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Dan Cottrell and guests discuss all the hot topics in grass roots rugby coaching from managing concussion to dealing with parents.

Dan Cottrell and guests discuss all the hot topics in grass roots rugby coaching from managing concussion to dealing with parents.
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United Kingdom


Dan Cottrell and guests discuss all the hot topics in grass roots rugby coaching from managing concussion to dealing with parents.






Exciting times for women's rugby & coaching

Liza "Bird" Burgess was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2018. With 93 caps for Wales and GB, she's also an experienced international and club coach. Now assisting Susie Appleby at Gloucester-Hartbury in the Tyrrells English Premiership, she shares her approach to coaching, what inspires her and how she's changed her delivery. These are exciting times for the women's game as more women take up the coaching reigns - it was great to catch with a good friend and a beacon for the...


Killer questions, escape roots, upping the tempo and challenging me

Experienced DPP coach, coaching coordinator and grassroots coach, Ian Hollingworth chats about how he has learned to take more risks. He tells us how he is passionately curious about his coaching and how that has changed his approach. He explains his escape routes if the session is not going quite right, how to maintain the tempo in training plus empowering players and coaches. Ian is a lead coach with Essex DPP Under 15s, Billericay RFC Club Coach Coordinator and a Kids First Mentor.


Half-a-game regulation: the wrong solution

Stephen Jones, the Sunday Times rugby correspondent, and 22 years a grassroots' coach, is passionate about keeping young players in the game. In his most recent column, he argued that the RFU's half-a-game regulation won't achieve what it really aims to do and there are more important issues to address. In the podcast, we delve deeper into his thoughts, and while we may choose to agree to disagree in some ways, there are some vital underlying problems that face grassroots rugby.


Defence zone: activity walkthrough with ideas to suit your team

Talking with experienced grassroots Chris Sweetapple, we look at a recent session he's run using a Rugby Coach Weekly activity. This episode is about "defence zone" which was the game activity as part of the practice plan, Standing in the tackle. We also discuss, and not necessarily agree (!) on the following questions: "Who are we doing this for?" and "How do development and results coaches get along?"


It’s just rugby players making rugby decisions

I was delighted to catch up with Ed Robinson, attack coach with the Jersey Reds. His team had just served up a fantastic try in the English second tier competition, which went onto win Skys Sports 2018 try of the year. I spoke to him to find out some of the background behind the try. And I found myself immersed in a great journey and really challenged to rethink some of my own thoughts. In this insightful podcast find out:


Wayne Goldsmith on how to make a real difference to your teams

For more than a quarter of a century, international sports performance coach Wayne Goldsmith has influenced the coaching, thinking and teaching of some of the world’s leading athletes, coaches and teams. His client list has included the Super Rugby Teams the ACT Brumbies, Western Force and Queensland Reds, the Wallabies / Rugby Australia, the NZRU / New Zealand Rugby Union High Performance Unit, NRL teams the Sydney Roosters, Wests Tigers and Gold Coast Titans, AFL teams the North Melbourne...


Tim Ravenscroft

Tim Ravenscroft, lead coach for his U12’s team in Bristol and also Sector Head Age Grade Rugby at Gloucestershire RFU discusses how coaching and fixtures are changing for the better at age group rugby. Tim tells us about:


Andy Stevens on how he became a better all-round coach

What changes when you do a Level 1 course. How has your "language" in coaching change. Top tips on using demonstrations in training What gets players back - not making fun "silly" What does engaging the players look like When do you drill the players How long before new players can play contact At what age do players start to think "team" How do parents react to equal playing time How do you deal with poor answers to your coaching questions What do you do if the session hasn't...


How to keep players in love with the game

Dan welcomes IRFU head of coaching and coach development Colin Moran to the podcast to discuss how best to keep players in love with the game.


Why you don't want to be called "The Fridge"

Simon Nainby, an experienced S&C coach, coaching consultant and rugby coach, talks about how to give autonomy to your players, the power of stories, what is meant by action bias and why taking a netball team changed his approach to coaching


Making real gains coaching grassroots and representative players

Giles Heagerty, who runs the rugby at a busy school, plus is head coach of England Counties U18 and also Waterloo Ladies, shares his insights.


When to allow failure and how to coach with uncertainty

Dr Suzanne Brown explains to Dan Cottrell how to understand the way players' minds work so you can coach them more effectively


Would you love to play in the team you coach?

I challenge Digby Webb, an experienced schools coach, to explain how to create the best environments for players.


Science-based approach to better and safer tackling

Dr Sharief Hendricks outlines his research team’s findings on tackling. He says that, through in-depth video analysis, he has found: The key attributes to a safe and effective tackle. A step-by-step method of coaching that tackle. He tell us that: The best tackles are both powerful and safe. That technical understanding by coaches is the biggest barrier to progression. Tackle pads have a limited role to play in tackle progression. That you can improve tackling with the right conditioning....


Drills good, games much better. But you must know why

Dan talks to experienced Rugby League coach, sports lecturer and coach developer Stuart Wilkinson on how coaching needs direction within in a session.


Should we change the age we start to coach scrummaging?

With a number of international front-rowers only starting their trade after the age of 16, is their case to change the way we coach scrummaging? Dan Cottrell asks former front rower and coach developer Ian Diddams whether the scrum is relevant before 16 and if we shouldn’t actually spend more time on other skills.


Are Super Rugby skills and thrills better than the Premiership and Pro14?

The Southern Hemisphere’s top competition is stunning to watch. But we can do more to replicate that with our own training? Dan Cottrell talks to the experienced academy coach George Tavner who works with the some of the best young players in the English system, from ages 13 upwards. He says that:


How ARU size and ability limits will benefit players and coaches

Dan Cottrell talks to experienced Australian U13s James Stevens about the new size and ability limits in his country’s youth rugby. James was part of the pilot scheme and he describes how the system: