The 5 key areas below form the fundamental areas of my coaching ‘Philosophy of Coaching’ that have evolved since 1999 when I first stepped into the world of coaching rugby…through the Conferences…Courses…Seminars I have attended….through the people I have met and communicated with…and through to the ‘Coaching Journey’ I have been on so far to date…
Key events have had a significant impact on the way I view the game…coach the game…teach the game…and play the game…
The first key moment is my relationship with Brian Ashton which started as an England U19 player during the 1999 season and the Junior World Cup. This soon followed listening to Brian at Coaching Conferences about the way England played the game in the early 2000s leading up to the 2003 RWC. As I continued my coaching journey I attended further seminars led by Brian on ‘Transition Rugby’ and ‘Attacking Back Play’…plus Conferences where he talked about Leadership and Management…This led into Brian becoming a mentor to me and being one of his coaches in the ‘Brian Ashton Kukri Rugby Academy’…
The second key moment is my experience as a rugby player and my professional career. Across my playing career I have played every position in the team…I remember playing prop and second row in the U8s and U9s at my local rugby club…I then moved to scrum-half from the U10s to U12s…then moving into the U13s and beyond I played across the backline. At the same time as playing in the backs for my local rugby club I played in the back-row for my school from 11 to 18 years old. During my time at Northampton Saints I played across the back-row. Then at other times played different positions in the odd game here and there. I spent lots of time practicing goal kicking…kicking out of hand…passing…plus many other skills.
Alongside my playing career…my higher and further education, in particular my Sports Science degree plus my teaching career, has given me a holistic understanding of what it takes to be a player…an athlete…and a better person…Many areas go into successful performances and becoming the best you can be…It is this balanced approach that I believe is crucial in helping you to fulfil your potential…
Both of these experiences led me to develop my ‘Coaching Philosophy’ of the ‘360 degree Rugby Player’.
The third significant event was the 2003 Rugby World Cup…with England winning especially…but it coincided with ‘My Crusade’ on analysing ‘How to Play…?’ using the DVD of the ‘Greatest Tries of the 2003 RWC’ as my first resource in working out how and why tries are scored.
The fourth key experience was the success of the Denstone College 1st XV from 2009 to 2012 compared to 2005 to 2008 which reinforces my philosophy and approach:-
The most recent key experience has been my time here in Chile so far…teaching/coaching players from 8 years olds to 48 years olds…from boys to girls…from children to adults…from 7s to XVs…cricket to softball…gymnastics to swimming…badminton to basketball…rugby to football…
The 5 key areas of my ‘Coaching Philosophy’ are:-
Long-term Player Development
The BETTER Performance Pyramid
The ‘360 degree’ Rugby Player
‘Principles of Play’