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Dad First Coach


So what do you do?

You don't have to be an expert to get in the backyard or off to a park to pass, catch and kick a rugby ball around - although you do need a rugby ball! You just need a little bit of time, some enthusiasm and some simple teaching techniques. Start with this each week. Instead of asking, "What was practice like?" how about, "What do we have to work on this week?"

Suggested format:

  • Time: 2 x 20 minutes per week.
  • Equipment: 1 rugby ball.
  • Venue: Backyard or park.
  • Skills: Pass, catch and kick.

Other key messages for Dad:

  • Rugby games are to measure progress and celebrate achievement in learning and performing a new skill.
  • Victory is not a measure on the score-board, it is a measurement of personal improvement.
  • Kids don't want to be told what position they can play e.g. from their size.
  • By the end of the Small Blacks programme they should know what position suits them.
  • Yell encouragement and whisper constructive criticism.
  • Enjoy learning the game together.
  • If your child loses interest in your coaching - don't lose interest in them.

10 Simple things to remember when teaching a skill:

  1. Your reputation is the most important part of your CV. Protect it for life. You are the Dad.
  2. Learning a new skill does not come from one or two practices a week. As a Dad you have to look at your child with a long-term viewpoint. If you try to fi t everything into one season there is a good chance your child will learn absolutely nothing. Isolate one skill and get it right. Only then should you move on to the next one.
  3. The coach is just like a teacher. A teacher assesses their students; a coach assesses their players. To assess your child's skills you break them into key points (key factors) and the same should apply to your coaching techniques. You must think static and progress to dynamic where possible and always remember to go from the simple to the complex.
  4. Demonstrate skills correctly. Are you competent enough? Go to www.coachingtoolbox.co.nz for all your required skills and video footage.
  5. Use terms and keep them consistent eg Hands up… soft hands.
  6. Assess with success. Combine assessment with praise. Show your satisfaction.
  7. Remember, your child is not a miniature All Black – don’t treat them like it!
  8. Remember to assess your own performance as well. Are you both getting the most out of these sessions.
  9. Don’t assess or correct more than one thing at a time or you will confuse your child – pick one key point.
  10. Practise, practise, practise!