Dad advice sharing thread.



  • I thought this would be a good place to share advice between some of the dads on this site.

    So to kick this off.

    My oldest (5) is playing his first season of rugby. Here in France there is none of this nanny state rippa, its full tackle. He loves it and gets amongst it at training and is all up for the rough stuff, doesn't mind getting tackled and messes around rough housing with the rest of the team.

    However at the games he changes completely and backs away from contact with the other team when they are playing defence. I have tried all sorts of things, and explained to him that he will have more fun at the tournaments if he gets a bit more involved. That the other kids don't mind if he tackles them, they expect it. He agrees to it all, but once the whistle goes, he just does the same thing.

    Previously he was getting a bit despondent about not scoring many tries. There are some hungus kids in the team like all teams. But he seems to be cool now, after we had a chat and I got him to focus on other skills he is more proficient at. His skill is passing, and now he wants to be the best passer in the team. So we really focus in on all the good passes and offloads he does during the matches. But I am not sure what more I can do to teach him to love defence. There is only really one thing to do on defence at this age and that is tackle.

    The weird thing is on attack when he gets a run. He runs straight and hard directly at the opposition. He doesn't mind getting tackled. He always tries to turn in the tackle and pass out of it or go down and present the ball. So its not like its a fear of contact that's holding him back. Its like hes a bit scared of hurting someone he doesn't know.

    If anyone else has an experience, with kids that are a bit shy and a bit risk adverse I would love to get some ideas.



  • @mooshld search me mate. CF jr does karate. Has a decent kick and punch, can hit the bag hard with me but he goes to tournaments and is very tentative. I try to get him to be more aggressive but no success



  • @mooshld at a complete guess I would suspect that somewhere along the line either a kid he tackled got hurt or upset and it made him feel bad or an adult said something to him after one. Maybe he feels more comfortable within his own team at training and apprehensive during games.
    Sounds a bit airy fairy but these are the things that shape us as people. It's amazing how many lives and attitudes get shaped by your reaction and experiences as a kid to things that sound inconsequential to others. You can brush off lots but sometimes something cuts deep.
    Maybe over time you can make him feel good about tackling. Possibly a tactic of offering a hand up to the tackled player after the ruck to give him positive thoughts?

    As for scoring tries, if kids I coached felt down about not scoring then I felt I wasn't getting the team aspect right. As a coach you can deal with it by praising others in the build up to the try first (but still praise the scorer). As a parent it is a bit harder. You can work with the coach to establish the importance of the role he plays or send him out one game with one aim and that is to score. If you really, really want to score in a game you often can just by being a poacher. Aim to spot and follow up every break and get in close when you see it coming. You feel like a poacher afterwards and realise that scoring the tries yourself is no greater than creating them.



  • @crucial said in Dad advice sharing thread.:

    @mooshld at a complete guess I would suspect that somewhere along the line either a kid he tackled got hurt or upset and it made him feel bad or an adult said something to him after one. Maybe he feels more comfortable within his own team at training and apprehensive during games.
    Sounds a bit airy fairy but these are the things that shape us as people. It's amazing how many lives and attitudes get shaped by your reaction and experiences as a kid to things that sound inconsequential to others. You can brush off lots but sometimes something cuts deep.
    Maybe over time you can make him feel good about tackling. Possibly a tactic of offering a hand up to the tackled player after the ruck to give him positive thoughts?

    As for scoring tries, if kids I coached felt down about not scoring then I felt I wasn't getting the team aspect right. As a coach you can deal with it by praising others in the build up to the try first (but still praise the scorer). As a parent it is a bit harder. You can work with the coach to establish the importance of the role he plays or send him out one game with one aim and that is to score. If you really, really want to score in a game you often can just by being a poacher. Aim to spot and follow up every break and get in close when you see it coming. You feel like a poacher afterwards and realise that scoring the tries yourself is no greater than creating them.

    Great points in here. He really is totally over scoring tries and the coaches are great about making sure they all get the ball. There are 2 or 3 who do the thing that all kids do at this age, where they get the ball run backwards then a big arc to get on the outside and score. The coaches always stress the importance of moving forward not back. But its such a successful tactic at this age. They can't resist. We talk about why that's a bad habit and hes better to keep doing his thing of running hard at the line.

    He genuinely comes off the field beaming if hes done an offload or a pass. They strung together a phase of play yesterday with 5 passes and he did 2 of them. Was all he talked about on the drive home.

