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Coaching Process

As you develop and grow in your coaching technique/philosophy, you will be given more advanced tools to assist in this journey. These educational resources will help you effectively connect with your players. This section will add more tools to your coaching resource tool belt.

As rugby continues to grow, more and more parents, teachers, and former players are stepping up to help by learning to become coaches. If you are new to coaching, sometimes it is difficult to articulate your knowledge of the game and transfer it onto your players. For new coaches to gain a full understanding of the different coaching styles, phases of the instructional process, and the importance of asking questions, it helps to listen to real life experiences. Understanding and modeling best practices of the coaching process are the basic fundamentals to help coaches start the art of teaching this unique game.

In order to make sure they make a smooth transition from the sidelines to the center of the action, USA Rugby in conjunction with the IRB (International Rugby Board) has developed a template for delivering information during training sessions. A desired process for instructing players includes the following four phases:

  • I. Instruction and Explanation Phase

    • Coaches should provide details to the players about what the goal of the activity is, the sport-specific context, and what the desired outcome is for the training session.
  • II. Demonstration Phase

    • Especially when new skills or techniques are being introduced, showing how to perform a skill helps players to understand the desired actions. It is important to prepare the demonstration beforehand so that it is as clear and effective as possible.
  • III. Observation and Analysis Phase

    • As players attempt to imitate the demonstrated actions, coaches should watch the players' performance and compare what they see to the shared goals and key points determined in the instructional phase.
  • IV. Feedback Phase

    • At the close of the session, coaches should use open-ended questions to determine if the goals were achieved and players’ perceptions of the session match the coach’s observations. This phase is critical to the development of both the players and the coach.

Each of these phases is an important component of the coaching process. A proper balance of all phases helps players to develop at a rapid pace. Within the structure of this coaching process, there are a few additional best practices and areas of awareness that also help coaches to succeed.