Rugby Coach Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience


Rugby Coach

Rhod Gilbert tries his hand at some proper jobs. In this edition, he coaches the Whitland RFC's under-8s to prepare them for a major tournament.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

I'm Rhod Gilbert - stand-up comedian.

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People tell me I've got the toughest job in town

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but I'm sure I'd find other things far more difficult.

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So I'm ditching my regular job

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and trying something completely different.

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This is my Work Experience.

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This programme contains strong language

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And this week, I'm a Rugby Coach.

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I've been told to come down to

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the Welsh Rugby Union's

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National Centre of Excellence,

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which is ironic because I played rugby for 15 years

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and didn't score a single point.

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I had the worst record since Shaddup You Face

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but if there was a rugby coach hiding inside me,

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they'd bend me over and scrummage it out of me right here.

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This is the classroom.

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I think my first challenge is getting as far as the class.

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The reason I was so bad at rugby

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was that I didn't have a clue what was going on.

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I didn't understand the game at all

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and somehow, for 15 years, nobody noticed.

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But I think, the National Centre of Excellence, they might just spot it.

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Hi, Rhod, welcome.

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My name is Jon Evans and welcome to WRU Coaching Children's Rugby Award.

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-Children.

-Afraid so, sir.

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You could fit everything I know about rugby on

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Martin Johnson's johnson, but at least I'd only be coaching kids.

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What do you see coaching as?

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I see coaching as partnering with individuals in a thought-provoking

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and creative process that inspires them to maximise

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their personal and professional potential.

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I don't know about you guys, that's just my...

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THEY LAUGH ..that's my personal take on it,

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-Jon, that is.

-Glad we're on the same page.

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So, Rhod, I see coaching as partnering with individuals...

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By a strange coincidence,

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my ideas on coaching kids matched the Welsh Rugby Union's

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word for word.

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But as the day went on, it was clear I had a lot to learn.

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These are the attributes that you need to have to be a good coach.

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You have to be a leader,

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you have to be organised and you have to motivate your players.

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You have to be more of a role model, enable them to be decision-makers...

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In that case, Jon, me and my team are up shit creek...

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..and most of all, be able to develop their skills.

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..sans paddle.

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Role model, leader - I was going to have to be a cross between

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Warren Gatland and Nelson Mandela.

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Warren Mandelson.

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I'm supposed to be a role model

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cos they're going to be watching everything and learning from me

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and I have to be motivating and positive and...

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That's not going to come naturally.

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Things didn't improve when Jon stuck me on his gimp lead.

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His techniques were a cross between bondage and Crufts

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but he also had some handy tools

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to help with my personal creative thingy.

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The Welsh Rugby Union have come up with an acronym

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and what we call it is APES, OK, so whenever we deliver a session,

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it's got to be Active, Purposeful, Enjoyable, Safe.

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So it's a nice, easy acronym for us to be remember, OK - APES.

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And it rolls off the tongue.

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I'd find it easier if it was Purposeful, Enjoyable, Active, Safe.

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PEAS is easier than APES, isn't it?

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THEY LAUGH

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Peas roll off the tongue far better than an ape would.

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THEY LAUGH

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I was doing badly on the theory

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and I already knew I was crap at the practical side

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but in the kids' tag game, there's no tackling

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and with no fear of being snapped in two like a runt Twiglet,

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I was flying.

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My team started winning until Jon brought me down with a bump.

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I noticed you were keeping score.

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Is it important that we actually find a winner?

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Well,

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I would say yes but I can tell by your face that the answer

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is no, it's not that important.

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It's not important, is it, because it's all about the taking part.

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I know it's a very old cliche

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but as long as the kids are having fun, that is the winner

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as far as we're concerned because it's enjoying that game of rugby.

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Bollocks.

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-What can you say?

-Oh, well, ping my jockstrap.

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I'd scored the first points of my career and had a bloody row for it.

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But for the first time in my life, I was a bona fide point scorer

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and no way was Jon going to piss on my parade.

