WRU/Ospreys Coach Development Officer Tony Thomas kicked off a new season of coach development sessions at Swansea Uplands RFC recently.
Marking his return to action following a lengthy absence after undergoing surgery over the summer, his first coaching seminar covered the topic of Game Sense Coaching.
The session began with an indoor presentation on the rationale and benefits of this style of coaching, and was followed by a practical session on the use of Games for Understanding using the boys from the Swansea Uplands U13 squad.
As part of his development as a Coach Educator, Dee Brooks led this part of the evening, taking the opportunity to illustrate the use of four very different conditioned games. Significantly, all the boys who took part expressed how enjoyable and beneficial this type of training was for them.
Tony then demonstrated some further examples of games and challenged the coaches to suggest ways and means that they could be adapted to increase or decrease the intensity or to make them appropriate to the age group/ability level they were coaching.
The final part of the evening saw Tony divide the coaches into three groups and asked them to devise a completely new game to be presented to the other groups. All present were than asked to make comments or suggestions on the presentation.
Paul Coode, Chairman of the Uplands Junior Section said:
“Thanks again for the session, I have been discussing it with a few of those present and it was really appreciated and all had a really positive feedback from it.
“As we had a mixture of age group coaches present it really proved the message that Game Sense Training is suitable right across the board for any players from U7’s up to senior.
“Everyone took a lot of ideas from the two-way approach to presentation. The outdoor, on field demonstrations really sit in well with the powerpoint and video presentation. This kept it interesting and relative throughout and coupled with the customary group exercises really got people thinking and questioning things throughout the evening.
“I'm sure it will be standing all those coaches present in good stead for years to come and make people really aware of the differing approach to the modern coaching session.'
Tony Thomas added:
“The response from all present was very positive and very rewarding. We look forward to the coaches and players from the club enjoying and benefitting from this approach to coaching”
The next seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, 18th October at Pontardulais RFC, commencing at 8.00pm.
Admission is free and all active coaches in the region are welcome to attend. The Bont have fully bought into the new Ospreys Club Support scheme, hence the decision to host the seminar at their club.