COACHES ARTICLES

04/20 RUGBY vs LOCKDOWN

I am pretty sure that most of us had to adapt and make changes to adhere to the regulations and laws during this national lockdown. This feels typical like home arrest with limited freedom of movement.  Imagine we were fitted with a device that would inform the police when we left the premises or one that would shock you! Now we have a faint idea what it feels like your freedom is taken away from you I remember always having for our last training camps of the Baby Boks at Brandvlei prison before the competition started. We would take the players to the youth prison where some of them knew inmates from school, this had a lifelong imprint on them… they still talk about the experience how it humbled them and the value of freedom of movement.

As already discussed in my previous article, this had a huge influence on the whole rugby community, unions, clubs, coaches, players, referees, administrators, and the stern supporters and spectators.

Most of the rugby players in the world were either in a competition or in a pre season, building up physically in terms of strength and aerobic fitness combined with high skills set to be well equipped and prepared to peak at the right time in the competition they are or would be involved in. A good planning quote for coaches “prepare a plan and then expect the unexpected to happen and be ready to change your plan”…this lockdown was the unexpected and we must adapt, be creative and make the most of it.

Super Rugby was heading towards the halfway mark and teams were getting their form, momentum and mojo…. That has come to a HALT… so WHAT NOW?

I remember reading Sun Tzu’s art of warfare, he was the master of deception although there is no war or deception involved here however some relevance. It’s about using this time well to prepare for the battles/games on the field once the game gets the green light again.
Part of this doctrine (Can be used in coaching tactics)

  • When the enemy thinks you are attacking, you must be retreating
  • When your enemy think you are retreating, you attack
  • When you enemy is superior, outsmart them
  • When your enemy is angry, irritate them
SO THE QUESTION IS WHAT CAN WE DO TO STAY ON TOP OF OUR GAME

As discussed we are in a retreating phase where we regroup, reflect, re-plan and adapt to these circumstances, just don’t sit back and not prepare or be pro active

COACHES
  • Get yourself in top shape psychical and mentally
  • Upskill your knowledge of the game in all aspects
  • Google and read to see what’s new and tendencies
  • Connect with other coaches and share knowledge/ideas
  • Do online courses that can improve your skills of coaching/teaching/management
  • Start doing planning and contingency planning for the future
  • Take a clean break from the game and re energise

 

PLAYERS
  • Maintain you fitness levels… improvise in your surroundings (make it fun)
  • Upskill in the knowledge of the game in general
  • Spend time on technical analyses of your games
  • Research your position specifics (primary & secondary requirements)
  • Play games to improve your visual skills, reaction speed and hand eye coordination
  • Improve your basic skills (challenge your friends)
  • Recover from injuries & rehabilitation
  • Work on your leadership and communication skills
REFEREES
  • Maintain fitness levels
  • Re confirm knowledge of the laws of the game & law changes
  • Look at matches and evaluate referees positioning and communication with players
  • Improve management and communication skills of the game
  • Connect and liaison with other international referees and exchange notes/ideas
  • Improve your technical knowledge and analysis of the game
SPECTATORS/SUPPORTERS
  • Catch up on YouTube or any sports channels that broadcast previous games and series
  • Join social media groups that interact regarding the game
  • Not a bad thing to get fit and have some fun
  • Connect with other rugby supporters coaches and players

PS: Rugby would not be the same without you guys, the loyal supporters and spectators!
My personal message for all our readers:
L – LAUGH more
O – Be OPTIMISTIC
C – Stay CALM
K – Be KIND
D – DISCIPLINE is key
O – OPEN minded
W – WILLING to help
N – NAIL this lockdown

In conclusion I would like to wish every family, individual, coach, rugby player, referee, administrator and supporter best luck for this lock-down time, don’t lose hope…things will get better, although it might take some time…just make the BEST of it.

Soon we will be back on the fields and hopefully dominate Super rugby and showcase to the rugby world why we are the World Champions!