Recently I wrote an article where I emphasized the importance of being prepared in maximizing progression. While discussing this topic I briefly mentioned the importance of being able to adapt. I would like to emphasis this element a little further.
With a focus on adaptation, it is vital we recognize the number of moving parts within the game of rugby. With the contact element, the likelihood of soft tissue and joint injuries increase. The continual accelerations and decelerations at maximal velocity also increase ones likelihood of injury. Then the needs of specific open and close skills are addressed and dependent on how they are being performed. This has an affect on how you prioritize your programming. Alongside all the above, you have the opposition element and most importantly your individual athlete. The human being, the actual person. This is where I want to focus.
Whether its physical or emotional, the body is forever changing. Being able to adapt and read between the lines is key for a coach. Why? The person you are working with needs to feel they can trust your care and approach as their coach. They don’t have to always like you but that’s a different point.
Mentioned in previous articles, coaching is as much an art as it is a science and the relationship of the two fluctuates contingently on the specific aspect one is in charge of. Across the board knowing when to pull back or push harder is not always clear, nor does the athlete always want their coach knowing what’s actually going on.
The greatest challenges as a coach generally always relates to your most important asset. The athlete. I’ll refer to the relationship between coach and athlete at another time but for now focusing on adaption, knowing your athletes characteristics is key for being able to make the appropriate adaptation where and when required. This takes time like building anything of value. If you are aware of what you are working with and aware of what to look for, you’ll have a much greater chance of seeing positive outcomes while being able to adapt appropriately.
By Chris Brown
International Rugby Coach & Head of Physical Performance