Sports Program Solutions

USA Rugby’s Player Protection Package
The safety and well-being of the athletes is the prime responsibility of everyone involved in a sports organization. To address this need in rugby the Player Protection Package was developed and implemented as a mandatory requirement for all coaches (as well as administrators and officials). It required all coaches to successfully complete FREE on-line courses in sexual molestation, bullying and harassment prevention (the USOC’s SafeSport, or the NFHS’s Creating a Safe Sports Environment) and concussion prevention, identification and management (NFHS’s Concussion in Sports) before they would be registered as USA Rugby Coaches. Despite initial fears, the program, courses and requirements were enthusiastically accepted and over 4,000 coaches completed the Player Protection Package in the first 18 months. This along with the IRB’s free on-line Rugby Ready course were the requirements for the new Level 100 Coaches Certification.

USA Rugby’s Level 200 Certification

The previous introduction to contact course that was been used was the International Rugby Boards Level 1 course, that required 1 ½ days, several instructors and cost $200. The number of clinics per year was about 30, and the number of coaches taking the course annually was about 400 – 500. In collaboration with the US National Team coaches we developed a new “Level 200” Certification course. The course reflected the needs and wants of “American” coaches, most who unlike coaches from traditional rugby countries did not grow up playing the game. Much of the informational and lecture material was put on-line in a pre-clinic course, which allowed the duration of the clinic to be reduced to one day, and allow the coaches to be better prepared and get a lot more out of the on-field component of the clinic. It also reduced the need for as many instructors, and made it cheaper and easier to schedule and host the clinics, and thus significantly increased the number of clinics held (up to 70 per year) This with the reduction in the course registration fee (reduced by over 50% to $90) and the adoption of a requirement for all teams playing contact rugby to have at least one Level 200 coach, shot the number of coaches taking the course to over 1,500 annually. More coaches trained in a more contusive environment has resulted in a vast improvement of the quality of play at the high school and college levels.

USA Rugby’s American Rugby Model

Based on work done with the creators of the LTAD model in Canada, Mr. McCann developed the American Rugby Model (ARM) that has been the framework for the development of USA Rugby’s Coach Education Program and Rugby Development Programs. It was also used to develop the USOC’s American Development Model that is basis for the work done by Sport Development Concepts. The principles and elements of traditional LTAD programming were analyzed and adapted to the unique sports environment found in the US so that they would be better able to be adopted and implemented by NGBs, youth sport organizations, high school associations, colleges, and elite sports organizations.

ASEP and NFHS National/State Faculty and Course Leaders

As part of the nationwide program of requiring coaching education for high school coaches Mr. McCann trained over 1,000 national and state faculty and course leaders in Coaching Principles, Sport First Aid, Coaching Ethics and Sportsmanship, and Drugs in Sports courses.

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About the Author : David McCann

Dave McCann is the Founder of Sport Development Concepts, which provides consulting on all matters having to do with the development of sport, including recruitment, retention, and advancement of athletes. He is the nation’s leading expert on Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD). Previously he served as Director of Rugby Development and Director of Coaching for USA Rugby, Manager of Coaching Education for the US Olympic Committee, and Director of the Institute for Sport Coaching. In 2011 he created the National Coaching Conference, which brings together coaches, coach educators, and program administrators to discuss and develop solutions to improve our national sports development, education, and performance system. In 2007 he was elected President of the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education. Throughout his career he has trained over 3,000 sport coaches and instructors in clinics across the nation.

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