Coaching Made Easy with LeslieRugby and CrestClean
Even if you’ve played years of professional rugby for international unions and were Captain of Scotland, it doesn’t mean you know how to coach 7-year-olds.
“When I turned up to manage and coach my son’s Under-7 team it was really disorganised,” recalls John Leslie, former Highlanders centre and one of the Kilted Kiwis who played for Scotland in the late ‘90s. “I got the kids moving, but they’re hard to manage at that age group because they’re so young.”
“By the time it came to Under-9, I was really busy and turning up to coach after work, trying to make it up on the spot. I was drawing on my own experiences, which are extensive, but at the end of the day it gave me nothing – even with my rugby background. I wasn’t managing the kids effectively.”
John recognised that if he was having a tough go of it, there were probably a lot of other Kiwi dads and mums out there who were, too. So, the LeslieRugby “Junior Team Coaching” clinic series was “born out of necessity.”
“The objective is to show dads and mums how to easily run a first class, one hour rugby coaching session, so I put together a programme of skills based around core rugby content, such as ball placement, tackling, catch/pass/run, with hundreds of touches, in a small area of space that’s easy to manage. This helps the coach know what to do and manage the kids while communicating well with them,” says John.
And he called in CrestClean to help support a series of 50 training clinics for coaches throughout New Zealand, in order to provide the training and resources free for coaches. CrestClean has previously supported LeslieRugby coaching clinics for kids.
“We’re happy to train 1,000 coaches all around New Zealand. We were really happy with the results of previous LeslieRugby clinics and the kids loved them,” says CrestClean’s Managing Director Grant McLauchlan. “The LeslieRugby clinics for junior team coaches are really filling a need in our local communities, helping parents and kids have fun with the sport and be more healthy and active. We’re so proud to support them.”
The coaching clinics include a guinea pig team of 12-13 year olds who demonstrate the series of 14 core drills while John explains his coaching philosophies and methods for keeping the energy high and the game fun for kids.
“It’s an art to making young kids enjoy it while managing and controlling the session,” says John.
“This is a specific programme that works. If the coach is into it and humble he’ll have a great experience, but it’s all about the kids at the end of the day,” he adds. “That’s what dads are doing it for anyway and this set of skills drills has saved my bacon as a dad.”
20th March Geraldine RFC, 6pm
21st March Timaru Boys High School, 9:30am
21st March Alpine Energy Stadium, 12:30pm
22nd March Rakaia RFC, 10am
22nd March Tinwald RFC, 2:30pm
South West Otago
29th March – Lawrence RFC, 11am
30th March Auckland Marist RFC, Dunkirk Road Panmure, 6pm
31st March Grammar TEC, Orakei Domain Fields, 6.30pm
1st April North Shore RFC 6:30pm