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But moments later, Jon pissed on my parade.

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He wanted to test my coaching skills and drop kick me

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right in the deep end with the elite Welsh women's national squad.

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Rhod now is going to deliver a session to you

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and looking at the As and Ds and looking at lateral pass, OK?

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I'm going to hand you over to Rhod.

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Great, good work, everyone.

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THEY LAUGH

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Er...

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So, erm, passing, yeah?

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It's cool, isn't it?

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With an elite team,

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my fledgling confidence was quickly booted into touch.

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This was a different ballgame.

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Well, it was the same ballgame, but at a very different level.

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Like Noel Edmonds standing on a shagpile carpet,

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I was totally out of my depth.

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Good work.

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It is very difficult to be authoritative

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when you don't know what's going on.

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I've got to just try and look commanding.

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Just get warmed up, let's just get it running through the line, across.

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Nice and... Stay deep.

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Thankfully, they knew exactly what they were doing

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cos I was flailing around like a cow trying to get in a dingy,

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until I inadvertently stumbled on a foolproof strategy.

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Good work.

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That's it.

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Good work. That's it.

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That's all you have to do - shout, "Good work, that's it." Watch this.

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Good work. That's it. Good work.

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I knew nothing

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but by shouting random positive stuff, nobody was noticing,

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so I started mowing them down like Clive Woodward

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with a pump action compliment gun.

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Incredible.

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Fantastic.

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Oh, simply wonderful. Five stars.

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A thrilling must-see.

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Good work. That's it.

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Good work.

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I think that went really well.

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You're supposed to pull us all in and talk about the drill -

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-what went right and what went wrong.

-OK. Everyone in, then.

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HE BLOWS HIS WHISTLE AND PLAYERS GROAN

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Good drill, everyone.

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-Yeah?

-Yeah.

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What can we improve on?

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Erm...

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Just the running and passing and stuff.

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Scrum pox. I'd been rumbled.

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I was to coaching elite rugby what disposable paper underpants are

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to high diving.

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But I did get a few more tips.

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You just need to coach a bit more rather than shouting out

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random words, so things like, you know, hands up and follow through.

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Be a bit more specific.

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I left the girls following through.

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The day had been a mixed bag but I'd completed the course

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and Jon gave me a coaching placement.

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What we've got for you next planned, then, is you're going to go down to

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Whitland and you're going to coach the Under 8s down there.

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What lessons are you going to take down to Whitland?

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It's about the taking part, we've got to build their skills

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and it's not about the winning at all...

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It'd be nice, though, wouldn't it?

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It'd be nice to come home with that trophy.

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What trophy?

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I'll bring a trophy.

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A few days later, I winged it down to Whitland in Carmarthenshire.

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I had been exposed at elite level

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but I was still sure I'd know more than a bunch of toddlers.

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Before I got stuck in, club chairman Jason Bowen met me

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in the middle of a field to give me the lowdown.

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In about two weeks' time, we have a Festival of Rugby here in Whitland.

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-Festival.

-A festival, yeah.

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This was the area's biggest kids rugby event,

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an annual non-competitive brat-fest with hundreds of mini rugby scrotes

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rocking up to have fun, but definitely not win.

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This year, Whitland were hosts

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and Jason would be fly-tipping his Under 8s into my care tonight.

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My plan tonight is to try to get them listening to me

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and try and start running through some of these moves

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and trying to advance them in their personal

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and professional potential in thought-provoking, creative ways.

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I knew nothing about under 8s.

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To me, they're mints you have early in the evening.

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And I hadn't had any time to do any coaching plans

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but I was sure I could show these rusk-munchers a thing or two.

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I'd be taking over from their beloved coach, Simon,

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and with a few weeks until the festival, I was feeling good.

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-I'm your new coach. Hello. KIDS:

-Hello.

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Hello. Hello.

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Where should I stand, here?

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-Erm, there.

-Here, is it?

-No, forward.

-Forward?

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-A bit forward, there?

-There.

-Right, OK, now, what do I do?

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-Pass the ball to us?

