Adult Coaching Dilemmas image
Posted on January 25th 2019 by Richard Hicks

Adult Coaching Dilemmas

Without a doubt adults are just as challenging to coach as children! However, the challenges associated with coaching adults are different in many ways…

Here are a few examples:

  • Reduced number of players
  • Fewer numbers available week in week out
  • Rule changes that affect inividuals and teams
  • Demands of work
  • Demands of families
  • Unrealistic travel times for games
  • Selection and managing player's expectations
  • Inflexible competition framework

We could go on. However the main challenge as a coach is that there is no course that provides guidance on how to manage or develop skills that can help you approach some of the above, real world challenges. Coaching is an experiential role, and the better coaches bring more experiences to the role, either from life or from their work. Mistakes are often made but as we know or we tell our players, ‘we learn more from mistakes than from doing it right’!

Video: How coaches learn

Coaches have to experiment and try out their thoughts and ideas, however weird and wacky they may seem. Far too many coaches expect to be good coaches just because they played the game to a high standard. Some coaches also take all courses they can – go on numerous CPD courses but rarely challenge themselves by coaching outside of their comfort zone: Try new things – record and plan the delivery so that when you reflect on it you have a record of your performance and outcomes of the session.

Write down why you coach, write down how you coach and start to see if here is a match between the two:

Video: Stuart Lancaster - coaching philosophy

By devising your own coaching philosophy you start to understand why you coach – whether it be...

A desire to develop talent:

Video: Improve player skills

Sharing your passions for competition:

Video: What makes a winning team?

or a love for the core values of the game:

Video: Saracens values

It takes time to develop your players and yourself as a coach. If you have been coaching for many years you will have come to realise that you have a different approach at the present to when you started.

Rugby continually changes and challenges you with rule and law changes. It's also hard to ignore new and exciting ideas on how to play the game when watching the pros play, but you always need a does of reality with regards to what you can actually change and achieve. Make sure you're not offloading too many new ideas, techniques and tactics on your players at once!

Video: Finding New Ideas!

As you move from age groups to adult rugby, as you move clubs, as you coach players of different abilities you will need constant updating and opportunities to upskill. provides you with countless games and technical/tactical developmental practices.

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