Evolution of Coaching Rugby Teams – from Coaching the Team to Coaching Today

Evolution of Coaching Rugby Teams – from Coaching the Team to Coaching Today

Letters from Coaches…

This morning I received an email from a Rugby coach in New Zealand about the evolution of leadership and coaching in rugby. Thought it would be of interest to everyone who coaches any football code – or any team sport for that matter:

Email to www.wgcoaching.com

Hi Wayne,

I coach a 1st XV rugby side in New Zealand that has a history of finishing at the top. However in recent years we have come up short when the pressure has taken it toll on the side and I have been trying to find the point of difference to change this.

Thanks for this piece. We are at play-off time now and this is a good refresher going into the business end of the season.

Ownership for one’s self in all that he or she does is vital for young athletes in 2010. That is my summary of your last piece.


Coach David Johnson, Wellington, NZ

And the response….

Thanks for the email.

Basically in the old days we coached the whole team the same way. Then we moved to coaching backs or forwards.
Then it became units – i.e. inside backs / outside backs, front three etc.
Then we moved to coaching each position – i.e. all wingers, all back rowers, all tight heads etc had their own program by position.

The Future…

Now it is about the optimal preparation of each individual in the team and training each person to realise their own personal peak performance potential.
The evolution means that each individual player has to accept the responsibility for their own performance and be consistently as professional off field in all aspects of their life as they are when they train and play.
We don’t coach at players – we work with them collaboratively to achieve the possible and impossible.

Any rugby coach still coaching the whole team the same way with one big team program is 30 years behind the times and doomed to failure.

The future is about collaboration, sharing, growing, partnering and ensuring everyone in the organisation is working consistently to their full potential. Then…anything is possible.



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