-Do I tell you what to do?

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-What's your name?

-Sophie.

-Sophie.

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With Sophie's help, I was off to a cracking start.

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Time to partner with individuals...

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SPEAKS VERY FAST: ..in a thought-provoking and creative process

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that would inspire them to maximise their personal and professional potential.

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Who wants a game of Rats And Rabbits?

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I was winging it and they loved this game we'd never heard of.

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As their role model and leader,

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it was time to knock this ropey regiment of rodents into shape.

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-Rats And Rabbits, it says...

-Can you explain it, please?

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Yes, I'm going to explain it, Sophie,

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if you'd just give me a second.

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..for Rats And Rabbits.

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We don't understand the game!

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I'm trying to explain it, if you'd all just shut up.

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You're boring and you can't explain anything.

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I'm trying to explain it! I can't explain it when you're all...

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Oh, God.

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Jock rot. Eight minutes in and it was carnage.

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I was already regretting not planning things out in advance.

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I think I'm lacking a bit of gravitas.

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Sophie has just taken control.

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This is what happens in societies.

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This is like Lord Of The Flies.

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-I've got an idea.

-What?

-A different game.

-A different game.

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Rugby know-it-all Sophie was a pint-sized punnet of precociousness.

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Her superior coaching skills were making me look a right flanker.

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Everybody else will run, they have to tag them

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and then once they get to the other side,

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if someone's tagged the other person,

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then they are with the other person.

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-What?

-If you don't get it, ask Simon.

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Give me a cheer if you understand this game, Bulldogs?

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THE KIDS CHEER

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Carry on, then.

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13 minutes into my career as a coach,

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I'd been relegated to assistant coach by a seven-year-old.

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Tell us when to go.

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On your marks...

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..get set...

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Just say go!

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-I'm not...

-Just please, say go, OK?

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Go!

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Sophie may have been wearing shorts

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but she was clearly wearing the trousers.

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In the absence of any plan,

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I resorted to my shouting-positive-stuff technique

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while she did the coaching.

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-Good work. That's it.

-It's not supposed to be with the ball.

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-Good wo... Oh, isn't it?

-No.

-Oh.

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Come on, you should know this, guys.

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There is no ball in Bulldogs, is there?

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-Do you think I'm doing a good job?

-No.

-Why not?

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Cos you don't know anything.

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You don't know even what Bulldogs is

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-and everybody knows what Bulldogs is.

-Watch this.

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Let's have the ball, then, please.

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My initial confidence gone,

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my head was spinning like a rat on a ceiling fan

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and moving on to tag rugby, Genghis Sophie was losing patience.

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-Now, we need to play the game properly.

-I'm trying to.

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-But they won't play the game properly.

-I know they won't.

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So you need to get them to play the game properly.

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-Just shout at them.

-Shout at them.

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Right, that's it. I'm doing it.

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Why won't you play this game?

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I had less authority than a retired lollipop man, and

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Whitland's answer to Bart Simpson - Richard - was taking full advantage.

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You just kicked me in the leg.

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If somebody kicks me in the shin really hard, deliberately,

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-I will put you on a yellow card.

-What's the red card for?

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-If it's like that...

-No, even if it's like that, Richard.

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But I'm glad you're interested in the technicalities

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of how hard you kick me.

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RICHARD SHOUTS

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Even in my kit, I was no more a coach

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than Chris Tarrant in a wheelbarrow is Boadicea.

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What does that even mean?

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It means you are sent off forever. Got to go on a red, Richard.

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Apart from them throwing grass directly at my face,

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kicking me really hard in the shins and tremendous insubordination

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from Sophie, apart from that, it's going quite well.

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My gangly gaggle of cheeky shitsters had me by the driving mauls

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and Genghis Sophie was the first to mention the elephant on the pitch.

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It's... You're not like Simon. Simon...

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IN A MOCKING VOICE: Oh, Simon. Where's Simon? I want Simon.

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Simon is the bestest coach in the world.

