Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 09:25
Planning it all
Now you know what the starting point is of your team and players and you know what you want to achieve, you can start to plan your season. Piecing the puzzle together is fun to do, involve as many people as possible in this.
You need to think about how much time you have with the team. Will all sessions be on the pitch? Will there be indoor sessions?
Now you know how much time you have, you need to estimate the hours needed to implement all your goals. Ask yourself if this matches on the availble time. Perhaps you have to re-visit your goals and be less ambitious?
Running the program
Now the program is set, you can detil the sessions. Think about how you want to divide the time you have in building blocks: warming-up, technical stuff, tactical stuff, physical work-out, cooling down, SAQ work, etc. These "training frames" make up your sessions.
Think carefully about what you want to achieve. Is a technical session more appropiate? is game based learning better? Choose the optimum situation.
What coach are you?
I really like the LTPD document. Think about the age of your players and their development phase a realise your style of coaching has to match this. More specific information about your competences and differences in the agegroups in the LTAD stage....
- The Fundamentals, 'the Rugby Guide' for under 9 year
- Learn to Play, 'the Rugby Teacher' for under 14 year
- Train to Train, 'the Rugby Challenger' for under 19 year
- Train to Compete, 'the Rugby Facilitator' for under 21 year
- Train to Win, 'the Rugby Empowerer' over 21+ year
There is also a LTAD stage that deals with the period after the active sporting career, overlooked by most sporting organisations....
Develop a game plan
You need to have a basic understanding of the type of game you want to play to decide where to spent time on. As an example, I had roughly 100 hours with the national Under 18 team of the Netherlands, is there time enough to organise a second defensive strategy? Time to invest in a drive from the line-out?
I like the French rugby approach where from a couple fixed ideas a whole game develops:
- Attack the gain line to penetrate: attack the space, if there is no space then play the ball retention game, play a lateral game and play elsewhere.
- Fix defenders by bringing the ball back inside: by passing or running, run the diagonals
Rugby Guru Pierre Villepreux has set up a reference model for the players to decide where to position themselves in a favorable situation. The French focus more on generic skills rather than drill specific moves. It is no mystery why French team score so much from counterattacks.
These ideas have found their way around the world now. People like FFR Academy coach Jean Bidal have taken it a step further.
An internet friend of mine, Ian Kennedy, has sent me his vision on developing play. He made a very simple check list! Tick the boxes and 90% of work is done. Read his page here.
Develop a Fitness Plan
You players physical development is a cornerstone of all things you want to achieve. So you have to pencil in some time in your program to address this. You can learn all these things or hire / organise specialist help. A good example is making your players move quicker and run faster, you can bring in somebody with an athletics background but you are pretty to "just" follow SAQ guidelines.
Develop a Mental training Plan
All the teams you will play have coaches who also have plans that might work better or not. But in the end all is decided on mental factors. This is why you have to understand mental - and motivational aspects of your work with the team.
Develop a Nutrition Plan
"You are what you eat". Do you want to invest time in this? With little attention you can get quick results. generate awareness with you players and make it simple: what do you eat before a game? After a training session? How do you check for dehydration?
Set-up and implement a Injury Prevention Plan
Injuries are part of the brutal contact sport that rugby is. Deal with it and make a plan
Now you have all these ideas where you want to go, how to organise yourself? Lots of things to do. I am a digital coach, if my MacBook dies on my I am dead.... But there are now lots of opportunities to share information with your players, certainly the younger ones.
The year plan
Call it a macro plan cycle, now you know what you want to achieve it is time to get organised. Follow these steps:
- Mark down all the training sessions you will run this season. Now you know how many hours you have with the team.
- Put in all matches.
- Split up the season in blocks, like pre-season fitness, defense, open-play, restarts, prep for plays-off, play-off.
- Detail these blocks, built a framework by defining a standard session like, warm-up, games, technical, cool-down. What works for you.
- Next you can detail the frames for each session, look for suitable drills.
An example of all the aspects a club coach can be involved with and how to organise yourself here.
- More about how to develop your gameplan.
- Background on fitness aspects, you need a fitness plan!
- Mental Training? yes, you need to know how to motivate players to work on the different plans.
- More on Nutritional aspects.