I am officially a USA Rugby Certified Coach…

Okay, well I guess it’ll be official in a few weeks when I get my certificate in email. πŸ™‚ But close enough!
This past weekend I attended the USA Rugby Coaching Certification Course in Cincinnati. Never been to the city but as I drove into it during the night, the city lights were absolutely amazing. Attending this workshop was a goal I wanted to make for myself to improve my coaching ways and learn new strategies. I was surrounded by a great group of coaches and non-coaches, males and surprisingly, a good number of females in the class. The coach who did MTV’s Made was there, that was quite interesting as the old boys kinda poked fun of him for it. Ha.
Usually I find workshops and certification courses boring and leaders usually try to rush through it just to get it done. But I really got a lot out of this course and the leaders were great! So I wanted to mention a few things throughout the course that tweaked my way of thinking as far as coaching goes.

Question: Think about a past coach that you thought was the best coach ever and what made him/her so great to you?
Answer: 97% of everyone’s answer will deal with a coach’s character, beliefs, actions, and personality and not through numbers of games won or fun and successful drills he/she made you do.
That really stood out to me for some reason because it clicked in my head and made sense. In my opinion, a successful coach is someone who affects an athlete’s lives in a positive manner, and perhaps one day down the road they will remember you for what you did for them. Seeing success not only on the field but in school, work, and life is amazing to witness just by coaching a single sport.
One of the workshop leaders would heavily emphasize “making a rule” in a drill for making someone do something you want without them realizing it. We can yell and repeat things that we want people to do correctly but they never do it. It becomes frustrating so creating drills and incorporating specific rules or even punishments is a great idea to either stop bad habits or encourage correct ones.
We were also encouraged to ask close-ended questions that require players to give an actual answer as opposed to open-ended questions that can be answered with yes or no. It stimulates our minds to make sure we actually understand what’s going on. Totally makes sense.
One of my goals for attending this workshop was to improve my ability to explain drills. I think I got better at it because during our coaching sessions we’d have to always include an introduction and demo, which requires a lot more explaining than I usually do. After our sessions we were asked questions about it that challenged our way of thinking because we had to provide an answer. Analyzing what we do and why we do is a great way to understand our own practice plans and how to improve it.
I wish I had more time to explore the city during the day, but at the end of it I’d say it was definitely worth going and my next plan is to take the second course they provide. I met a lot of great people there and had fun. A little nervous at first but once I got in coach mode during my sessions it was on like donkey kong!

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