Do what the All Blacks do?

I recently had a conversation with someone a coach who challenged a drill I was running, saying that, in their opinion, an athlete needs to do X, so why wasn't I doing that? At first I struggled with a response, and then eventually I understood. The coach I was talking to was discussing an advanced skill for a senior player, and didn't know anything about coaching the level of athletes I was coaching. What he was suggesting was the equivalent of practicing sprint starts from blocks, when the athlete didn't yet know how to tie up their shoelaces.

I heard a great story related to this the other day. There was a parent who watched the last 15 minutes of their child's school practice. Afterwards they went up to the coach and told them about a drill:

'I've seen the All-Blacks do this drill, perhaps you should be doing it?', they said.
'Perhaps we should be doing what the All Blacks did when they were 11 years old?' replied the coach.

Apart from appreciating this purely for the subtle (?) sarcasm, I thought it was a great response. I'll definitely be stealing it in the future.

(Photo Credit)


  1. Great message! Except that even All Black athletes may have suffered from bad coaching at age 11, but made it despite this.

  2. Agreed, they may have suffered bad coaching. But, as the most successful team in the history of international sport, I think it is reasonable to assume it was at least competent.


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