Last night brought the much anticipated coaching workshop delivered by none other than the legend Lewis Moody as part of the NatWest RugbyForce initiative.
Training on a wet November night at Avenue Street involves some serious commitment, Lewis however went way beyond the call of duty when he endured a 9 hour round trip of 390 miles from his home near Bath!
That he even showed up was pretty special but when he arrived and got straight into coaching drills with enthusiasm and humour it set the scene for a very special evening.
The session was designed as a coaching workshop so the various coaches throughout the club and university would be empowered to deliver better sessions within their own teams. Our Head Coach Dave Crouch had requested that we use the 1st XV forwards and various coaches in a collaboration focussed on rucking and turnover ball, not a bad strategy when our trainer was one of the best in the world at this technique.
The coaches came from throughout the club with Seniors, Colts, University & Juniors all represented and there was something in it for all of them, if they turned up expecting a theory lesson they got a shock as specs and phones were quickly shed and they were soon in the thick of some robust physical action.
Lewis used a dynamic style of coaching that kept everyone engaged from the off with questions and feedback at every stage, lots of check ins to make sure what had been taught made sense and then straight into an exercise that could use the tactic before reviewing. It was a master class in simple but effective leadership and it was plain that the coaches, players and Lewis himself was having fun whilst learning and practising new skills. Tactics won’t be discussed in an open forum but I’m pretty sure our guys will be trying some new stuff throughout against Fleetwood on Saturday and throughout the season.
One point Lewis encouraged was to try new things at training and allow personal flair to be expressed, the execution was secondary but to continue to improve you must stray away from any comfort zones which can stifle creativity and predictable play.
At the end of the session Lewis joined the players and coaches in the clubhouse for some typical banter, photos and numerous failed requests for him to be available for Saturday.
Speaking with everyone after the session was a massive success and we are extremely lucky to have been on the receiving end of such a huge name in the game of rugby
Updated 10:42 - 4 Nov 2016 by Chris Cockton