Coaching Teams One Individual at a Time

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1 Coaching Teams One Individual at a Time | Recently, I was invited by The New Zealand Rugby Coaches Association to work with the Elite Level Coaches of New Zealand's premier rugby union teams. This group is the pool from which New Zealand's legendary National Rugby team—the All Blacks—will most likely pull their future coaching staff. As a lifelong All Blacks fan (second only to Wales of course), I was very excited about this extraordinary opportunity! The New Zealand Rugby Coaches Association also invited some of the elite coaches from other Olympic sports to join our sessions, which made for some interesting conversations about coaching philosophies. In one of those conversations, I shared a discussion I had in 1994 with the head coach for the Welsh national rugby union, Alan Davies. That year, Wales won the Five Nations Championship, a big deal in the world of rugby. In our conversation, Coach Davies remarked that most people think that because rugby is a team sport, coaching is done with the team together. But he did it differently. He spent 80% of his time coaching at the individual level. He explained that while there are certainly things that had to be coached on a team level, every player was different and needed individual training and guidance to do their best for the team. Coach Davies comments have stuck with me all these years. Like a rugby coach, a good manager works to raise the performance of his/her team. It's not unusual and it's perfectly understandable that when busy and strapped for time, managers try and take a one-size-fits-all approach to management—they coach their direct reports all at once. Coaching the team has its place but as Davies suggested, one-on-one coaching is where so much of individual performance can be released. by Alan Fine | InsideOut Development Founder and President One Individual at a Time COACHING TEAMS FAST FACTS: In 2015, the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup for the second time in a row. Since the introduction of the World Rugby Rankings in 2003, New Zealand has held the number one ranking longer than all other teams combined.

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