Gareth Jones (‘Fester’)
“In Rugby, whatever your shape or size, there’s always a position that’s right for you. That’s one of the things I love about the game.”
What was it that got you into coaching?
For me it was a natural progression from playing. Having been captain of my 1st XV you get used to communicating with players and when the coach is suddenly unable to be with you one day, you just find yourself taking over. When my daughter wanted to play and then my son, there was no escape really. It was a natural thing for me to want to get involved.
What’s the most rewarding thing about coaching?
I love it when you set something new up then it comes off. It may not happen in the first match but after a series of games as the team starts to get better. That’s really rewarding.
It’s also great to see a boy or girl who was unsure of the game at first, suddenly find the position that’s right for them, and then go on to be a really good player. In Rugby, whatever your shape or size there’s always a position that’s right for you. That’s one of the things I love about the game.
Show us your favorite coaching photo?
It’s hard to choose a favorite coaching photo as every team is special and evokes different memories.
This is a photo of my U18s girls team just after they had won the Midlands League 2014. They had all worked incredibly hard for it and the pleasure and happiness is on everyone’s face! Including mine.
Tell us about the team you coach?
I’m very lucky in that I coach a wide variety of teams On one level there’s the 1st XV where I get to work with players I’ve seen grow and develop over the years. I coach the girls U18s. Girls, unlike boys, pick things up really fast. Unlike the boys they only have to be told something once (only don’t tell them I said that!) The boys U12s are a really friendly bunch and when they are not playing rugby they will get together to play cricket.
What’s coaching done for you personally?
Working with lots of different players and being the one that others look to has been great for my self-confidence. Especially, as you see young boys and girls develop as people and players and then go onto win win matches. You realise you are the person, helping to make it happen. You see the teams grow in ability and how confidence breeds confidence.
Most importantly it’s the enjoyment. Now that I play less than I used to, I get huge enjoyment seeing the children progress and knowing that I’m able to influence that.