Successful coaching conference hosted at UP

Posted on July 30, 2015

On Thursday, 23 July 2015, TuksRugby hosted an international coaching conference at the University of Pretoria’s Groenkloof Campus. The conference was attended by coaches and rugby enthusiasts who had a chance to learn from, and ask questions of, several well-known rugby gurus. Presenters at the event included former Springbok captain and current rugby commentator, Naas Botha; former All Black and Lions coach, John Mitchell who spoke about attack and team dynamics; former Wallaby International, David Campese who talked about counter attack of the ‘back three’; Neil Powell, current Springbok Sevens coach; and Johan Ackerman, former Springbok lock and Lions coach, who talked about line out structures.

John Mitchell, who was largely responsible for helping the Lions develop their ‘running’ style of rugby, and David Campese shared their opinion that South African coaches ‘over-coached’ their players. Mitchell also stated that, while structure was important, too much structure was detrimental to the game. Campese said that he felt coaches had too much power, which resulted in players not being able to play their natural game. He also made the following profound statement: ‘It is not so much about what you do when you get the ball, but what you do when you don’t have the ball.’ He was referring to the off-the-ball positioning of players on the field, and particularly their off-the-ball running.

John Mitchell said that the key to the success of the All Blacks is their great team culture. ‘Culture is the glue that holds it all together,’ he said.

Johan Ackermann took the attendees through a series of options for the line out and maintained that the success of any great line out was contingent on three factors, namely speed, delivery and height.  Neil Powell explained the dynamics of their success at the Blitzbokke and some of the differences between sevens and fifteens. Overall, attendees found the event very enjoyable and informative.


- Author Myan Subrayan

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