Athlete Factory Blog

Autocracy Vs Democracy: The Politics of Coaching

Autocracy vs Democracy: The Politics of Coaching   “That was a very poor session.”  “That was one of the worst sessions I've seen.”   This was some of the feedback I received from a colleague after they observed me coaching a group of 14-16 year olds in the...

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Coaching Philosophies: A Question of ‘Self’

 Coaching Philosophies: A Question of 'Self'   When I started coaching at the age of 14, I never gave a 2nd thought to having a coaching philosophy. What even is a coaching philosophy? Why should I need one?  In all honesty, it was probably not until I was 21...

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The Importance of Play

The Importance of Play Written by Ben Holland   Every year on New Year's Eve, I wake up early and take myself on an adventure in the dark to go and watch the sunrise from somewhere isolated and beautiful. Here, I reflect on the year that is coming to an end, and...

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Sport Psychology – Youth Development

Sport and exercise participation can be hugely beneficial for a young person in today’s world. Children who develop physical skills can continue to use them to promote a lifetime of athletic involvement. Not to mention, there is the old cliché that sport “builds...

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The strength coaches role

Rugby has evolved. The 2015 All Blacks team was, on average, 15kgs heavier than their 1987 counterparts. Couple this with the ball being in play for 10 minutes longer than it was 20 years ago, and we give birth to a Bigger, Faster, Fitter, Stronger culture among...

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Value, Self-Assessment and Honesty

When thinking about what will take your rugby to the next level, a lot of people see top-flight players and what their strengths are and assume that is what is required to make it. In some cases, that may be true, but generally speaking, everyone has different weapons...

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The problem with positive thinking

When working with Rugby players and Coaches the common misconception is that Sport psychology, and my role as a mental skills trainer, is all about getting people to start thinking positively. There is this pervasive belief that somehow a 100% positive frame of mind...

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