Development from within creates next

Young players at the Ospreys have taken their first steps on the coaching ladder after participating in a special course organised by the Coach Development team at the region.

Members of the ‘C’ group of players, a selection of carefully selected young players aged 16 to 18 who attend the Ospreys Llandarcy Academy of Sport HQ between 7 and 9am daily for specific rugby and fitness work ahead of their normal college day, have taken part in the course, working towards the UKCC Level 1 Award in Coaching Rugby Union.

In total 12 players enrolled on the course, which aimed to not only provide an introduction to coaching, but to also grow their understanding of what is required to enable a rugby player to develop, and to challenge each other to improve both on and off the pitch through peer coaching.

The newly qualified coaches will now be used as assistant coaches on the forthcoming Ospreys Kids Camps, providing them with a genuine opportunity to develop their coaching experience in a live environment alongside some of the Ospreys’ most experienced Junior Player Development Coaches.

In addition, four of the youngsters have been identified as having the potential to work within the Ospreys Districts and/or Player Development coaching set-ups, and have been recommended to the appropriate individuals within those structures. Those four players are Thomas Habberfield, Ashley Evans, Sean McDonnell Roberts and Tomas Owen.

Ospreys Coach Development Officer, Daniel Owens, welcomed the Eyasses to the ranks of the coaching world as evidence of the region’s ongoing investment in development from within. He said:

"These players represent a significant investment in the future of the Ospreys Development programme. The 12 players that attended all responded positively to the training they undertook. The first test of their newly established coaching skills will be during the Ospreys Kids Camps this Easter. Working under the guidance of some of your more experienced junior player development coaches will be a great learning experience for them.

"A wider remit of the Level 1 and Level 2 coaching courses, is that the coach development team identify potential Player Development Coaches to feed into our junior player development system. A massive positive from the course, and one that the individuals concerned should take great pride in is that four out of 12 of these 16-year old coaches were identified as potential Player Development Coaches with no previous experience in coaching. We are now in the process of establishing their agreement to coach, briefing them and arranging their deployment out into the community."

In order to pass the course, the teenagers were assessed on their coaching ability and their use of the fundamental coaching how skills of being able to:

- Instruct/Explain
- Demonstrate
- Observe and Analyse
- Provide Feedback 

In addition,they were required to plan various coaching sessions based on the core skills of rugby and deliver them to a group of their peers, including:

- Catch and Pass
- Kicking
- Tackling
- Scrum
- Options in Contact

Finally, they had to complete an IRB Laws paper and WRU Child Protection course. 

Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, paid tribute to the work of the Coach Development Team, and the young players who have passed the Level 1 Award, saying that the wider rugby community in Ospreylia will see the benefits:

“This is excellent news, and our congratulations must go to the newly qualified coaches. Development from within is everything, and this is an outstanding example of us doing just that. We now have 12 newly qualified coaches, who not only will have a better understanding of the game enabling them to develop themselves, they will be able to share that knowledge and help with the development of others, starting with the hundreds of local children who will participate in our Kids Camps this year.

“Beyond that, with the likes of Thomas, Ashley, Sean and Tomas being identified as having real potential, once we are able to identify opportunities within the existing structure for them then they will be able to work in the community to assist with the development of some of the up and coming talent that exists in the region.”