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ANALYSIS: Halftime Pep Talk, Getting The Job Done

ANALYSIS: Halftime Pep Talk, Getting The Job Done
USA 7s head coach Mike Friday delivers his halftime pep talk during the World Sevens Series. Photo: World Rugby
March 11
11:00 2018

We should learn how USA rugby sevens head coach inspired his players dur­ing the USA Sevens in Las Vegas on Monday.

With the pressure of playing in front of their home crowd and trailing the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team 0-7, the first word Friday told the players was ‘believe’.

He paused for a few seconds to al­low it to sink in and emphasised to them that it does not matter who scored first. Friday briefly spoke on areas they need to be aggressive on before he mentioned the word ‘believe’ for the second time and rounded up by instructing them to win the kick-off and take it from there.

It was simple and the message got to the players as they romped away with 19 unanswered points in the second half.

Even our former coach Ben Ryan during his time delivered sim­ple messages during the halftime break.

He did not use big or tactical ter­minologies but often emphasised on the iTaukei vocabs of ‘veiloma­ni’ and ‘talanoa’.

Apart from loving one another, ‘veilomani’ also depicts to the play­ers the importance of working to­gether as a unit or sharing the load when the going gets tough. This kept the team going while for ‘ta­lanoa’ it stressed the importance of communicating and for players to be on the same page at all times.

As the 2017/18 HSBC World Sevens Series is getting competitive, for coaches delivering their halftime pep talk is now a crucial element especially to get the message across so the players can understand and execute what is needed to be done.

This is where our sevens head coach Gareth Baber needs to focus on.

Baber has been doing well but needs to review his style of com­munication with players during the halftime break.

It’s about him understanding the nature of our players and the magic words that need to be said to avoid any sort of overload but instead motivate them to become world beaters.

Let’s hope to see some changes in today’s Canada Sevens in Vancou­ver where we wish our team all the very best

Edited by Grace Narayan


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