Penguin Coaching Academy coaches, Neil Young and Hugh Campbell, linked up at Copenhagen Airport for the long bus journey to Trelleborg.
Neil Young represented the King Penguins on the Friday evening, and was well looked after by players and members of the Pingvins Rugby Club before the following day's session for Pingvins' boys and girls, ages 10-15 years.
News spread fast that the Penguins were in town, and it was notable that the number of youngsters increased - some having no previous training in rugby at all.
The local coaches asked the Penguins for some breakdown drills, and to show the young people how to present the ball in contact. Immediately apparent to both Penguins coaches were the warm-up techniques. They quickly offered the players and coaches some new, game-related, warm-ups, with lots of ball handling and contact drill. Progression involved working on taking the ball into contact; recycling it quickly using effective rucking techniques, and ball presentation skills.
On the Monday the coaches worked with the female team, a mix of Pingvins and players from Malmo, in preparation for a 10s tournament. Neil worked on the lineout, and Hugh on scrummaging. It was a thoroughly enjoyable session, which the players did not want to end. A fun game of rugby tennis was played to bring the session to an enjoyable close. The session was a huge success. The women showed a fantastic understanding, and real progression.
The following day it was the turn of the juniors, with coaching in attack and defence, and a controlled, full-contact game. The junior coaches took notes to enhance their futures in coaching. Attention was turned to the Pingvins senior side, with an emphasis on building phases and attack patterns.
Steve Hill took a full team run-through, with both sides running a number of attacks, then working on both attack and defence systems. Both sets of forwards and backs were then split to focus on unit work. Hugh broke the scrum down and built it up, position by position, sharing some excellent knowledge and understanding of the scrum with the Seniors. The Penguins team assisted in the coaching, offering an opposition to enable the Pingvins to work on their learning from Hugh.
That was the final session for the Coaching Academy - another excellent coaching opportunity for all involved.
All the team coaches where very pleased with the sessions, and garnered some new ideas and different ways of thinking about warm-ups and game-related drills.
Another fantastic coaching trip, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Pingvin coaches, players, and staff for their hospitality.
Neil Young & Hugh Campbell
HSBC Penguin International Coaching Academy