About coaches

Springboks, Wallabies and All Blacks.
That is to say: PdV, dingo Deans and "Ted".

This is the alpha and the omega of the southern hemisphere as we know it (Argentina, where art thou, Argentina?).

For the last year and a half, no coach in the world (except perhaps Manolo Preciado but he's got nothing to do with this sport nor with this hemisphere) has accumulated more detractors than Peter de Villiers. I have read it in almost any blog, in almost any newspaper; that PdV is a puppet, an outspoken jester, that he'd better sober up... Now, all of a sudden, he's made a seemingly unvincible team and no one is paying due tribute to him; they all now speak of the Springboks, of du Preez, of Steyn...

Dingo Deans is perhaps the most appreciated coach in the world. The most succesful coach in Super Rugby history has exactly had one year and 4 games before the first critics have arisen. They respect him; they don't dare to criticise anything other than he being stuck to certain players. But the coach who had arrived in Australia to make a champion team can be running out of time. What would be his fate if the Wallabies don't win a single game in 2009's Tri Nations?

"Ted" is the man under whom the All Blacks have had the best period in their history and the worst result in a World Cup. For 42 games the All Blacks seemed all but invincible and people said New Zealand would win the 2007 World Cup even with the second best 15. 2 years after the disaster of a loss (a loss is always a disaster, has always been a disaster and will always be a disaster in New Zealand) to France, the team is trailing behind pace-makers Springboks and still, there's no talking in New Zealand of his dismissal.

Under these circumstances, my question is:

What is in a coach? What difference does a coach make?

I'll tell you a few things:
  1. being a good coach does not guarantee taking good decissions.
  2. taking good decissions does not guarantee helping your team.
  3. helping your team does not guarantee your team a win.

On the other hand, there are times when being a bad coach can't prevent your team win:

  1. The coach does not kick, so he can't make an error on the field
  2. The coach does not catch high balls, so he can't make an error on the field
  3. The coach does not tackle, so he can't make an error on the field.

Some teams, like the 2009 Springboks could play with Pienaar at loosehead and Mtawarira at fullback and still be winning.

So, ease it on the coaches, they have not the almighty power everybody likes to think they have. Take Deans, take de Villiers, take Henry. Not the worst coaches in the world by any means.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you're back. I like it!!!!