“Every rugby club wants more players, playing more games, more often”.
If these words strike a chord with you, then:
- Make the time to have ‘clubhouse conversations’ with the players you think have the potential to be coaches.
- Give the players you’ve identified as future coaches the opportunities to gain experience. Tap into their enthusiasm and give them a chance to have a go.
- Buddy them up with an existing coach. Assign them a former player who has made the transition from player to coach.
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EXPECTATIONS OF A COACH
As the person recruiting and managing a team of coaches, you know the value of great coaches. They provide a rugby environment which attracts and retains players by giving them a great playing and training experience.
If a person steps forward and joins your coaching team, they should understand that players, parents, and you as manager, will have expectations of them. Some of these expectations are governed by regulation – all are important in ensuring you have a successful rugby environment.
Here are the expectations:
- At least once a year, they will attend or access CPD courses appropriate to the level they coach, helping them understand how they can give players the best rugby experience (Best Practice) Visit: Courses
- They will attend and contribute positively to coaches meetings, sharing their experiences (Best Practice)
- The coach will role model and reward rugby’s values, coaching ethically and safely at all times (Required Practice) Visit: RugbySafe
- If coaching Age Grade rugby, they will understand and comply with all appropriate elements of the Age Grade Codes of Practice (Required Practice) Visit: Education – Codes of Practice
- The coach will complete a DBS check (Required Practice) Visit: DBS Check
- They will have attended Safeguarding Training (Standard Practice) Visit: Courses
- They will be aware of Rugby Safe, and have completed the online Headcase concussion awareness course (Standard Practice). Visit: RugbySafe and watch Don’t be a HEADCASE
- They will have a Rugby Coaching qualification (Standard Practice) Visit: Courses
- If coaching contact rugby, they will have attended Rugby Ready (Standard Practice) Visit: Courses
- If coaching the XV a side game, they will have attended Scrum Factory CPD (Standard Practice) Visit: Courses
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A COACH
Recruiting a coach does not mean ‘Job done’! Your coaches will need support, advice and guidance in their roles if you are to get the best out of them.
Understanding how you should support them will help you build an annual management plan around their practice.
Here, are some key support areas to focus on:
- Build an environment with players, parents and coaches where poor practice and behaviours are recognised and challenged.
- Ensure every coach understands, and complies with, all regulations appropriate to the players they coach. Visit: Education – Codes of Practice
- Ensure every coach knows how to access resources, courses and support to meet their responsibilities. Visit: England Rugby Coaching
- Help the club or school to maintain accurate records of coaches roles and achievements on GMS.
- Feedback regularly to the RFU and Constituent Body on any issues facing coaches; similarly pass on messages/requirements from the RFU and CB affecting coaches.
- Facilitate regular coaching interactions to share best practice; similarly, seek to meet those at other rugby environments with a similar role to yourself.
- Build an environment where good coaching practice is recognised and valued by all – where player numbers grow, where players transition to the next age group successfully, where rugby is fun!
It is important that you, as a coach manager understand the regulations which govern the game.
Below are links which will help ensure you and your coaches comply with RFU regulation:AGE GRADE RUGBY INSURANCE DISCIPLINE SAFEGUARDING
GOOD COACHES CODE
In rugby union, coaches of young players should:
- Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching all players. Most learning is achieved through doing
- Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport or your own needs
- Be a positive role model – think what this implies
- Keep winning and losing in perspective – encourage young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances
- Respect all referees and the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players and spectators recognise that they must do the same
- Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner to all players, both during coaching sessions and games
In rugby union, coaches of ALL players should:
- Provide experiences, which are matched to the all players’ ages and abilities, as well as their physical and mental development.
- Ensure all players are coached in a safe environment, with adequate first aid readily to hand.
- Avoid the overplaying of the best players, by using a squad system, which gives everybody at least half a game playing time.
- Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
- Ensure good supervision of young players, both on and off the field.
- Recognise that young players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold, or unacceptable risk of injury.
- Develop an awareness of nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle management – and an awareness of anti-doping regulations
- Recognise that it is illegal for young players under 18 to drink alcohol
- Ensure that your knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in line with RFU philosophy.
- Be aware of, and abide by, the policies and procedures outlined in the RFU Child Protection Guidance Booklet.