changing room environment - we were on a break!!

Nobody likes change, especially not in the locker-room!

Reflecting is key to staying fresh and more importantly helping others achieve their potential.

I have always found balancing the changing room environment very challenging. 

I like to keep the vibe chilled and I don’t focus on the result, I remain focused on the outcomes; at this point it is important to clarify the “outcomes”  usually reflect development areas from a previous performance and most of the time use our beautiful game’s principles of play – Go Forward etc 

Throughout my coaching career I have tried different types of changing room approaches. From inspirational quotes painted on the walls, our agreed behaviours on the door to low stimulation environments with just a whiteboard as the focus.

I always write a schedule and also make sure there is a clock as a way for players to check the time.

This would look like this:
13.30   Meet time
13.45   Team Meeting
13.50   Stretches / split
14.30   Team warm up
15.00   Kick off

Even if it’s an away game, I take a small white board to show the schedule and the outcomes to the players. Most recently the players have been defining how they will work towards their outcomes. 
I have always felt that my approaches I have implemented are very coach led and actually for me to be able to get the best out of the players I will need it to be / have:
1, Fun
2, Leadership groups (accountability)
3, Achievable
4, Player led
5, Simple structure

So I have come up with the acronym: FLAPS 

I hope you enjoy using it!

I was once lucky enough once to observe a senior session at London Irish Rugby Club, I was working as a CRC and at that time we had a half term camp on. I will never forget listening to the pros talk about how important their down time was for them before a game. They all played pool or darts and even some of them played xbox.

For me this was an important lesson and I have always held onto this when trying to prepare the changing rooms.

So I undertook a big old brain reflection, investment of a good four hours of referencing old books and approaches and then mixing it all together. What I did was interesting and risky, but nothing is gained if we don’t take risks!

I think back to a post on the Magic Academy from a coach who had posted a changing room “party environment” before the game was played. Unfortunately I cannot remember who this coach was 😢 (thank you mysterious coach) 
But that was it!! Light-bulb moment – So I went straight to the pound shop (other 100p shops are available) and brought £40 worth of party gear.

As you can see this was a fun and relaxed environment - now before you allow the: “this wouldn’t work for a more senior team or even a pro team” mumbles to slip into your minds, ask yourself these questions:

1, Why not?
2, What’s stopping you from trying it?
3, Have you asked the players what they would like?

We did have one agreement, that as soon as we crossed the whitewash the players would focus on their individual and team outcomes and also smile J.

To sum this up this picture above really is the most dangerous phrase in the language! Don’t be scared of being honest and open with your players. Like we have said in our previous post: “Make a connection and change a life!”

There you go this is my mini blog post.

I hope you have enjoyed it and please share the message.

Keeping reflecting and building relationships! 


RCB Family.