There are challenges at many levels when coaching players and that is no different when coaching adult rugby players. They are however the easiest to work with.
The differences between adult rugby players and younger players is like night and day. You get to work with players who have played for years and understand the game.
Very rarely will you find adult players that start playing for the first time.
There are however other things that come into play with adult players.
- Old habits – they get stuck into old habits based on what they learned at school
- Work – they are working people with lives of their own. They often have problems having to work late or have to go out of town for business
- Families – family comes first and as a coach, you need to remember that
Breaking old habits
Players get used to routines. The same as we do in our everyday lives. We like routine. Uncertainty sucks.
The great thing is that you have players who are adults. When you start working with the players you need to get them to trust you and your vision for the team.
You need to give your players a clear idea of what you want to do and especially why. They need to buy into your approach and will then be open to your ideas.
Taking into consideration work and family
Many players who play after school do so for recreation. It is a wonderful way to stay fit and active and remain part of the rugby family.
Work is not just a temporary gig that you do. You actually have bills to take care of and a life to build. With that comes a family which is a big reason why we do what we do.
The most important thing to do is to make sure you have open communication with your players. The best thing to do is to chat to your players as soon after a game as possible.
They probably know what work and family events are coming up for the coming week. If you have an idea of what numbers you have available on which days, it makes it a lot easier to plan your sessions.
Although you have more experienced players, this juggling act between player numbers and planned sessions is the key to success.
It basically becomes organized chaos with no two weeks being the same. You just need to stay flexible based on who you have available on which days.
Overall, coaching adult rugby players is loads of fun. It is actually a totally different challenge, but you know every week will be an adventure!