The Greenhouse School, Temuco, Chile

So how did this Coach Education opportunity to Temuco come about…?

The Grange School host an Invitational XV-a-side Tournament at the end of May each year and the Greenhouse School, Temuco was invited to participate with their 1st XV in the Senior Category. The evening before the Tournament the coaches were invited to a meal with the coaches from St. Andrew’s School, Buenos Aires, Argentina, who are also invited to play with their Intermediate team every year. During the meal, discussions evolved throughout the evening which led to me agreeing to come and visit Temuco for a Coach Education trip during the July Winter Holidays a few weeks later…

All packed and ready...
All packed and ready to go…

The city of Temuco is about a 6/7 hour drive or a 1 and a half hour flight South of Santiago. I was picked up from the airport by my host Miguel who then drove us to the school to start the Coach Education experience…

The first session in the afternoon was a coaching session with the 3rd and 4th Basico boys (U9s and U10s)…

I used the opportunity to show and facilitate how you can use ‘Conditioned Games’ and ‘Questioning’ to improve ‘Game Understanding’ with a large group of boys, making sure everyone is active, engaged, learning ‘How to Play…?’ and having fun playing rugby…

Facilitating 'Games for Understanding' and 'Questioning'...
Facilitating ‘Games for Understanding’ and ‘Questioning’…

The pitch was split into 4 “BIG” pitches then into 8 “small” pitches. The group of players were split into 4 groups…with one coach per group…playing “BIG” games of 8 to 10 players per side. After 10 minutes the games were split into “small” games of 4/5 players per side…on the “small” pitches. The only thing said to the players was “the aim of the game is to score tries” and the only “condition” of all the games was to carry the ball in 2 hands.

The second session was a coaching session with the 5th and 6th Basico boys (U11s and U12s) after school…

5th and 6th Basico Boys
5th and 6th Basico Boys, Greenhouse School

In the 1st game the players scored 1 try…in the last game the players scored 8 tries…when both games were 5 minutes in length and had the same “conditions” in them. How did this significant improvement come about…?

Game

Conditions

Number of Tries

Attack

Defence

1

-Ball in 2 hands – No “conditions”

1

2

– Ball in 2 hands

– Ball carrier present the ball on the floor when “tackled”

– Tackle = “Grab”

– When there is a “tackle”: All defenders to touch a cone on a touchline

6

3

– Ball in 2 hands

– Ball carrier present the ball on the floor when “tackled”

– Tackle = “Grab”

– Defenders pair up with a partner the whole time in defence

– Defensive line back 5m

5

4

– Ball in 2 hands

– Ball carrier present the ball on the floor when “tackled”

– Tackle = “Grab”

– 3 defenders lie on the floor next to the ball presentation

– Rest of the defenders do a backwards roll when there is a “tackle”

8

5

-Ball in 2 hands – No “conditions”

8

Between each 5 minute game there was a 2/3 minute question and answer session with the players to ask ‘How’ they had scored their tries and ‘Why’ they had scored their tries…to check their ‘Games Understanding’…

To see the joy on the faces of the boys at the end of the session was a very special feeling…to see that they had enjoyed themselves was great to see…to see that they had improved throughout the session scoring more tries in the last game compared to the first game showed that the ‘Language of Rugby’ and the ‘Communication of Coaching’ was ever present in the session that I had just taken…with a group of boys I had never met before…had never coached before…and coached in their 2nd language of English…mixed in with my Spanish and the interpreter that was on hand to assist me to communicate the necessary message when called upon…

Sharing a priceless moment with the players...
Sharing a priceless moment with the players…

Then I was invited to share a Coca-Cola with the boys afterwards which just added to the special feeling I had at that moment…again to see how happy they were taking photos with me was very rewarding…highlighting the power of ‘Player-Centred Coaching’…and the reason why I do what I do…

The third session was a presentation, discussion and chat with local rugby coaches in the early evening…

Presentation Slide

I presented some thoughts/principles regarding Long-term Player Development…the Bus Principle…the Orchestra Pyramid…the Iceberg Principle…the Pyramid Principle…and the Skyscraper Principle. Then I shared some of the challenges of coaching young players as they move through the age groups…where we discussed various issues and how best we can manage these issues…which led into a presentation and discussion on the reasons of “Why use ‘Games for Understanding’…?” as a ‘Method of Coaching’ to help facilitate the journey the players go on through the age groups.

Presentations...

The fourth session of the day was a coaching session in the evening at Temuco Rugby Club with a mixture of Intermediate (U16) and Senior (U18) players…

Inters and Seniors, Temuco Rugby Club
Inters and Seniors Boys, Temuco Rugby Club

I used the opportunity to show how you can use ‘Conditioned Games’ with older players to help understand the principle of ‘Games for Understanding’ to the coaches who had attended the presentation earlier at the Greenhouse School.

During the first game the players scored 1 try…During the last game they scored 8 tries…with both games having the same ‘conditions’ on them…

Day 2 saw a trip into the centre of Temuco to visit to the central market place and the museum…to learn about the culture and history of the Mapuche people…the original settlers in the region and ‘owners’ of the land.

Cultural Trip into the centre of Temuco...
Cultural Trip into the centre of Temuco…

On arrival at the school I had a meeting with the Rector, where we discussed numerous things about the potential of the rugby in the school and how we could work together on a couple of projects to facilitate this happening…He was also very appreciative of me giving up my time, especially during my holiday period, to come and visit his school and help the rugby at Greenhouse School.

The first session of the day was a facilitating session in the afternoon with the 2nd Basico boys (U8) during their Games lesson…

2nd Basico Boys, Greenhouse School
2nd Basico Boys, Greenhouse School

The boys were split into 3 groups…with one coach per group…playing ‘Conditioned Games’ on small pitches…with 6/7 players per team…using questioning after several minutes of play each time…to check the players’ ‘Games Understanding’.

2nd Basico Boys on the run...with 2 hands on the ball...scoring lots of tries...
2nd Basico Boys on the run…with 2 hands on the ball…scoring lots of tries…

The second session was a discussion with the Greenhouse School rugby coaches after school about the ‘Principles of Lineouts’ and ‘Practice Design’. It was to get the guys to think about how you could teach, coach, practice and execute the lineout to guarantee you win 100% of your attacking lineouts and increase the chances of disrupting the opposition lineout…and how ‘Practice Design’ is key in helping players achieve what you want them to achieve…making sure all players are active and engaged…and the coaches are utilised in the best way…to get the most out of the time you have in a coaching session.

The third session of the day was a presentation to local rugby coaches and some players (male and female), held at the Greenhouse School, in the evening about the ‘Try Scoring Trends’ that I have researched the last couple of years from the 2012 Autumn Internationals, 2013 6 Nations, 2013 British Lions Tour to Australia, 2013 Chiefs Super Rugby Season and the 2013 The Rugby Championship…

Try Scoring Trends slide

The theme was to get everyone to think about the fact that if we know and understand where, when, how and why tries are scored…then how do the answers to these questions impact on the way we teach the game…coach the game…and play the game…?

The fourth session was a coaching session at Temuco Rugby Club in the evening with a mixture of men and women players…showing the Greenhouse School coaches how to apply the principles we had discussed earlier in the day with regards ‘Practice Design’ and using ‘Games for Understanding’…

Ladies and Gents, Temuco Rugby Club...
Ladies and Gents mixed coaching session, Temuco Rugby Club…

In the first game the players scored 2 tries…In the last game the players scored 11 tries…How did this significant improvement come about…?

The session consisted of 6 “Conditioned Games” with 11 players on each team…each game was 5 minutes long in duration…the first and last game had the same conditions in them…the 4 games in between had different conditions in them…After each 5 minute period there was a question and answer period with the players to check and clarify their understanding…

Game

Conditions

Number of Tries

Attack

Defence

1

– Ball in 2 hands

– Ball carrier present the ball on the floor when “tackled”

– 2 players over the ball carrier in ‘Tower of Power’ position to simulate a ruck

– Tackle = “Grab”

– 5 players on the floor next to the breakdown

– Defensive line back 5m

2

2

– Tackle = “Grab”

– Defenders pair up with a partner the whole time in defence

– Defensive line back 5m

8

3

– Tackle = “Grab”

– When there is a “tackle”: 2 defenders stay on the floor, each time there is a “tackle”, the whole time, while in defence

– Defensive line back 5m

5

4

– Tackle = “Grab”

– Half the defenders do a backwards roll when there is a “tackle”

– Half the defenders run back and touch their tryline

6

5

– Tackle = “Grab”

– Half the defenders do a backwards roll when there is a “tackle” (Swap players round)

– Half the defenders run back and touch their tryline (Swap players round)

5

6

– Tackle = “Grab”- 5 players on the floor next to the breakdown- Defensive line back 5m

11

The Ladies from Temuco Rugby Club...
Ladies, Temuco Rugby Club

In Summary

The very warm welcome I received from everyone, players and coaches, many who I had never met before, let alone coach before, was very humbling to experience…the hospitality I received throughout was excellent…the effort and enthusiasm from all the players, regardless of their age or gender, was great to see and showed that the ‘Language of Rugby’ and the ‘Communication of Coaching’ is the same anywhere in the world…even when coaching in your/their 2nd language…

All the different experiences and positive feelings and feedback throughout the trip…the expressions on the players faces…the conversations and discussions with the coaches…certainly showed that the chance to come to Temuco and do some Coach Education was a very worthwhile experience…and an excellent learning experience for me…one that has helped me become a better person because of it…and reinforced that my ‘Coaching Philosophy’ is on the right tracks heading in the right direction…

The Temuco Rugby Club logo based on the Leinster logo...
The Temuco Rugby Club logo based on the Leinster logo…

I am very much looking forward to building on this experience and adding to the rugby in the Temuco Region in the future…I sense and feel that this is just the beginning of many trips South to help facilitate the growth, improvement and development of the game of Rugby Union in the South of Chile…

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