The master shares his knowledge

Sir Gordon Tietjens is regarded as one of the top coaches in the highest echelons of the Sevens Rugby arena.  

Yesterday, he met with locally based coaches at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel  to share some of the wealth of knowledge he has accumulated over the years.  

“For me, its great when you have a lot of enthusiastic coaches around the island who obviously want to learn a lot about what it takes to be a good coach,” he told the Samoa Observer.   

Listed below are the major points that he touched on in the coach’s clinic.  

Mutual Respect: 

“Its not only about earning respect from the players but how you deliver your messages and getting the players to get out there and perform for you.” 

“Within your team, you have to create that culture and to me it has to be based on traditional values.  The people in Samoa are very respectful and they already have those values.”

Sacrifice: 

“We talked about Players making sacrifices but its not a sacrifice these days, its a choice. If you want to be the best you can be, it not about just ticking the box and going to a gym session but going in to a gym to come out a better person before you went in.”

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Positivity: 

“I found that players, particularly in Samoa, when they make a mistake, they seem to go into their shell.  But its about flushing the mistake and moving on to the next job. We all make mistakes, we miss tackles, we drop passes, but its about how you can deal with that.”

Fitness:  

“Aerobically, theyre not fit enough at the school levels, usually.  Their game is about repeated speed but you need that aerobic base and then you can get the repeated speed.  Obviously within the conditioning areas of sevens rugby, its really important.”

Nutrition:  

“If you’re going to be conditioned and being as fit as you can be, the only way you get fit is by having the right nutrition.  What does that produce?  That produces consistent performances.  Eating the right foods and nothing fried.”

Hydration: 

“We drink too much sugar.  We drink too much Powerade.  Not to be disrespectful to the companies that make Powerade, but there’s a time to drink it, which is when you’re working hard in these conditions and need to replace the sugars.  90% of the time we need to drink water.  We don’t drink enough water and too much sugar.” 

“When you feel lethargic, listless, and lacking energy, its usually due to incorrect nutrition and lack of proper hydration.”

Skills: 

“Doing the simple things well: The catch, pass and tackle.  Do those particular skills well and that’s what it takes to make a good rugby player.  And it can be very, very good.”

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