It was the last weekend of winter in Sydney but you wouldn’t have thought so! A clear blue, cloudless sky topped off with a slight cool breeze ensured that it felt more the perfect summer morning.
We couldn’t decide whether to drive a few miles down the road to the Campbelltown Show or walk across the street to Campbelltown Stadium to watch the Western Suburbs Senior Rugby Grand Finals. The sounds of the crowd gathering at the gates the stadium next door peaked our interest and we ambled across the street to watch a spectacular end of season Seniors game.
It’s quite an achievement for a coach to gather a disparate group of men from various backgrounds together and transform them into a fully functioning, successful team of rugby players. The same applies to amateur parent coaches when kids head out on the field to represent their school or local club. It’s no use having an entire team of star performers if some of those stars are hell bent on doing their own thing. Stars don’t win games on their own – it’s a team effort that gets everyone over the line. The role of the coach is that of conductor, mediator and role model.
A successful team contains individuals willing to co-operate and pitch in to get the best outcome for the team. No individual can be the single deciding factor which gets a team to the grand final. The great parent coach has a sound understanding of individual strengths and weaknesses. They strategically place players in positions where they can achieve the optimal result for the team.
Success is 20% talent and 80% mental attitude. Great coaches model that positive mental attitude. Possessing the right mental attitude transforms a player and they start to show talent. Talented players don’t give up when faced with failure. They are determined to learn from the experience and strive to achieve a personal best next time. They possess the grit and focus to practice until their skills become second nature.
Great coaches encourage players to identify as a single operational unit when on the field. Each individual in these types of teams understands their role and, through practice, can anticipate their team members moves in advance. Great players show up for training sessions, they’re willing to push themselves and encourage other team members to do the same.
Great coaches identify their performers and unashamedly use them to mentor the less experienced ones. They encourage team members to share their knowledge and skills during practice games. Great coaches send out consistent messages to their players throughout the season. It’s no use praising little Johnny every match and criticising little Jeffrey for dropping the ball without doing something positive to guarantee ensure skills are passed on. The aim is to ensure that the juniors of today become the stars of tomorrow through the transference of skills.
Being a great parent coach is never easy and sometimes we all need to take a step back to see what is really happening within the team dynamic. The Penshurst Rissoles were clearly the best team on the day. A perfect example of a team with a skilful coach and talented players, each man determined to perform to their personal best to ensure a great result for their team.
Australia based Treadpole Communications today announces the release of Personal Best Pro for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Created for parents by parents, this helpful organizational tool gives users the power to stay on top of all of their children’s sports obligations. The app also enables users to record events and memorable moments, and much more all while motivating their youngsters to keep pushing themselves, stay healthy, and achieve their sports goals. For more information head to http://www.personalbest.us
When my son started grade four he had to make a decision for inter-school sport between soccer and rugby. At first I was certain that he’d choose soccer, as his never enjoyed contact type sports. But he surprised me and ended up picking rugby.
Before that actual games began, they had to do some team activities which included throwing, catching, running, practice tackling and communication within the team. The coach was also keen to discover what all the boys were capable of doing.
As my son had never played the game before he was completely new to the experience and the team part of playing was never an issue for him, as he loved his mates and loved to make new friends whilst playing the sport. However, falling was the issue for him. He was scared to be tackled at first and with the aid of a football helmet he felt more safe. Coming home he would express concern about breaking a tooth or something, so the helmet really came in handy here.
All the kids were required to get some football boots, and I had no idea what type to get at first. But after hunting around online and reading up and researching the best shoes for kids to learn to play rugby in, I was able to find the perfect pair, which he loves to wear even when playing rugby in the backyard with his Dad on weekends.
My son loves playing rugby now, and although was afraid of being tackled at first, with the proper coaching and technique training he felt more confident in understanding how best to land and where to tackle another person. As he was one of the larger kids, he wasn’t easy to tackle like a good lot of the younger more agile children, so he felt strong when there was more than two people trying to tackle him to the ground in the end and he wasn’t falling.
Its’ important for any child to learn to play a team sport, whether it is rugby or not. Learning to play a team sport encourages close bonds with your team members, and teaching the kids how to help each other out and strive for a good game by working together and doing your best. Often the team would lose, but my son was always happy if the team were good sports and still shook the hands of the other teams.
Every child will eventually want to choose the sport they themselves would like to play. I don’t want parents to think that rugby is for rough children, as it’s not. With the right coach and the right techniques taught and encouraged by the coaching the game isn’t rough at all. My brother use to play under-fives’ when we were smaller and he was the smallest in the team. He was also one of the fastest, and would always figure out a way of getting around the people that would try to tackle him, but, often he wasn’t fast enough, and the other team would hit him hard to the ground. He never gave up, and this is one thing that rugby will teach young children. Don’t give up and work as a team.