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-No, he's not. ALL:

-Yes, he is!

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-No, he's not. ALL:

-Yes, he is!

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No, he's not...

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Simon was their hero.

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So much sun shone out of his arse,

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you could grow tomatoes in his underpants.

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So pooh-poohing him didn't go down well.

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You are not anything like a good coach.

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Guys, put your hands up if you think he is being a good coach.

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THE KIDS SHOUT

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We want Simon back. We want Simon back.

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THE KIDS CHANT "SIMON!" AND RHOD LAUGHS

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THEY CONTINUE TO CHANT "SIMON!"

0:12:120:12:14

# Nobody knows

0:12:150:12:17

# The trouble I've seen... #

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Rip his stuff up!

0:12:190:12:21

-Rip it all up!

-Yes, I know, you're going to rip it all up.

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# Nobody knows my sorrow... #

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I know why you're rubbish, cos you haven't teached us a lot today

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-cos you're dumb.

-THE KIDS LAUGH

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You're not a coach.

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# Glory hallelujah. #

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I think you know when your coaching days are over, when your pupils have

0:12:420:12:45

ripped your teaching materials to shreds in your face.

0:12:450:12:47

-Rhod?

-Yes?

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You can be a good coach, you just have to prove it.

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-Can I, Sophie?

-Yes.

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Do you believe in me?

0:12:530:12:55

Yes.

0:12:550:12:56

-Thanks, Sophie.

-Get them playing rugby properly.

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It's not just this silly game...

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..cos it is a bit annoying.

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We need to play stuff like tag.

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Do you think I will be ever as good as your coach, Simon?

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No-one is ever going to be better than him.

0:13:110:13:14

-Really?

-But you might be the second best if you try harder.

-OK.

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My empty coaching plans lay in shreds,

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Sophie's coaching skills had exposed all my failings.

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I wasn't even fit to rub suntan oil on Simon's bottom.

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How was I going to lead this team to anything?

0:13:270:13:31

St Simon was more popular than Father Christmas.

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If I had any chance of replacing him, I had to do something drastic.

0:13:330:13:37

My rescue plan involved a local fun park

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and some industrial-scale bribery.

0:13:390:13:42

I think I've got some serious bridges to build

0:13:420:13:44

and today, it's going to be about team-building,

0:13:440:13:47

just getting them to like me.

0:13:470:13:49

Slowcoach.

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I'll finally show them fun.

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Sophie was no taller than a grilled tomato

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but threw her weight around like a full cooked breakfast.

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To coach this team, I had to get her to accept me as leader.

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We are going to take things up a gear now, Sophie.

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I'm the coach, you're my assistant coach.

0:14:060:14:08

It's very important that you trust me and you listen every word I say

0:14:080:14:11

so to make things a bit more interesting, you are going to drive

0:14:110:14:14

now blindfolded, so you won't be able to see anything

0:14:140:14:17

and you have to listen to my voice and take my instruction, OK?

0:14:170:14:21

Put it on, put that on now.

0:14:210:14:23

-Right.

-Yeah.

0:14:230:14:24

Hang on a second, Kai, this is a very tense moment.

0:14:240:14:26

You stand back now, Kai, this could go horribly wrong.

0:14:260:14:29

If I say, left, go left, go right, right?

0:14:290:14:31

-Say, "Yes, coach."

-Yes, coach.

0:14:310:14:34

Right, OK, let's set off, then.

0:14:340:14:36

That's it, good.

0:14:360:14:37

Left, left, left, left. Hard as you can, left.

0:14:370:14:39

You're going left, that's it. No, you are going le... Oh, you're going left.

0:14:390:14:42

Turn right a bit. Oh!

0:14:420:14:44

It's not easy, this, is it?

0:14:440:14:45

My plan to force Sophie into second-in-command

0:14:450:14:47

was the best idea since Noah took poo bags on his Ark.

0:14:470:14:50

After this, she'd look up to me like a god.

0:14:500:14:52

Do you have more confidence in me now as coach?

0:14:560:14:59

No.

