the drill to have the coach explain its purpose again.

4. Insist the coach give three reasons for each drill and ask if the national team uses this particular drill and how often.

5. During full team practices suggest a play that you saw in an international game between New Zealand and Australia recently.  If the coach looks at the game and says he could not find it, look puzzled and state that it might have been New Zealand and South Africa or two other teams and might have been in the last couple of years.

6. Find an excuse to leave practice about 15 minutes early but do not actually leave the clubhouse so that others will become restless and want to finish.

7. After a Thursday practice, especially when plays have been developed with  you in an important position, remind the coach that you told him several months ago you could not play this Saturday.

8. Make loud coaching suggestions to other players in other positions especially if they are slightly different from what the coach suggests.

9. When the coach suggests a play, point out that you did it slightly different in high school and get the team to work on your play.  At the end suggest that it did not actually work in high school.

10. If the coach does not have "touch rugby" at the start, complain that is a good way to warm up and teaches certain skills.  If there is touch rugby, point our there are better ways for teams to warm up and it actually results in bad habits.

Remember it is your responsibility to take the attention away from the coaches and put it on you, where it belongs.

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