Elite Coaches Join Forces With Club Game

Elite Coaches Join Forces With Club Game

Members of the national management team joined coaches from throughout the Premiership at the weekend as Scottish Rugby set out its stall to raise standards.The purpose of the high performance coaching day was to enable coaches from throughout the 36 Premiership clubs to hear first hand from the Scotland team coaches about their philosophies and to see some of the latest practices and drills.    Scotland head coach, Andy Robinson, his assistant coaches, Graham Steadman and Gregor Townsend and specialist coaches Neill Potts, Stevie Scott and Duncan Hodge, led sessions on defence; attack; contact; kicking and catching; and lineout, with players from Scotland’s three representatives in the British & Irish Cup – Currie, Ayr and Melrose – and some of the countries top young players also on hand.   Glasgow Warriors full-back Bernardo Stortoni and Edinburgh and Scotland prop Allan Jacobsen also took part.Later there was an opportunity for the club coaches to speak with their NMT counterparts and the exercise was hailed a major success.Bob Wylie, head coach at Premier Division 2, Falkirk, said: “I really enjoyed it.  I found it a good way of reinforcing what we are trying to do at club level.  Sometimes the national coaches might use different words, different jargon, but, overall it’s about the same thing, which is doing the basics well.”At the start of your coaching career you try to find some kind of Da Vinci code to the whole coaching process but what today has underlined is that it’s about getting your basic skills right.”Ally Donaldson, coach of Scotland’s champion club Currie, said: “I found it very informative.  It’s a welcome innovation to show what’s going on at the top level and it recognises that we want to raise the profile of the Premiership game.  Coaches mixing in this informal way is very positive.”Davie Wilson, coach at Premier Division 3 Dalziel, summed up the mood of the club coaches.  “The more we have of this kind of day the better.  It’s reassuring to know that what you do at club level is part and parcel of what’s delivered at the highest level by the national coaches.”Garry Horne, part of the coaching team at Premier 3 Howe of Fife, was equally enthusiastic.  “This has been a great opportunity to get it straight from the horse’s mouth what Andy, Steady and the national coaches are thinking.”It just makes things clear and when you get that clarity and you see how the national team is developing and you see the performance they get from it, you just want to take it back to your own team.”I work with an under-16 Pathway side as well as the club’s first XV and I would deliver pretty much the same session (to both).  Now the intensity level might change a bit but there’s no reason why I can’t be coaching the under-16s the same principles of defensive set-up, alignment and structure and giving them that discipline. The earlier you can give it to them, the more it becomes embedded.” Drew Moore, who plans to be playing scrum-half for Peebles in Premier 2 but was standing in for club coach Gary Parker (who was leading a Scotland Women training session), was one of a number of coaches scribbling away during the practices.”There’s been a great variety of different drills which we can certainly use at the club.  International players can take things to the next level but the core skills are the core skills and I like the point Andy has made that great players do the simple things really well.”Stevie Scott, Scottish Rugby’s senior specialist skills coach, who co-ordinated the day, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve shared knowledge and demonstrated that it’s not about any magic solution but it is about performing your skills to the best you can.”The feedback from today has been positive and we are certainly keen to do other high performance coaching days with different levels of the game.”

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