0:14:590:15:00

SHE SIGHS

0:15:020:15:04

Good work.

0:15:050:15:06

Oh, my aching scrum cap.

0:15:060:15:08

Now, my rescue plan needed rescuing.

0:15:080:15:10

I'd driven Sophie - or at least navigated her - to a nervous breakdown.

0:15:100:15:13

I had to have her backing, so I let her get revenge.

0:15:130:15:16

That's it, good work.

0:15:160:15:18

I have let them absolutely soak me right through to my pants.

0:15:180:15:22

If they don't think I'm the best coach in the world after this,

0:15:220:15:25

I give up.

0:15:250:15:26

It was a pathetic attempt to get Sophie back on side

0:15:260:15:29

and Bart Simpson, sorry, Richard, was keen to know if it had worked.

0:15:290:15:32

Good work.

0:15:320:15:33

Does Sophie like you now?

0:15:330:15:35

Yeah, she likes me now, we're friends now.

0:15:350:15:38

-Do you like me now, Richard?

-I hate you.

-You hate me? OK.

0:15:380:15:41

Still a bit of work to do there.

0:15:410:15:43

Apart from Bart Richardson's open hatred, my plan was working well,

0:15:430:15:46

and I even started sneaking in some rugby coaching.

0:15:460:15:49

Rugby is a contact sport, guys.

0:15:490:15:51

Take the knocks and once you're down, you've got to get up quickly.

0:15:510:15:54

-Come on, Sophie.

-It won't go.

-It won't go.

0:15:540:15:57

Come on, Rhod, what are you doing?

0:15:570:16:00

I think it is just my body weight and gravity.

0:16:000:16:02

Good work. That's it.

0:16:020:16:04

As I cunningly wormed my way into their affections with more

0:16:040:16:07

and more fun, it wasn't long before even the Bartman cracked.

0:16:070:16:10

Do you like me now, Rich?

0:16:100:16:12

-Yeah.

-Good boy.

0:16:120:16:14

Progress.

0:16:140:16:15

By the end of the day, it felt like mission accomplished.

0:16:150:16:18

The sun may not have shone out of my arse like Simon's,

0:16:180:16:20

but at least my butthole wasn't raining any more.

0:16:200:16:22

-Hands in the middle.

-I can't reach.

0:16:220:16:25

-Who had a good time? ALL:

-Me!

0:16:250:16:28

Do you think we can work together now and I can be your coach?

0:16:280:16:30

-ALL:

-Yeah.

0:16:300:16:31

Do you think we've become a team today?

0:16:310:16:34

-ALL:

-Yeah.

0:16:340:16:35

Do you think we can go on and have fun in the festival?

0:16:350:16:38

THEY CHEER

0:16:380:16:39

-Give me a C. ALL:

-C!

0:16:390:16:42

-Give me an O. ALL:

-O!

0:16:420:16:43

-Give me an A. ALL:

-A!

0:16:430:16:45

-Give me a C. ALL:

-C!

0:16:450:16:47

-Give me an H. ALL:

-H!

0:16:470:16:48

What have we got?

0:16:480:16:49

-Coach!

-THEY ALL SHOUT "COACH!"

0:16:530:16:55

At last, they had called me the C word and my bum clouds were

0:16:560:16:59

clearing, but would our diminutive dictator finally accept me as coach?

0:16:590:17:04

So, the other day was pretty bad,

0:17:040:17:07

everybody chased me off the pitch, ripped up my coaching notes.

0:17:070:17:10

You said if I tried really hard, I could make it as a coach.

0:17:100:17:12

-Do you think I have done it?

-Yeah.

0:17:120:17:14

-Are we going to work as a team now?

-Yes.

0:17:140:17:16

Are you just saying yes to all my questions

0:17:160:17:18

-cos you want to go home?

-No.

0:17:180:17:20

I think you are. Give me a fist pump.

0:17:210:17:24

Right, off you go. I'll see you Friday.

