What was it that got you into coaching?
I took my son to Sedgley Park as an Under-7 as he wanted to play. The coach had about 40 kids running around creating havoc. The following week I turned up with my boots and volunteered my services as a coach, and I’ve loved it ever since.
What’s the most rewarding thing about coaching?
Watching the players develop over the years not only on the pitch but as young adults as well. Some of the lads I coach have behavioural issues, and it is brilliant working with them and hearing over time how rugby has helped to improve their behaviour and life skills. At a recent fundraising event, a player who had started out 18 months earlier with poor concentration and no self-confidence came into his own. He was by far the most polite and approachable person there and any signs of his problems disappeared as he had fun and met new people. His mum later said rugby brings him out of his shell, and makes his behavioural issues at home easier to deal with.
Tell us about your favourite coaching photo?
During all of the coaching I’ve done and with everyone else involved, we always try to keep it fun for players, referees and spectators too. At younger levels we’ve had matches refereed by elfs and surf dudes, or the players have parents and coaches supporting from the sidelines wearing onesies and fancy dress.
It’s no good just the players enjoying coming to the match on a cold and wet winters morning – you have to get everyone involved or the big comfy warm bed will win!
What’s coaching done for you personally?
I have recently gone through some testing times at work and I believe that my involvement with rugby is a big part in helping me get through those challenges. To be able to get away from my job and help coach some kids of all ages in rugby and see them having fun gives me a massive boost when I need it most.