by Tom Billups
A common question asked by high school coaches is, “Have you any drills I can borrow?” Although it is important to have a set of activities designed to assist your players in acquiring skill, I think there is another equally important aspect high school coaches need to get right, if their team is to be successful.
First, let’s take a step back and acknowledge that a high school rugby coach is typically also a parent, kit manager, and field marker in addition to his or her role designing patterns of play for the team. While performing all these tasks, the coach has the responsibility of providing the team with a positive athletic experience. I believe this to be as important as teaching the latest and greatest drill that New Zealand is using. How, on top of all the other important responsibilities the head coaches have, can they be sure that they are providing a positive athletic experience for the athletes?
Enter the world of Jim Thompson, founder of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). He has created a helpful set of positive coaching tools for honoring the Game while also developing winners on and off the field.
I highly recommend to anyone that is involved in coaching to obtain a copy of The Double Goal Coach, by Mr. Thompson. This book and others are available on the PCA website, www.positivecoach.org
Addressed within this informative, 350-page paperback is everything from what it actually means to be a positive coach, to the nuts and bolts of building a team culture. I particularly like the chapters on “Honoring the Game” and “Dynamic Practices – Where Team Culture is Created."
I’m proud to have introduced the Positive Coaching Alliance to USA Rugby during my time as the National Team head coach. I believe in PCA’s vision and mission to create Double Goal coaches. After all, that's what coaching is all about: trying to use the latest methods and tools of teaching available to get an athlete from where they currently are to where they want to be.
Tom Billups began his rugby career in 1984 and has spent time as a player in New Zealand, the U.S. and England for domestic teams as well as representing the U.S.A. at international tournaments with the Eagles. After hanging up his boots, Billups got into coaching leading the Eagles and now with University of California – Berkeley. Read the entire bio of Tom Billups as well as Billups first column My Rugby Path and then check out what Billups is saying about the game of rugby in The Billups Column on Rugby Rugby.
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