Coach’s Corner – Andre Tredoux @ Having A Growth Mindset



A few questions:

What is the difference between a technique and a skill?

What time do players spend listening compared to being active at practice?

Are you using your support staff effectively?

The great thing about our beautiful game is that it is made to be played in different ways and doing things different from the next coach is not necessarily wrong. Having started this coaching journey at schoolboy level, its an honour to be back at this level and develop players to be the best they can possibly be.

Over the years, and especially the last two years I have been asked to come and assist various schools, and its always good to see what the coaches are doing and how the schoolboy game is evolving. South African schoolboy rugby is blessed with numerous very talented coaches.

In South Africa we tend to be very structured and focus a lot on drills to develop the various techniques; an example is the passing technique, but when does this technique become a skill?

A skill is a technique performed under pressure in a game like situation. As a young coach I often made the mistake to not put the players under enough pressure in practice and this forced players to have a good technique level but not really a
high skill level.

So looking at the above picture it's very important to develop games for understanding to change the technique into a skill. The advantages of any sort of training game are that you can adjust the rules to involve all the players. Play a game for 3-6 minutes, break it down into a technique drill for 2 minutes, go into 5 line-outs in 2 minutes and repeat the cycle. Challenge your players and yourself as a coach.

I had assistant coaches that would love to do 40 minutes of units and they would speak for 25 minutes, by challenging them, we put the players under pressure and this improved our unit skills.

What time are players active in your sessions, and my eyes opened up in Japan as players could not understand English so we had to work through a translator. This took time and we developed a system of coaching in one-word phrases. Boys want to play and be active and by putting them into different situations would get them to make better decisions.

As coaches, we often want to hear our own voices and make our mark. Even though we can’t play on game day. Let’s allow our players to make decisions in practice this equipping them to do it in a game.

In the South African game, we often find that head coaches run the practice and that the support staff is not used enough. It is very important for head coaches to allow your staff input into the planning and delivery of the session. I always liked giving my support staff time to give their opinion before I spoke, at coaching meetings. I found that if I spoke first and delivered my thoughts many would then change their ideas to fit into the head coach's plans. It was important to me to get other ideas, as 3 or 5 coaches ideas and plans are better than ones. I would then make a summary of the thoughts of the coaches and add my two cents worth.

It's also important to give your support staff clear roles and hold them accountable for those areas of the game.

In Closing :

1.Break the practice down into Whole (game activity), part (technique drills) Whole (match like situations) & repeat

2.Allow players to make decisions & problem solve at practice

3. Don’t as coach want to be the centre of attention allow activity, speak less

4. Allow your coaches to be involved in the whole coaching process

5. Leaders create more leaders

Be sure to contact me if you have any question or want to chat coaching, in South Africa to little coaches share their knowledge and experience. We have to share as that will challenge us to improve and not repeat one year twenty times, but keep growing and improving ourselves as coaches.

Hope you all have a great season.

Andre Tredoux #Dare2Care #Entusiasmwins #Lovethefight