Coaching Tip No. 27:

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Don’t get a red card – know the Laws.

In my experience as a coach educator and coach I have met many coaches who do not possess a full understanding of the Laws of their sport. Whilst it may seem an obvious piece of knowledge for every coach to have, many coaches have not taken the time to become fully conversant and up-to-date with the Laws of their sport, or with their interpretation in actual competition scenarios. As a result they are often faced with situations, notably between competitors and match officials, that have a negative effect on performance.

To prevent this from happening with the performers you coach check your knowledge of the Laws and brush up regularly to stay up-to-date; invite officials along to training sessions to help you and your participants improve your understanding; create ‘real’ situations in training and practice sessions through games and ask participants questions to check their knowledge and understanding; get participants to officiate during practice sessions to improve their understanding and for them to appreciate how difficult it can be for officials; and make sure everyone has access to a Law book – even if its on-line! Don’t be penalised – stay the right of the Law!