Can we create players who seem to be understand the game, and seem to think and act automatically? How to develop these type of players? Researchers now believe it has a relation with how we play our game at a young age.
Another on going discussion: rugby is a very unstructured game in Open Play, we can teach rugby in a structured way, but is this working? Read this comment of Eddy Jones on future players:
So, why do some players are considered naturally talented in finding and exploiting space, and how did they acquire that skill?
Researchers have given us different insights to learning, like a study on Aussie Rules footballers: they compared 17 Elites classified as expert decision makers and 15 Elites classified as non decision makers. They found that during childhood, the expert decision makers invested a greater amount of time in deliberate play activities compared to structured practise activities than the the non-experts.
What is this Deliberate Play and Practise? It is defined in the below table.
|Deliberate Play||Deliberate practise|
|Done for its own sake||Done to achieve a future goal|
|Enjoyable||Not the most enjoyable|
|Pretend quality||Carried out seriously|
|Interest on the behaviour||Interested on outcome of behaviour|
|Adult involvement not required||Adult involvement often required|
|Occurs in various settings||Occurs in specialised facilities
So, why not change the rules we play rugby at a young age and allow / incorporate more Deliberate Play? Traditionally we simplified the senior all the way down to U6, like peeling the onion. But this is thinking along like Deliberate Practise.
Examples, why not bring the number of players per team down? More time on the ball. R.F.U. Kids First Rugby also has this rule: after a tackle has been made only one player of each team can fight for posession, so no big cluster of players. I like this one: knock-on is just play-on.