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"Cards" coaching philosophy

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

I recently invested time completing the latest England Rugby Coaching Award to keep up to date with the latest coaching techniques and best practice.

I absolutely love coaching teams and getting the best out of all the individuals in a team. One set of principles that I regularly use in coaching, which is part of the rugby coaching philosophy, is "CARDS".

"CARDS" can be applied to many aspects of life and help create high performance teams.

Creativity: Thinking up new ways to solve problems is critical to driving progress. When coaching rugby we are always looking to empower our players to find new ways to attack, defend and create space. Of course this often means trying things out and getting things wrong.

Awareness: Being aware of your surroundings, team mates and circumstances is critical and gives you 'perspective'. In fact one of my favourite phrases when coaching rugby is "Heads Up" because this increases your awareness of what's around you and how you perform.

Resilience: The ability to cope under pressure and make the right decisions comes about through practise and preparation. As coaches we challenge our players under many different scenarios, so they become more resilient and give themselves a better chance to perform better, more often.

Decision Making: Life is all about making decisions, every single day. Giving people an environment where they can learn and stress test their decision making builds their confidence. It also means they are more likely to make the right decisions when they need to.

Self Organisation: High performing teams organise themselves because they are motivated, confident and want to keep improving. When this happens you often see Leaders in your team stepping up and taking the initiative, which is brilliant. As coaches this is absolutely what we are striving for.

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