While Rugby League’s history is entrenched as the ‘working class game’, the modern code has gained a much broader appeal across the country. Its popularity recently confirmed when the National Rugby League (NRL) signed the largest television rights deal within Australia. With this enviable position comes expectations and responsibilities, particularly in regard to the standard of the game, player behavior and the quality of coaches.
The NRL High Performance Coach (HPC) Course has been tailor-made to ensure that current and prospective elite coaches meet these challenging expectations. Given that the program is the highest level of accreditation in the profession, it achieves this incredibly well.
The participants range from professional assistant coaches within the NRL and coaches from the Under 20’s league (NYC), to State Cup and junior representative coaches. The course provides modules in improving performance analysis, advanced attack and defense skills, skill acquisition, coaching and leadership, physical conditioning to improve player performance, and psychological preparation.
NRL Coach Education Coordinator Dylan Hides, who redeveloped and launched the latest HPC curriculum in 2012, attributes this as being one of his most rewarding career achievements to date. “I love having the opportunity to challenge coaches’ philosophies on rugby league, to assist in the development of critical thinking and to help them grow personally and professionally.”
As all coaches in the HPC Program have excellent technical knowledge and tactical skills, the course emphasizes a greater understanding of different coaching methods. This is to develop the ‘art and science’ of coaching with stronger communication skills such as instruction, questioning, feedback and managing conflict.
“There is a larger need for coaches to understand themselves, their coaching style and how to adapt to their players, the team’s needs and what the situation calls for. This is strengthened with the use of the CoachDISC Profiling.”
Dylan recognizes that the best coaches have an understanding of each of their players and how to motivate each of them to perform to the best of their ability, consistently. He distinguishes quality coaching exists when there is open-mindedness, dedication, selflessness and respect.
Persistence is also a common theme as Dylan, like AFL’s Lawrie Woodman, ascribes his favorite quote to Michael Jordan’s “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life….and that is why I succeed”. The best advice that he has received is that with anything you do, you only get out what you put in.
- High Performance Coach Level 3
- 12 month course (4 days residential, 6 assessment tasks)
- 100% in class
- 40 coaches each year (20 per program in New South Wales & Queensland)
- Most important goal of the program: To equip participants with the skills and knowledge to structure and implement a program of their own that effectively ensures that talented and A-grade level players reach their full potential under their regimen.