    For the defence you have reminded me of an incident in one of the earlier tournaments where mum took him. After making a tackle the boy was holding him down so he kicked out at him. The ref rightly stopped the game and told him you can't kick people. He was maybe a bit harsh about it, which did upset him but the coach sent him straight back in, and he apparently played fine the rest of the day. According to his mum anyway. I wonder if that telling off has festered with him a little bit. I will bring it up with him tonight.

    Thanks



  • Random thunks...

    1. He's 5. To want to be good at passing the ball at 5 is out and out awesome IMO. After watching years of kids rugby (at various clubs and at various curtain raisers for rep games) the one thing I noticed was if kids got the ball first instinct was run and only pass when caught. Encourage that pass thing it's awesome.

    2. I hated tackling as a kid. Was hopeless at it. It hurt. I hated tackling as an adult. Was hopeless at it. It hurt. Let him learn it. It will come or he will turn into Andrew Mehrtens. If he's big into passing the latter ain't a bad option.

    3. Can't really comment on rugby. Have a 14yo into netball. And she's never playing rugby.



  • Interesting topic.

    My lad who's 8 now was a bit stand offish in his first year of tackle. Seemed to run well with the ball in hand (possibly in fear of being tackled) but on defence would drop to fullback and then run along side the try scorer in a great position to tackle but not make the tackle. Worked out with him it was that he didnt want to commit to a tackle and miss and crash to ground at pace. Then one game he was a bit emotional after taking a knock and fired right up and started tackling kids out of the line by hitting them front on in ball and all tackles. After the game he said it was easier and hes now known for coming out of the line for spot tackles. Seems to have a knack of it. With that has come confidence too as he's now more incline to commit himself to tackles from all directions.

    So in short, I think it could be a confidence thing that will come right in time.



  • @jk funny how the kids that show the appetite for tackling early on can get a (good) rep for it. Kind of helps to reinforce the mana of being keen to make a tackle, and even moreso if you are actually good at it!!

    Right through my (college and reserve grade) career there were always 2-3 guys in each team that just loved tackling, seemingly more than any other part of the game.. aside from drinking, hmmm for some reason the love of tackling and drinking was strong in those fullas. Nothing going on there of course!!

    @mooshld I think Booboo is on the money, it's very early days for your young man. Absolutely praise and encourage that passing and assist game!



  • I hated tackling as a young kid. And a lot of that was purely down to a lack of confidence. I was always worried about missing the tackle and the embarrassment that would follow.

    It wasn't until I had a coach that spent time teaching me the different techniques and how to tackle safely that my confidence grew. I started to enjoy that aspect of the game and moved from the backs to the forwards.



  • i wouldnt worry about it.i read somewhere (i think it was graham henry) that the last skill to teach is tackling .ball skills are more important . i think the theory was tackling is better taught later but basic ball skills earlier.



  • ah kids and rugby. And the very real struggle to not project your playing on to them.

    Got two boys, both play over here (in the very short 2 month season at the end of the year). Eldest has now played 4 or 5 seasons, first 3 were no tackle. He's a complete soccer player, not helped that he is built like a rake. He's actually pretty good with the ball in hand, runs straight, and uses footwork to get between guys. Does have a habit of crying when he inevitably gets squashed because he doesn't ever submit in the tackle. Gets absolutely zero sympathy from his dad. But on defense he has zero desire. I've seen him wave kids through rather than make the effort. So i challenge him. Make tackles, for every run, i want to see a tackle. Praise the stuff i want him to improve more than anything else. "yep, that try was great mate, but i loved those two tackles you made on your line, that was great for your team".

    Then i have to remember that he's 9, and if he doesn't want to tackle, who gives a fuck, as long as he is loving playing the game.

    My youngest is a different kettle of fish all together. Older brother, so he has been toughened up. They played tackle at the start of last season for the little ones, and he loved it. Ripped in, and he has a great technique. He got the shits because he didn't get the ball enough. Older kids were passing to themselves, and like your little fulla mooshld, he would pass to a guy in space. He started to get the shits with that when he passed, and no one would reciprocate. Then some kid broke their leg, and they were forced to play touch. And he didn't like that so much. But i am fucked if i am letting him play league with the ferals up here.

    Long post, but the kid is 5, let them play for fun. If he doesn't want to tackle, don't make him. If he is still having fun, let him do that. Let him develop skills and a love for the game, and let him develop the rest in his own time. It's not seniors, you are not a selector, let the kid play his way. If he wants to, he'll come around in his own time



  • Also rightly or wrongly I set some rewards for him at 20cents a tackle or run and 50cents a try.

    His first game this year was woeful and I thought I was probably only up for $5 for the season but then next game he fired right up and almost took me down to instant finance as he racked up 15 tackles in the first half!



