Last month I had the privilege of traveling with 29 other coaches from across the United States to England where we were fully immersed into Premiership Rugby. We spent every day soaking up knowledge through hands on experiences, interactive modules, and classroom sessions with some of the best coaches and coach educators in the world. Throughout the week we all enthusiastically scribbled down as much information as we could in our premiership notebooks. It is my intention to “share that knowledge” with as many coaches as I can so that we can all work together to elevate the game we love so much here in the United States. I will be posting a blog every week sharing things I learned and key points I took away from my experience so that hopefully all of you can get something out of it too.
Take-Away #1 Share Knowledge
One of the things I learned while on the Premiership Scholarship trip was that sharing knowledge is the key to growing the game. It is also key to our own personal development. In a competitive world, this may seem counter-intuitive. Why would we share our knowledge and secrets to success with others when we want to be better than them? Regardless, some of the best rugby coaches in the world opened up their practice fields to us and let us watch their training, ask questions and take notes. Obviously, the team I coach will not be playing Harlequins next weekend or any other weekend, however these coaches still didn’t have to open up their practices and their minds to us, but they did. Here is what I learned from that:
1. FIND a mentor and BE a mentor: There are so many coaches out there who don’t know much about rugby, but they took up coaching because someone asked them to. If you know someone like this, then please share what you know with them. Grab coffee once a week or once a month (whatever works for your schedule) and talk about rugby. Talk about coaching. Talk about struggles and successes within your rugby programs. Share your knowledge with them, provide advice and in turn, you may learn something too. Likewise, all of us could always be better coaches and there is always more to learn. I encourage all of you to find a coaching mentor who you can turn to when you have questions or just talk rugby with and soak up their knowledge.
2. Solidarity is one of the rugby core values. Sharing knowledge and working together to grow the game all across the world, is a huge part of that.
3. More high quality coaches leads to more high quality players. This in-turn leads to better national teams and higher rates of success. More players and better players leads to more attention which leads to more support and funding. Sharing knowledge = growing the game.