As part of USA Sevens week in Las Vegas, USA Rugby and Serevi Rugby held a hands-on, interactive Advanced 7s Course for coaches across all levels of rugby, led by Serevi instructors English international Ben Gollings and IRB Hall of Fame inductee Waisale Serevi. More than 60 men’s and women’s team coaches from across the U.S., including some neighbors from abroad, attended the two-day course held in advance of the Las Vegas Invitational and the USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament.
The course, a key part of the USA Rugby Academy powered by Serevi, provided attendees with direct access to former players and current coaches who have set the bar for success in the 7s game. Course content focused on the key principles of play and coaching, including techniques for developing the vision and decision making needed in both attack and defense phases of the game. Serevi instructors stressed a coaching philosophy and training programs anchored in the mastery of core rugby skills, but with the freedom to enable players to be creative and question the game they see in front of them.
“To be successful on the rugby pitch, both in 7s and 15s, we need to train young men and women to become thinking players, to adapt to what’s in front of them,” said Gollings. “The coaches who participated in this week’s course were fantastic learners and asked many good questions. We’re excited to see it translate back to their trainings and player progress.”
Unique to this course, content was presented in a discussion-based, participatory format, not the traditional lecture style, to ensure coaches could immerse themselves in the learning, have their specific challenges and questions answered, and contribute through demonstrations. Each coach earned 10 Professional Development Credits.
Along with Gollings and Serevi, Serevi instructors included Richie Walker (USA Women’s Eagles coach on both sevens and 15s teams), Justin Fitzpatrick (USA Men’s Eagles assistant coach), Emilie Bydwell (current USA Eagle), Pate Tuilevuka (former USA Eagle) and Matt Trouville (USA Falcon and Seattle OPSB).
Day one of the course was capped with a presentation by Sir Gordon Tietjens, head coach of New Zealand's All Blacks Sevens, who is widely regarded as the one of the best coaches not only in rugby, but in any sport in the world having lead his teams to 11 World Titles. Tietjens provided an unprecedented look inside the All Blacks training programs, discussed his basis for player selection, and outlined standards for player development.
The course also included an appearance by former English captain and British Lion Martin Corry, who provided insights on the game to attending coaches, while highlighting the upcoming 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
This week’s course was part of a multi-year partnership between USA Rugby and Serevi aimed at growing the game of rugby in Ameria. Serevi, a leading provider of on-field programming for players and coaches from beginner to the U.S. National Team, have launched a national network of High Performance Training Camps and Coaching Courses as part of the USA Rugby Academy – powered by Serevi. More information on future USA Rugby Academy coaching courses and training camps is available at www.serevirugby.com.