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Jan
02

What Makes A Good Coach A Great Coach

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Throughout my professional career, I came across a number of coaches who all had different styles and ideas on how to coach a professional rugby team.

At the elite level in any sport, there is a very small percentage between the top clubs and any team can beat another on the day. Therefore the question is,

“What makes a good coach a great coach?”

Most coaches would possess one or two of the following,

  • A good set of tactics
  • Good man management skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Be able to handle the club politics

In my experience the best rugby coaches I’ve played under ticked ALL the boxes and if I was to probe a little deeper, I would say the two main aspects of a great coach is his/her man management and communication skills.

A great rugby coach is able to explain to their players on an indivdual and group basis what their aims and objectives are both on and off the field.

When I first started my professional career back in 1986, the coaching styles were totally different to what they are today.

The coaches who used to rant and rave and intimidate players woudn’t survive at the elite level of the modern game. The elite coaches of today get to know their players. They talk to them and try to get to understand them, very much like a father figure. Obviously the coaches who are poor in this area tend to struggle.

Another point that I observed, especially late in my career is that the great coaches had the ability to change direction and challenge the status quo depending on whether things were or were not working or if they needed improving. These types of coaches just seemed to be 100% focused on success and this was often in corrolation to the many hours they spent at the club.

In Summary – Being A Great Coach Involves:-

  1. Having good man management skills
  2. Being a good communicator
  3. Caring for players individual needs
  4. Having good tactical skills
  5. Having a sustained focus on success.

Neil Harmon
1RugbyCoach

Categories : General

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