Contemporary sports coaching studies have moved beyond simple biophysical approaches to more complex understandings of coaching as a set of social relationships and processes. This is the first book to examine what that means in the context of one major international sport, rugby union. Drawing on cutting-edge empirical research in the five most powerful rugby-playing nations, as well as developments in pedagogical and social theory, the book argues for an holistic approach to coaching, coach development and player and team performance, helping to close the gap between coaching theory and applied practice.
With player-centered approaches to coaching, such as Game Sense and Teaching Games for Understanding, at the heart of the book, it covers key contemporary topics in coach education such as:
Informed by work with elite-level rugby coaches, and examining coaching practice in both the full and sevens versions of the game, this book encourages the reader to think critically about their own coaching practice and to consider innovative new approaches to player and coach development. It is essential reading for all students of sports coaching with an interest in rugby, and for any coach, manager or administrator looking to develop better programmes in coach education.
'Supported by contemporary research on rugby coaches and coaching, this book invites coaches to think deeply and reflectively about their practice, and has much to offer them … Personal meaning is one of those "intangibles" in rugby and forms part of the holistic approach proposed in this book. For me, personally, this has been a massive part of any successful team I have coached.'
Wayne Smith, former Crusaders Head Coach and New Zealand Rugby Union Assistant Coach and current Assistant Coach of the Chiefs
'Coaches and teachers need to guide discovery, allow the players the opportunity to develop their skills and tactics in game-like situations, consistently varying the situations to mimic the game. This book is an excellent resource for all teachers and coaches.'
Eddie Jones, Former Head Coach of the Australian Rugby Union team and current Head Coach of Japan
Introduction Part I: Issues in coaching and coach development 1. Contemporary developments in coaching 2. Positive coaching for youth rugby 3. Improving decision-making in sevens rugby (with Alain Mouchet) 4. Coach development: A process of ongoing learning 5. Using habitus in research on rugby coach development Part II: Research on coaches and coaching 6. The use of an holistic research approach to investigate French rugby coaches' in-match communications with players (with Alain Mouchet) 7. The influence of experience and cultural context on rugby coaches beliefs about coaching 7.1 Making better people: Coaches beliefs in moral learning through rugby 7.2 South African and Australian coaches’ encultured beliefs about coaching 8. Elite level rugby coaches’ interpretation and use of Game Sense in Australia and New Zealand 8.1 Australian and New Zealand elite level rugby coaches’ dispositions toward Game Sense 8.2 Elite level rugby coaches’ views on learning and the implications for pedagogy 9. The interpretation and misinterpretation of Game Sense in its implementation by the RFU (with Paul Reid) 10. Bridging the gap between theory and practice in rugby coaching through Collaborative Action Research (CAR) Reflections and concluding thoughts