  • @jk said in Dad advice sharing thread.:

    Also rightly or wrongly I set some rewards for him at 20cents a tackle or run and 50cents a try.

    His first game this year was woeful and I thought I was probably only up for $5 for the season but then next game he fired right up and almost took me down to instant finance as he racked up 15 tackles in the first half!

    Never too early to get them used to the professional environment! 🙂



  • Ardie Savea tackles or Sam Cane tackles?



  • Nek minute they all want to get maccas and go sit in some strangers lounge.



  • when I was a young my dad got us to tackle him. He would show us that no matter the size correct technique would bring down the bigger target. This gave my bro and I lot's of confidence tackling. We also played a lot of Bull Rush (1970's) which helped a lot with technique and confidence



  • Is a tough one really.

    It takes some kids longer to get into it than others, some kids do only play cos that's what they think dad wants...my boy in rippa.

    I have a tackle pad at home and I am yet to see him hit anyone as hard as he hits me when I hold it, so is all a confidence thing. I tell him after he knocks me back that he'd nail any 12 year old hitting them like that.

    But last couple of years he is enjoying it more, starting to enjoy the physicality of it although anytime he catches a knee or elbow or something he comes off after the game complaining that it was deliberate.

    He has also gotten fitter this year and that has made a noticeable difference to his game...he currently plays loosehead or hooker but wants to play flanker, told him he needs to up his work rate to play there, especially as our 2 best players are loosies.

    Some kids just get it right away, and you see the ability while some may never get it.

    I always tell my boy that I only care that he gives 100%...I'd rather he was the player who gave it everything every week than the best kid in the teAm who pisses about.

    I am in my 7th year (under 13s) of coaching his team, frustrating as fuck at times but supremely awesome when you see them do stuff you taught them and it all comes together.



  • @taniwharugby have you given all their plays cool code names? Like dirty Sanchez for skip pass to centre, or get to the chopper as the all-in!!? That'd get a few parents laughing I reckon. And a few complaints too no doubt 🤔



  • @taniwharugby said in Dad advice sharing thread.:

    Is a tough one really.

    It takes some kids longer to get into it than others, some kids do only play cos that's what they think dad wants...my boy in rippa.

    I have a tackle pad at home and I am yet to see him hit anyone as hard as he hits me when I hold it, so is all a confidence thing. I tell him after he knocks me back that he'd nail any 12 year old hitting them like that.

    But last couple of years he is enjoying it more, starting to enjoy the physicality of it although anytime he catches a knee or elbow or something he comes off after the game complaining that it was deliberate.

    He has also gotten fitter this year and that has made a noticeable difference to his game...he currently plays loosehead or hooker but wants to play flanker, told him he needs to up his work rate to play there, especially as our 2 best players are loosies.

    Some kids just get it right away, and you see the ability while some may never get it.

    I always tell my boy that I only care that he gives 100%...I'd rather he was the player who gave it everything every week than the best kid in the teAm who pisses about.

    I am in my 7th year (under 13s) of coaching his team, frustrating as fuck at times but supremely awesome when you see them do stuff you taught them and it all comes together.

    My boys play lunchtime rugby, neither actually play for a team as it would get in the way of saturday swimming but as you say, if they hit other kids half as hard as they hit their dear old man they would be devastating!



  • Lots of great advice in here.

    Had a wee chat over breakfast about the tournament where he kicked a kid. I talked about all the good things he did at that tournament. He bought up the kid he kicked. Went over how there is a difference between being told off and being taught something, and that no we know you can't do that. But you can still do tackles and not get told off.

    We have another tournament this week. His home one. So we will do more work on skills this week and more tackling, which like you have all said is never a problem against the old man. But will stop pushing it at the matches and let him find his own way there.

    Thanks for the advice.



  • @dk said in Dad advice sharing thread.:

    when I was a young my dad got us to tackle him. He would show us that no matter the size correct technique would bring down the bigger target. This gave my bro and I lot's of confidence tackling. We also played a lot of Bull Rush (1970's) which helped a lot with technique and confidence

    Taught my son (now 24) how to tackle and get satisfaction from it in bringing the bigger guy down. Once he got this in his head and tried it a few times (with a few bruises too along the way), he got into it in a big way, sometimes too much. We went on a club tour to France where due to a mix up in age grades, the opposing Frogs were Shermans to our more modest offspring. Didn’t stop young fella who threw himself into the task with relish. Eventually, he got carried off in games with a dislocation a couple of times but got lots of respect.


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