One of the biggest areas I struggle with is how to stay enthusiastic with smaller numbers and players who don’t seem to want to put in as much effort as I’d like them to or as I feel I do.
Last night was a prime example. Was due to have 16 players – and that’s from a squad of more than 50 with two matches this coming weekend. Started a warm-up and asked that we go into a wrap-up game. I reinforced that I wanted to condition it in a certain way and asked the players to work on a couple of things. I said that this was because we needed to learn the habits of doing things a certain way. Result – game turned to crap. Of the 12 actual players I had probably four were working hard and trying to do what I asked. The remaining eight weren’t bothered to put what I asked into practice. Turned into a typical warm-up for our lot. Lazy, no-one really trying, more concerned with chatting. I let them know that I was unhappy and we got through the training session in the end but we didn’t get to cover the stuff I wanted to (and that we needed to). I get frustrated because the quality of the rugby played in training is in direct proportion to the effort, both physical and mental, that goes into it.
This is not dealing with children or youth players. These are adults who are supposed to be down at training to learn and develop. My head coach in the past has said that it’s down to us as coaches to create the environment correctly and if the players don’t engage then it’s our issue as a coaching team. Having said that my head coach is going through a bit of a crisis in confidence as well.
Sometimes it feels like the major aim of training for some players (and not just from our club) is a social get-together. I buy that but I’d prefer that the social side of things happen before or after training and I can plan a 90 minute session to develop some new skills or reinforce some existing ones without having to show my unhappiness and reduce the time of the session. I know some of the other players shared my frustration! I know I’m not handling this right either but I’m struggling with my level of enthusiasm to turn up twice a week and match days on Sunday when my planned sessions seem to be a bit of a waste of my time. Rant over. Just a bad session in an environment when results aren’t quite going our way……