Coach Development

Havant RFC are committed to providing good quality coaching throughout the club, as we know that a major factor for player development is coach development.

Within the club we encourage coaches to become the best coach they can become, and use the RFU coaching framework to help achieve this. We view the framework as a natural progression path not a stepping stone approach, we would much rather a coach become the best Level1 coach they could be, rather than a coach just chasing qualifications.

Why coach?

Coaching rugby union is a rewarding and challenging way to spend your time. It is a great way of staying involved in the sport and helping to nurture the next generation of players. High quality coaching is central to recruiting and retaining players and developing the rugby skills and understanding of players at all levels.

Getting started

As a new coach, you are advised to undertake one of the foundation courses such as the Rugby Leaders Award, Start Coaching Tag Rugby or the Start Coaching Rugby Ready Course and progress to taking the Level 1 Coaching Certificate which is the first level on the qualification pathway illustrated below. Please note that before applying for a Level 1 coaching course you must have attended a Start Coaching Rugby Ready Course.

Coaches can also attend one of a range of Continuous Personal Development (CPD) courses which help practicing coaches develop a greater knowledge of the game.

 Coaching pathway

 “If we accept that well-intentioned coaching is not always better than no coaching we might examine our practice more carefully” (Rod Thorpe)

 As a coach you should endeavour to attend as many CPD events as possible to help improve your coaching. The ability of the players and the challenges from them are constantly changing, and in order to engage and develop them you should aim to be at a level above that of the needs of the players you are coaching. This requires continual updating of coaching practice and technical, tactical, physiological and psychological developments in the game. If you do not challenge and develop yourself you cannot expect to meet the needs of the players, and it is possible that if players are not challenged and developed they will not be around for long

CPD offers opportunity for the development of coaches in those areas where they identify they need further input, and this CPD can take many forms. Details on formal CPD courses can be found here:CPD information


Formal CPD is the easiest to recognise and, indeed you may well have attended a CPD course in order to receive this document. It is usually organised through the RFU or endorsed by them. The Foundation courses, “Start Coaching – Tag”, and “Start Coaching – Rugby Ready” are further examples of CPD opportunities. These courses are facilitated by qualified deliverers, are specific to the needs of the coach and often certificated. The content may be specific to rugby (technical or tactical) or of a more generic nature (coaching delivery).

Some CPD may take the form of CB, Regional or National Coaching Conferences and seminars.


There is a wide range of informal CPD opportunities – some of which are easier to recognise and acknowledge than others.

  • -Individual – where the coach observes other coaches, participates in other coaching activities, reads rugby or coaching materials, or watches relevant DVDs etc. This may impact on the coach’s delivery and behaviours but is very difficult to measure.


  • Club/School – where the club or school organises sessions for coaches in house. The senior coach, a coach with a particular expertise or a guest coach provides an opportunity for other club/school coaches to learn from them, usually involving technical content.


  • CB – where the county organises an event, often involving high profile coaches (Academy, Premiership, International). These coaches usually deliver high level technical or tactical content.


  • Regional – where the regional NGB officer, often working with the CB, responds to a locally assessed and specific need or a local opportunity. For example, there may be a drive to attract more coaches into the adult game on a local level, or an expert in coaching has taken a position at the local University.

Whatever CPD you are involved in you should be congratulated for working at developing and improving your coaching skills. We are confident that the course you have attended and the associated resource will assist you further in that development and in your and your players’ enjoyment.

All rugby union coaching courses help develop a greater understanding of the five key components:

  • – Coaching Skills – how to get the best out of players
  • – Technical – teaching the skills required to play
  • – Tactical – instilling an understanding of the game
  • – Psychological – assisting players to be mentally prepared for rugby
  • – Physical & Lifestyle – assisting players to be physically prepared for rugby

 Details on formal CPD courses can be found here: CPD information

For further information on either getting involved with coaching or for developing you current coaching knowledge or qualifications contact Ian Dowdle (Club Coaching Coordinator) via to discuss further.