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Are You in Danger of Over-Coaching Your Rugby Team?

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘too much of a good thing’ – well, that can be said of over-coaching rugby players. Too much instruction to players can have a negative effect on performance, and there is a fine line between being prepared and being coached to distraction.

What is Over-Coaching?

Over coaching is excessive input from a coach to his/her players which becomes debilitating, harming performance. A coach should put structures in place to allow the natural skill and talent of their team thrive. Too much input from the coach can stifle creativity.

Who are at Risk of Over-Coaching?

There are five reasons why a rugby coach may be over-coaching their side:

Lacking belief in players – This could force a coach to try and control all elements of preparation and performance.

Being inexperienced – A more experienced coach would have learned when it’s best to allow their players have a bit of freedom.

Lacking belief in yourself – A coach who is short on confidence may try to make up for it by giving too much information to their players.

Being evaluated – Coaches may feel the need to constantly go the extra mile, overburdening their players with information.

Having a big ego – Coaches who see their side’s performances as a way of boosting their own reputations.

Problems With Over-Coaching

When it comes to coaching rugby players, sometimes less is more. A rugby player whose head is full of instructions is unlikely to produce a piece of natural skill that could be the difference between winning and losing. Over-coaching may convince your squad that they are not capable of winning without significant input from you. Too much information can also confuse players, for example, repeating a rugby drill over and over can cause confusion. Allow players to review rugby drills in their own time, with sites like

Avoid Over-Coaching

Coaching is a partnership: you have to believe in your players and in return they will believe in you. Put your players first and focus on their performance rather than your own as the coach. The best coaches will empower their rugby players to make decisions on the field. Believe in yourself and accept that all coaches, regardless of how long they have been doing it, are still learning.