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Do You Know How to APPLAUD?

How being a good supporter makes for better rugby players

Do you know how to APPLAUD?

You know, how to really make the players out on the field like they are doing the right thing, that their efforts, which will only increase with every clap or cheer, are largely based around how you act on the sideline?

Some might scoff at such a theory.

They might say, I have been to Test matches and the kickers still strike it through the sticks even with the entire stadium screaming against them.

But that is after years of training and adaptation.

It quite simply does not apply to the lower levels.Dan trains the parents

They need encouragement.

This is a Rugby Coaching Toolbox piece, and we are not encouraging you to be completely soft or clap for no reason.

The players still need to learn and develop, but there is a time and place.

The field of battle is not the place.

Countless studies and basic common sense support that ‘inter/intra’ work feedback can be devastating to an individual, for if it is negative, morale can be gone in an instant.

Without morale, there is no confidence, with no confidence, your basic abilities and processes will falter.

If you are in customer service, you will suddenly find it hard to smile.

If you’re in an office, suddenly you can’t focus on your computer screen.

If you are on the rugby field, suddenly you drop passes, your passes go to ground and you cannot seem to make a simple tackle.

In rugby, feedback can be direct, you will be subbed off the field by a no-nonsense coach!

Now remember we are talking feedback here, not a direct action that needs to come from an event that crosses the boundary.

Feel free to give direct feedback immediately if your staff are being rude to customers or doing zero work after hours in front of computer – or if a player was to strike out a member of the opposite team or swear at the referee.

These are the times for instant action.poster1.jpg

But otherwise, a nagging sense that the player you are watching isn’t doing well…

…leave that to the end of the game.

As a parent, friend or coach, you are there to applaud.

There is always time later to give your advice, and the great beauty about delaying your advice/feedback/tutelage/concerns is that time allows you to structure your comments without too much emotion.

But applauding is likely to this out.

As a player, knowing you are being supported simply because you are out there doing the best you can do does wonders for your game.

A good run, a nice break, a fine kick.

Suddenly, the crowd is yelling your name in appreciation alongside the claps.

The applause is getting louder.

Wow, that feels great.

What more can I do to keep this amazing group of supporter applauding?

Go on, try it.

Do something, anything. Lift a heavy weight, run a certain speed, achieve something.

And then give yourself a clap, some applause.

Feels great doesn’t it.