Search This Blog

Subscribe to Let's Talk Business!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Where have I been?

Been busy. Missed two weeks of rugby matches. What would cause me to miss all that rugby?

First was an APICS meeting. We had our quarterly District meeting here in Honolulu. The chapter presidents from the Pacific Western District meet quarterly to learn from each other, find out what's going on with the Association, and to get to know each other better. The benefits of these meetings are great. Instead of all the individual chapters operating in a vacuum, we learn from each other; what's working, what's not going so well, what new things are you doing. As an organization, we're much stronger by working closely with each other rather than trying to compete with each other or go it alone.

That's all well and good, but why would I give up a day of rugby to sit in a cold room in a hotel basement, when I've done this many time before? That's easy... it's the people, the friends I've made. At this point in my career, APICS doesn't offer me a whole lot. I've got my certifications, I've already published one book, another will be out soon, and more are on the way, and most of my work is at a higher level than where APICS is at right now. But APICS has been good to me throughout my career, so I like to give back when I can, and I've made some wonderful friends that I like to visit with. I can visit them without APICS, but it's a good venue to get together as a group, and I get to meet new people and get to know others better.

So that's one weekend. The next weekend (last week) I attended a rugby coaching clinic. Missed watching rugby at the park, but got to participate in activities at the clinic. My old, out of shape, body wasn't expecting tackling activities, but except for a little soreness, I held up pretty well.

The course was outstanding, as was the instructor, Peter Baggetta. The course was the Introducing Rugby course, from USA Rugby. There was a rather involved online component before the class, and that was my only complaint. Not that we had to do it, but the quality of it. I understand why they have the online portion, for prep and to reduce the in-class time, but if you're going to do something, do it right. The online portion needs to be revamped.

The Introducing Rugby course is geared towards coaching players who are new to the game (hence the name), and the course was primarily a "how to coach" course. The philosophy of coaching is vastly different than what those of us in the class were used to. We grew up in the model of teaching a skill and performing endless drills until we got it right. With lot's of talking by the coach. This is the "how" to do something and the execution of it.

The new philosophy makes lots of sense when you think about it, and when you see it and put it into practice. The idea is to first focus on the "why" and "when" to do something, or the recognition of a situation, to then assess the situation, learn how to make a decision regarding the situation, and then executing some action. On the rugby field the player needs to first recognize what's happening, how play is unfolding. Then they need to assess the situation; what are the options available, who is in a position to exploit those options? They have to then make a decision on what action to take. The last step is to actually execute the action.

In traditional coaching, the last step, the execution, is the focus. A player can play the game for years, learning to execute flawlessly, but still not be able to recognize the situation and make a valuable assessment of it. With the new philosophy, new players are introduced to the game by participating in semi-structured activities, and being allowed to play and have fun, rather than being drilled into a bored stupor.

I also have to commend USA Rugby for sending us instructors, both Josh for refereeing and Peter for coaching, who are really in touch with the island culture and the obstacles we face out here. They both really spoke to our needs and our situation. Thank you.

And, since USA Rugby always needs money, don't forget to buy your Adopt-A-Rugger and Hug-A-Rugger merchandise, where all proceeds are donated to USA Rugby.

No comments: