As a coach of 4/5 years, with various courses and qualifications under my name. I could not understand how my teams had never done well, including my latest season, where my little u9 team finished last in the league. I undertook to attend the Advanced Coaching Course at Investec Rugby Academy in Jan 2013, with the sole intent of changing the fortunes around and learning how to implement and communicate various concepts and ideas across.
I will never be able to talk too high or over exaggerate how much this course helped in making that next step in the process. After an intense week of insightful information and many late nights with Greg, I landed up making my trip back up to Jo’burg with four full written notepads and a large file with notes. The weeks that followed were intense reviewing both course notes and videos, I undertook the task of putting together a training program for an u10 group that I felt was one of the best in the country.
From such principles and positions by personalities and core fundamental training to such little things as where to put your hands during a drill and how to project your voice and keep everyone involved at all times, I understood that even though I may have always been a good coach at heart, this course was the clue and the missing pieces that finally put this giant puzzle into place.
Our season thus far goes a little something like this. We have been on tour to KZN, and the boys attended the Investec Intermediate Player’s Course over 3 days, which is another testimonial letter all together. We have smashed and beaten the best the various unions have to offer us in our age group this year, taking on sides from Sharks, Bulls and Lions unions and even beating teams that would of beat us 50-0 last year. We even managed to beat three sides that have never been beaten since u6 inception.
By no means is this all about winning, but the various principles that have been taught and re-taught on how to be applied and communicated have made us one of the premier junior sides in what I believe is the country. And with this success comes other realisations of sponsors, and more children joining our team because of the high reputation. We entered two teams into our local league and next year are looking at three, most club teams can only boast one and if they have reserves it is a plus. Our ‘B’ Team this year has already won a few tournaments and only lost to the league winners from last year, drawing with the league runner up and winnign every other game. Our ‘A’ team has not been touched and is playing rugby that is both attractive and amazing to watch, with various skills being illustrated such as communication, passing, knowledge of the games and those around them. So many parents, both ours and those of opposing teams have said how the boys play as if they were 2-3 years older and they are amazing to watch.
To Greg and the guys at Investec Rugby Academy, I say thank you. Your insight and patience taken in listening to many chats that went well into the night, helped transform myself and this team into the success story it is. To anyone else that is thinking whether the course is worth it or not. Don’t second guess it for a second. The details and depth of the coaches and guys will take you to a level that is only limited by you. The guys are great. Thanks again.