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Junior Rugby Coaching: Values

Updated: Dec 10, 2018

When I watch a football game, when a foul occurs, the following happens:

  • Players Surround the Referee

  • Players Pleading Innocence (It wasn't me! Shaggy!)

  • Players trying to goad each other to touch each other so they can fall and claim a crime has been committed.

That’s how the superstars of today behave. More-so, if that behaviour results in gaining an advantage, you are even rewarded. How can you expect future superstars to behave any better?

What are “GOOD” Values? Everyone has their own standards when it comes to establishing Values. There are some fundamentals that we can agree on:

“Respect yourself, Respect your opponent and Respect the Referee”

Spoken without shouting by U16 Coach Young and Restless

Coach Rosli aka Young and Restless. Pre-game talk on Respect and Playing the Right Way. Saturday Morning Friendlies.

In any case, Good values are key on the field and off the field. Also, it also applies to the coach and not just the players. It’s an element that is often not actively observed. So how do you coach values? It’s something to treat with care especially with the young minds that you are coaching.

“Have a Good Shower”

Spoken during a post-game handshake, Player from another club.


A. Bye Loser

B. Saying Good Game is Boring. Keeping it Random as kids can do.

C. A way of saying “I’m looking forward to clean up after this and hope you do too”

D. Internal Joke?

Which one is it? Don’t answer yet. Have a think, look at it from a few angles.

When I started coaching, I felt nothing wrong in trying to intimidate the referee to swing decisions in my team’s favour. I saw it as my duty as a coach to do it and to protect my players from “biased” officiating. Took me a few tournaments to realize that wasn’t the way to go. As much we want things to be fair but life never usually is. If necessary, I will engage a referee but my current approach would be a dialogue with respect. These guys are human and I’m sure they want to do the best job possible.

“Let me do my job!”

Referee, Centaurs Tournament 2015. The moment I realized my way was wrong.

To teach values, I realize I have to do a better job at carrying those values myself. Far easier said than done especially needing to have a complete understanding of what “Good Values” are. In Rugby and at the Club, there is a tradition in embracing values like Respect and Fair-play. It's also quite fortunate that the club will have a few old heads that will have a word or 2 to remind you of those values. Even the coach needs a coach!

Which comes to another basic value, universally advised to have. It helps if you recognize it early.

“Sit Down, Be Humble”

Kendrick Lamar


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