About Martin

Picture of MartinI started playing rugby at the age of 19 and was lucky to by coached and trained by some of the best coaches in Holland. I have certainly learned a lot from Frits Frankfort and John van Altena. This site is dedicated to them.
Being part of a team that won National Championships three times I needed hard to keep my place in the team. Overtrained during the summer at the athletics club (Achilles Tendon) I had to stop when I was 25 and started coaching the 14 - 16 boys of the club. When it became more and more obvious that I would not make it back to the first team I decided to take the coaching more seriously. I followed the Level 'A' coaching course and my career as a coach kicked - off from there......

In my spare time I have a regular job at Atos Netherlands B.V. as project manager for IT projects having a strong background as IT service manager. And sorry Mark Lammers and Robin van Galen, I understand you want to make some money but your lectures about cross over of sport and business: you have no idea!

1986: Forced to retire due to Achilles injury I started coaching the Hilversum U16
1988: Level I coaching course
1991 - 1992: Coaching KMD R.C.
Coaching R.C. Hilversum Juniors to a memorable National Sevens Championship. A turning point for me!
1991: Level II&III coaching course
1991 - 1994: Coaching Premier League R.C. Hilversum
1992: S.R.U. Summer Course at Edinburgh
1993 - 1996: Committee member of the DutchCoaching National Under 21 with Cees Eskes Rugby Trainers Association (NRTV)
1994: F.I.R.A. Stage du Expert, Coimbra Portugal
1995 - 1997: Coaching Premier League R.C. Delft
1998 - 2001: Coaching Rotterdam R.C. Colts (Dutch Champions in 2000)
2002 - 2003: Rotterdam R.C. Juniors (Dutch Champions in 2003)
2004 - 2005: Member of Topsport Committee of the Dutch Rugby Union, working with Jeff Mevissen, Bart Wierenga and Paul Metz
2005 - 2006: Coaching the Motherruggers of RC Rotterdam, yes: mothers of the U11 team and playing the Ameland Beach Rugby Festival
2005 - 2010: Volunteer in the National Talentdevelopment program, developing our LTAD model, talentcentres and coaches. 
2005 Visits to the WRU Academy program in Cardiff & ARU Western Force - Perth.
2009 SAQ i-Diploma, work with the NRB talentsquad at the Segbroek College, The Hague.
2010 I started 'Plezier in Rugby' (meaning Fun in Rugby) and developed my own coaching program based on the LTAD model.
2010-12 Head Coach of Sparta Rugby (A first division club in the Netherlands)
2011 National Under 17 coach (Cross Border Tournament Logrono, Spain)
2011 Visited RWC2011, Aucland Blues and IRANZ Coaching Clinic Wellington, NZ (with Ian Foster, Chris Boyd and David Ellis)
2012 FIRA-AER European Youth Championships Madrid as National Under 18 coach, Finalist pool B
2013 FIRA-AER European Youth Championships Grenoble as National Under 18 coach, Champion and promotion to pool A
  Visited R.C. Toulon, Heineken Cup Winners 2013.


IRANZ Coaching Clinic

While visiting New Zealand for the RWC2011 I had the opportunity to follow this course. Great to have exposure to the ideas and practise of Murray Mexted, Chris Boyd, Ian Foster and David Ellis!

National Coach Under 17/18

An exciting opportunity to bring the new ideas to a group of talented young players, presentation of the structures of teamplay a fascinating aspect of it. Piecing a good campaign together took me three years, the first year was relatively short with a two months preparation for the FIRA-AER Cross Border Tournament in Logrono, Spain. Next season We had more time and laid the structure for a good European Championship in Madris, Spain. We lost to Poland in the Final. Very dissapointed we reviewed the whole program and adapted it in the right places. In the 2012-13 season we won the final convincingly. Promotion to Pool A. 

Head Coach Sparta Rugby, Capelle a/d IJssel, Netherlands

Having learned so much working on the talentdevelopment program I felt it was time "to practise what you preach". Two great years with a "soccer-like" ending. 

Video Analist for FIRA Stage Elst, Netherlands, FFR Summercamp of Pierre Villepreux 2009

With a little more FIRA budget the NRB invested in video equipment + Apple MacBook + Gamebreaker software. We used the equipment to good use in these two training camps. I had used video in the "old days" with VHS tapes and stuff, the digital possiblities are much greater. It kicked of the video performance coaching career of my friend Timo Meinders and learned me video is crucial part in developing players. 

Rotterdam Motherruckers 2006-7

Our mini's were out on the beach playing a little tournament and we went along to watch. Found myself refereeing and at lunch time called out "In 5 minutes: Mothers against the mini's!". The mothers won and wanted to experience more. The idea of participating at the yearly beach rugby tournament at Ameland was born, surprisingly they wanted to start preparing for it 6 months before the event.
These six months were an unforgettable journey for everybody and was very interesting to see the mothers grow and even beat teams that play regularly in the NRB competition. Good opportunity for me to try out en test my ideas about the essence of rugby.

You can also look-up my old weblog entries here.

Rotterdam Juniors 2005-6

Two years with the 14-16 youth team of Rotterdam. It was great building a team again and see the youngsters develop. Working with Irwin Toonder and Ae Kyong on the team success was super. The end was a dream: taking the best four players out for the National Squad we put a lot of trust in the others when they had to qualify for the National title play-offs. They did and with the internationals back we went to Scotland for a super trip were we had great matches against Scottish Champions Gala Triangle and Jed Forrest. Came back to win the semi and the final......

Rotterdam Colts 2002-3

Being a rugbycoach with the Rotterdam Colts returned me to where I started. These three seasons gave me to opportunity to put  all the stuff I learned into practice at the bottom of the pyramid. Creating awareness amongst youngsters, promoting a 15 man game play in a competition where other coaches are parents or senior players and play is very poor. Eventually becoming National Champions will be something the players will never forget....

Rugbyclub Delft 1995-7

I was working with a National Selection and had premier league experience with Hilversum and I wanted to do more work at the bottom of the premier league. With R.C. Delft I had this opportunity. A club wanted to be amongst the top clubs and asked me to guide them in 1995. Ambitious, but in the end not enough people within the club really wanted to perform at that level. Some interesting experiences: goal setting, team involvement in team management, individual successes and development of coaching structure.

Netherlands Rugby Trainers Association (NRTV)

Enthusiastic as I am I got involved with this organization, first writing articles in the monthly magazine, later as chairman. Being an intermediate between the governmental institutions, the Netherlands rugby union and member trainers was very interesting. I was involved setting up special seminars, working on the union regular course programs and improving the communication between the premier league and National team coaches.
A lot of energy went into this with very little response. In the end I decided to save my energy for other things like this website.....

The Dutch National Under 21

Working with Hilversum and showing the improvements I was asked in 1993 to coach the Under 19 selection. It was a duo job together with Cees Eskes. I helped to set up the team and establish it within the other selections. I helped set-up a testing program and we introduced new issues to the players like regular weight training, nutrition and goal setting.

Rugbyclub Hilversum

With Hilversum I started coaching the Colts and discovered a whole new dimension to rugby! I took my level I course in 1988 and developed the Colts and myself to one of the top teams in Holland. My playing career ended when my Achilles Tendon problems could not be solved and I decided to take my coaching career more seriously. I took over as coach of the first XV in 1991. Changing the style of play, bringing new techniques requiring the older players to adapt. It took some time but in the end the results showed.

District Midden Colts

As Hilversum coach I was also involved with the District Midden Team. Both Frank Steginga (left on the picture) and myself enjoyed putting a team together and working with it. I not so sure how the team did at the National Championships....

District Midden

Coach in the Netherlands

Being a rugby coach in the Netherlands is not easy. With only 8000 people playing the game, not many coaches are around. Little is available for coaches like clinics and courses. This results in a small but totally committed group of (amateur) coaches.

After finishing my level I and II courses I started coaching at Dutch Premier League level as a 31 year old! I needed the support of other coaches. I started to built a network for getting info. How did I set this up? Here are some tips.

I am very interested in your comments and or questions. Also if you would like to be notified when I have added new content to this site or if you would like to see special things added, please send me an email.

Trip to Larne Ireland, yours truly standing third from the left