JL Team Coach Blog – Competition Match 1

Me and my rugby team.
The Otago Boys High School 2nd XV

We had our first competition match of the season on Saturday.

We lost, and I got frustrated.
Sound familiar?
Does to me.
I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’ve been here before.

After reflecting on the match and all that happened…

These are 3 things I’ve identified that I can do better for my team.

1. Match Day Warm Up – The warm up I ran was a bit scruffy and lacked building intensity. I also failed to use my assistant coaches and tried to do it all myself.
Yesterday at practice I asked my players how they want to warm up? With the goal of being ready for rugby at kickoff. They gave input and it was great.
Next match we are going to warm up to our new agreed team plan and hopefully we will be good to go.

2. Match Day Fun – We, including me, were feeling more nerves before the game rather than excitement.
Our nervousness lead to indecision and that grew into frustration as the match progressed.
Our Team has 3 Big Team Goals.
Have Fun is one of them.
This week we are going to use music to have fun. We reckon fun beats will help focus, relax and excite us. I’ve given the responsibility of changing room and warm up music to the year 13 boys in the team.

3. Keep My Cool – ‘It’s alright, I didn’t blow it, No arguments, No fights,’
However I was a bit uptight. I know I was uptight because my wife Carmel, she told me I was. She’s always right 🙂
Looking back on the game and me being uptight. It was not good for the team or for me.
I think I was uptight because we were underdone on preparation and I felt unorganized.
In fairness to me and the team, we only had 3 team practices together before the match.


“When you lose rugby games, If you’re an honest coach, You learn more about yourself than when you win.”
That’s what Steve Hansen says, and I’m going with Steve on that topic.

Losing rugby games builds resilience.
Teaches you to look at yourself, improve where you can, saddle up and have another go.

Our next match is against our school 1st XV.
We’re the school 2nd XV.

They are bigger, faster, older than us
And they’ve been training together for 6 months or more.

Our resilience will be tested…
That’s when team spirit counts most.
I love that about rugby.

Next blog,
I’ll pass on to you a killer team spirit hack guaranteed to work.

John Leslie

P.S. Here’s some fun rugby videos for you.

Free video series