Coaching Blog

Dedication to Continuous Improvement or “Kaizen” - Blog Entry for

Beth Barz, ChPC - Rugby

Dedication to Continuous Improvement or “Kaizen”

“Kaizen”, or the art of continuous improvement, was studied extensively in the early 2000s. The concept is that a system (or person) can benefit from continuous improvement over time, rather than monumental changes that happen irregularly or at long intervals. For coaches, we need to focus on kaizen for our athletes and programs, and also for ourselves. Here are two quick ways to ensure you can make kaizen happen in your own coaching practice.

1. Ask questions
2. Read

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ONTARIO COACHES CONFERENCE 2015: Breakthrough - Taking Your Coaching to the Next Level


Breakthrough - taking your coaching to the next level

Keith Wilkinson and Lina Febbraro

With over 200 fellow coaches, we attended the 2015 Ontario Coaches’ conference at the Sheraton Parkway hotel in Richmond Hill. The conference is held annually and this year’s theme was “Breakthrough. Taking Your Coaching to the Next Level.” We both attended workshops and we have included links to thePowerpoint notes from some of the sessions.

The conference provided an opportunity to share principles and good practice, hear new ideas, examine competency-based learning and marvel at Jamie McDonald’s “Find Your Super Power.” As well as the conference, participants had the opportunity to study three days of PD courses for NCCP qualifications. Courses included Aboriginal Coaching module; Leading Drug Free SportFundamental Movement SkillsManaging Conflict; Prevention and Recovery from Injury; Psychology of Performance and, Resistance training. There was a presentation from High Five Linking Resiliency with Coaching and a number of HP stream linked workshops.  

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The Race to Nowhere In Youth Sports - John O'Sullivan

“My 4th grader tried to play basketball and soccer last year,” a mom recently told me as we sat around the dinner table after one of my speaking engagements.

“It was a nightmare. My son kept getting yelled at by both coaches as we left one game early to race to a game in the other sport. He hated it.” “I know,” said another. “My 10 year old daughter’s soccer coach told her she had to pick one sport, and start doing additional private training on the side, or he would give away her spot on the team.”

So goes the all too common narrative for American youth these days, an adult driven, hyper competitive race to the top in both academics and athletics that serves the needs of the adults, but rarely the kids.

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A New Perspective - Jacob Swabrick

Having coached several seasons of club rugby and at all age groups both boys and girls;  I understand the frustration of the summer season and player priorities not always being rugby.  There is nothing worse than game day coming and a key player at a key position is nowhere to be seen.  Or knowing a player will be away and trying desperately as a coach to train another player to comprehend the skillset needed to fill in for a game or two at this position(s).

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Keith Wilkinson


For three days in September 2012, I attended a safety workshop in Mississauga for a major energy company. The workshop was led by three learning facilitators from a professional training company and I was able to compare and contrast their approach and facilitation with those of NCCP LFs.

Later in the Fall, I attended a three day CAO ( Coaching Association of Ontario) Facilitators workshop in Gravenhurst. The facilitation and approach was surprisingly similar, given the differences between corporate and sports coaching contexts.

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Policy Change - Coaches Certification Requirement for 2012 Season

Policy 4.3.10 was adjusted to the following:

All registered coaches coaching under 8 to under 10 rugby must have trained status inNCCP Community Initiation – Non-Contact Rugby. A trained status in NCCP Community Initiation – Contact Rugby or NCCP Competition Introduction Rugby or certification inNCCP Rugby Level 1 also satisfies this requirement.

All registered coaches coaching under 12 to under 16 rugby must have trained status inNCCP Community Initiation – Contact Rugby. A trained status in NCCP Competition Introduction Rugby or certification in NCCP Rugby Level 1 also satisfies this requirement.

 All registered coaches coaching under 18 to Senior must have certified status in NCCP Competition Introduction Rugby. A certification in NCCP Rugby Level 2 also satisfies this requirement.

(in effect for 2012

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Coaching Conference Notes

Of all the roles, stances and expectations that are thrust upon coaches, the most important is to be a supportive educator — inspiring, enabling, supporting and empowering. And all these are well beyond the bounds of teaching sports skill and expertise. Of all the knowledge and skills coaches are expected to have, Kidd believes that the most important is an explicit pedagogy or ‘logic model’, with a curriculum of self and social discovery, and the experience of putting these into practice. It is not enough to say we believe in sport as education. The research says that we must become much more intentional – about both the provision of opportunity, and the quality of the experience provided by sports

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The modern Rugby coach seems to have been fooled into thinking that the coaching job entails production of a generation of "multi-phase-contact, breakdown-oriented players who run around in pods, setting targets for strike runners to exploit, while the hoi-poloi of the team look to barge into rucks and tidy up loose ball.” It is not a great concept for the art, speed and fluidity of the game. There is no evidence of game sense, imagination or creativity. However, I still hear this language at practice sessions, the length and breadth of the country.

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2011 a Year in Review from RO Technical Department

2011 was a very busy year for the Rugby Ontario Technical Department with a revision of a number of major programs. On reflection we are very happy with what we have accomplished over the past 12 months however the work has only begun and we will be looking to build off of what was done this year to continue to drive Rugby forward.

Shaun and I want to wish everyone in and around the Rugby community a wonderful holiday season and a safe New Year.

We will be back in action in early 2012 ready for another great year of Rugby in Ontario and across Canada.

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Sense of the Game

How can coaches encourage “game sense” to help players read what is happening? How can coaches persuade players to assume responsibility for their actions in the pressure of a Rugby match? How can coaches underpin “Game Sense” by developing a players’ understanding of the Game and what options are available to them at any given moment?

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