Coach development expert works with Ospreys

Coaches at the Ospreys have benefited from time spent working with one of international rugby’s leading coach development experts.

Mike Chu, current General Manager of Rugby Operations and Performance with Rugby Canada and formerly NZRU High Performance Coach Development Manager, spent time working with the coaches at the region’s Llandarcy training HQ while on a visit to south Wales recently. 


He was in Ospreylia to catch-up with Canadian duo Jeff Hassler and Tyler Ardron, but at the invitation of Andrew Hore agreed to extend his stay to enable him to work with Steve Tandy and his team over the space of a few days.


Reflecting on his time in the region Chu, who took up his current role in 2011 after spending nine years working for the NZRU, underlined the importance of professional development within a rugby environment.


“Professional development is hugely important for any organisation -  any organisations are only as good as the people who drive them.


“Not only does on-going professional development help the individual, it also builds a sense of loyalty and passion from the individual to an organisation which sees value in them, and invests in them for development, making them better at what they do.


“I did some profiling with some of the staff – similar to individual development plans that coaches would do with players – looking at strengths and work ons in areas such as leadership, communication, management of staff and stakeholders, technical and tactical understanding, ability to build a culture and environment, and personal management just as some examples.”


Andrew Hore, Chief Executive at the Ospreys, welcomed the input from someone he knows well from their time together at the NZRU, highlighting the region’s continued commitment to development from within.


“It is a phrase we use a lot, but development from within really is at the heart of everything we do at the Ospreys” he said.


“When you are competing against clubs with far bigger financial power than ourselves, how you invest your resources becomes ever more important. Ongoing professional development for players and coaches alike is a priority, and we are extremely fortunate that Mike was able to spend a few days working with the coaches here.


“We have a young coaching group who are passionate about the region and committed to making this organisation one of the strongest in the game. If we want to be the best, and to compete with the leading sides in Europe, then we have to accept that we need to continue learning. Only by constantly striving to improve ourselves and on and off the field, can we grow as an organisation. 


“Bringing someone like Mike with his international reputation into our environment to work with them will certainly assist with their ongoing development and it certainly shows why New Zealand continues to produce world class coaches.”


Chu also caught up with Ardron and Hassler, and he identified that the Ospreys’ environment was proving a good one for the Canucks.


“Speaking with them, they have had amazing growth and development in being able to train and play at a consistently high level week in and week out. That’s a major difference to what they can experience in Canada, where they would not get many games each year at the level the Ospreys play.


“The environment at the Ospreys is terrific. I believe our players fit in well to this environment because it is hard working, and the players are really enjoying themselves here.”