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Malaysia Schools Coaching 2006

Coaches: Grant McKelvey and Jamie Dempsie (Scottish Rugby Union) plus assistance from the Penguin playing squad at the COBRA 10s and Royal Kedah 7s

As part of the tour to Malaysia in September 2006, the HSBC Penguin International Coaching Academy funded two qualified coaches to travel to Kuala Lumpur to undertake a series of coaching sessions at local schools. The coaching team was lead by Grant McKelvey, and also included Jamie Dempsey, both of whom work for the Scottish Rugby Union. The coaches spent four days travelling to various schools in the Kuala Lumpur area.

Coaching Clinic at Rawang - 50 boys

Activities undertaken

  • Passing - 6 o'clock pass
  • 2v1 passing before and after contact
  • Triangle Drill, 1v1 - 2v1 - 3v2
  • Games

The 1st clinic of the programme took place in the most picturesque of rugby fields the Penguin coaches had ever had the pleasure to visit.

The players were extremely enthusiastic, very well coached, disciplined, and were very eager to learn. In talking with the boys coaches and senior school management it was explained that the boys were “more doers than thinkers”, and that the rugby programme at the school had been very successful with this group of pupils. The players understood the drills well and there was a definite improvement during the course of the session. As expected, the games were very fast, dynamic, and physical, but lacked control in the contact area.

Rawang - 50 kids (U14 and U16)

Activities Undertaken

  • Passing - 6 o'clock pass
  • 2v1 passing before and after contact
  • Triangle Drill, 1v1 - 2v1 - 3v2
  • Games

The 2nd visit to this Boarding School was interrupted 3 times by a thunderstorm that erupted directly above the school.

After the experiences from the 1st visit the previoust year, the Penguin coaches wanted to base the session on the contact area, an area of thier game that at that time required attention.

The coaches were delighted to confirm that there was real evidence during the games that that the coach / teacher had been developing the drills and skills delivered during the last visit. The boys knowledge of the game was impressive, and their eagerness to learn very refreshing.

SMK Pandan Mewah (2 schools) - 60 boys (U14 and U16)

Activities undertaken

  • Chaos Corridor Triangle
  • Ball presentation and Ruck
  • Games

This session was targeted at trying to free up the contact area and give the players more techniques to pass and offload the ball during and after contact, with also looking at ways to speed up the contact / ruck area.

It was clear that the boys attending the session had been extremely well coached, with some of the performances here by the players, the best of the trip.

These boys were the most physical players with an excellent enthusiasm and relish for the contact element of the game. The games played between both schools at the different age groups were very fast, direct and physical.

SMK Telok Datok, Banting (5 schools) - 50 boys (U14 and U16)

Activities undertaken

  • Contact Core Stability warm up
  • Chaos Corridor Triangle - Ball presentation and ruck
  • The Wine Glass Drill (continuous rucking going with the flow)
  • Games

After speaking to the coaches they were very specific with what they wanted to work on. The coaches all took notes during the session and were very interested in drills etc. and asked many questions during and after the session.

The players were from 5 different schools and 2 different age groups, and were slow at the start to pick up on techniques but when we went onto our continuous rucking exercise the players then began to understand the concept.

In game play the games were very physical and based around players carrying the ball into contact and then being unable to retain the ball during the contact.

Bearing in mind that some of these players had only been playing the game of rugby a few months, the coaches and players can take much credit.

Dmansara (2 different schools) - 50 boys (U14 and U16)

Activities undertaken

  • Contact Core Stability warm up
  • Individual Tackle
  • Games

This visit was probably the most challenging in terms of the social and economic back ground of the pupils. As the teacher explained to us “I train the boys every day as a way to keep them away from the street and the motor bike boys”.

The programme is run by 2 coaches (1 teacher and 1 parent (a fireman)) and has only been running for less than 1 year. The boys were very athletic, physical and were obviously talented, natural “game players”.

The games played at the end of this session were the best example of players using their natural ability to find and utilise space, using very simple principles that had obviously been taught to them during their program by the coaches. Although the boys were physical in the contact area, they had a very good understanding of passing the ball before contact into space, to allow other players to attack in the wide areas of the field.

After the session we spoke to the coaches at length and congratulated them on their programme and asked them not to “over – coach” these boys, but to gradually introduce different principles to the game.

Since the last Penguin Coaching visit in September 2005, there has been an obvious increase in the general understanding of the game at all age groups. The common areas of strength from all the coaching clinics were;

  1. The natural athletic ability of the players;
  2. The physical intensity the players operate at during games,
  3. Good understanding of the basic principles of the game.

In the coaches opinion the areas of the game that requires improvement and would greatly improve the standard of the games and players within it are;

  1. Ball Presentation at the contact point;
  2. Referees to control tackle area – priority is to get the tackler to be active in rolling away from the ball!
  3. All aspects of the ruck area – especially roll of 1st and 2nd support players,
  4. Control of ball in tackle area.

As well as preparing to play in both tournaments (COBRA 10s and Royal Kedah 7s), the Penguin team was tasked with running a series of coaching clinics for local schools. Three sessions were held in total, two in Kuala Lumpur and one in Langkawi.

The first two sessions were held at the COBRA club training grounds with approximately 25 six to ten year old boys attending the first, and 140 boys aged ten to eighteen attending the second session. The Penguin team members were responsible for planning their own sessions with some input from Grant McKelvey and Craig Brown. The group planned a series of skills drills and exercises, and it was pleasing to see how the team adapted their sessions to cater for the experience and skill levels of the various groups they coached. Each session lasted for about 90 minutes with an emphasis on skills and enjoyment. It was particularly evident that the players also enjoyed themselves, and for some, it was their first experience of coaching.

The final session was held for school boys in Langkawi, and was the first occasion any outside coaching had taken place for school boys on the Island. It was also a notable occasion for the HSBC Penguin International Coaching Academy, with the club’s record for the largest coaching session broken. The new record now stands at 176 attendees beating the 169 who attended the teams coaching session at the COBRA 10s in 2005. Congratulations to the team on a fine effort.

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