jmcilroy's blog

Developing players who can think for themselves

Anyone who wants to know why it is important to develop players who can think for themselves should have a look at the England/Italy rugby game at the weekend. Faced with unexpected tactics the England players struggled to get a grip on the game, even asking the referee for advice and receiving the soon to be famous reply ‘I’m the referee, not your coach.’

England ran out easy winners once their coaches told them what to do at half time but it shows how even the best players can struggle when they have to make quick decision on the pitch.

Exploring rugby coach attitudes to changing the rules for mini-rugby

In 2010/11 the Rugby Football Union (RFU) developed new rules for competitive games in Under-9s rugby. The new rules focussed on tackling and giving players more time with the ball rather than set pieces (scrummaging and line-outs) and breakdown skills (rucking and mauling). In effect the changes were designed around informal games and deliberate play rather than early specialisation.

Emotional Intelligence in Sport

This week I read an interesting review of the literature on Emotional Intelligence in sport that has found a shortage of research around Emotional Intelligence and coaching, especially as regards the relationship with athletes.

Academics from Germany, France and Australia conducted a systemic review of published studies about Emotional Intelligence in sport. While information on coaches was limited what was there did show a link between effective coaching and high levels of Emotional Intelligence.  These results included:

The questions any coach should ask about technology

If you’re interested in technology and coaching then have a look at the new edition of the journal Sensoria.

The focus of this edition is ‘Contemporary Perspectives on Applied Sport Science’ and it has a number of short articles that are a mix of results from research projects and opinions from experts in the field.

The role of the coach in keeping sport safe

How important is safety when taking part in sport? While everyone would agree it is important to stay safe it seems importance is relative. Some groups of participants will place greater emphasis on it than others.

For example we recently conducted research with adults who are relatively new to sport or thinking about taking part. One of the most important considerations for these participants was safety.

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