The Good Coach’s code
Young people come into Rugby Union for a variety of reasons; it is the duty of the coach to recognise this and stimulate continued participation. Coaches have a responsibility to ensure that all youngsters are given the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations in a caring environment where the emphasis is on:
• Skill development
In Rugby Union coaches should:
• Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players. Most learning is achieved through "doing."
• Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
• Be a positive role model - think what this implies.
• Keep winning and losing in perspective - encourage young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
• Respect all referees and the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
• Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner, to all young players both during coaching sessions and games.
In Rugby Union coaches of young players must:
• Provide experiences which are matched to the young players' age and ability, as well as their physical and mental development.
• Ensure all youngsters are coached in a safe environment - is there adequate first aid readily to hand?
• Avoid the overplaying of the best players by using a squad system, which gives everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
• Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
• Ensure good supervision of young players, both on and off the field.
• Recognise that young players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold, or unacceptable risk of injury.
• Develop an awareness of nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle management.
• Recognise that it is illegal for young players under 18 to purchase alcohol.
• Ensure that their knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in line with RFU philosophy.
• Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU recommended procedures for taking young people on residential tours at home and abroad.
• Be aware of, and abide by, the policies and procedures outlined in the RFU child protection guidance booklet.
• Coaches working with young players up to the age of 12 must follow the guidelines laid down by the RFU continuum.
• Coaches working with young players’ age 13+ must be aware of the under 19 and under 15 Law variations, including those that apply to cross border matches.