0:17:250:17:27

We've come a long way. I think I've won their trust a bit

0:17:270:17:30

and Friday's training session will be a lot different to last time.

0:17:300:17:34

With the tournament... Sorry, Fun Festival, almost upon us,

0:17:340:17:37

this was my last chance to whip them into shape.

0:17:370:17:40

This time I'd done my coaching homework

0:17:400:17:41

and planned an evening as tightly packed as Adam Jones' hairnet.

0:17:410:17:45

I'm pumped, I'm psyched

0:17:450:17:46

and I am determined that this one goes better than the last one.

0:17:460:17:50

Today I've got a plan.

0:17:500:17:51

P-E-A-S. Keeping peas in my mind.

0:17:510:17:53

Everything I learned on my initial coaching course.

0:17:530:17:56

P for purposeful. E, that will make it more enjoyable.

0:17:560:17:59

A - active, keep them more active. Get them playing.

0:17:590:18:02

If I get that right -

0:18:020:18:03

P, E, A, right... S - safe, it will be a safe environment

0:18:030:18:07

for me.

0:18:070:18:09

Like a man who has tried piercing his eyebrow with a harpoon,

0:18:090:18:11

I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice.

0:18:110:18:13

This time, I really was going to inspire the shit out of them

0:18:130:18:16

in a thought-provoking and creative process - and give 'em stickers.

0:18:160:18:19

Much better. First-rate. Hot.

0:18:190:18:23

Not sure about that.

0:18:230:18:24

It's not about shouting random words from the sidelines,

0:18:240:18:27

it's about sticking random stickers on kids.

0:18:270:18:30

Early bird Freddie was the first to witness the new, well-prepared

0:18:300:18:33

Coachus Maxi-fun.

0:18:330:18:35

Next one. That's it. Good work, Freddie. OK.

0:18:350:18:39

It's a different story now this week, isn't it?

0:18:390:18:41

-Does it feel different to you this week, Freddie?

-Yeah.

-Good.

0:18:410:18:45

Good work, that's it.

0:18:450:18:46

Another one out that way. A bit bigger pitch this week.

0:18:460:18:48

He's practically a performing seal now.

0:18:480:18:51

That doesn't look quite straight there, Freddie. See at the end,

0:18:510:18:53

you got a little kink in it.

0:18:530:18:55

OK, if you could sort that out.

0:18:550:18:57

Good lad.

0:18:570:18:58

That's it, that one, yeah.

0:18:580:19:00

OK, that's it, now move it slightly that way.

0:19:000:19:02

Slightly that way.

0:19:020:19:03

No, not you... With the cone.

0:19:050:19:07

No, no, Freddie. Stop.

0:19:070:19:09

Back the other way. Stop. There.

0:19:090:19:12

Slightly forward.

0:19:120:19:13

That's it. A bit... No, no, no, no.

0:19:130:19:16

Brilliant sticker, shake hands. Good lad. OK.

0:19:180:19:22

Simon would take Bart Richardson and the uber-tots

0:19:220:19:25

while I'd prepare Sophie and the older kids for the grudge tournament.

0:19:250:19:28

Sorry, Fun Festival.

0:19:280:19:30

-Under 8s on that pitch, please...

-Under 8s with me.

0:19:300:19:32

-7s stay here with me, so Richard...

-Under 8s with me, then.

0:19:320:19:35

I'm going to try and teach them some ball skills

0:19:350:19:38

that will be useful. All good, close-quarters, handling skills.

0:19:380:19:41

Once you've passed the ball,

0:19:410:19:43

I want you going round on all fours as your favourite animal.

0:19:430:19:45

-What are you going to go as, Freddie?

-A ferret.

0:19:450:19:48

Freddie is going to go as a ferret.

0:19:480:19:50

Go for it. On all fours.

0:19:500:19:51

Polecat, please. Hey... Ferret, ferret, ferret.

0:19:510:19:55

He's off, he's a monkey.

0:19:550:19:57

The monkey's going, the monkey's going.

0:19:570:19:58

I was a different me, keeping them P, E, A and S.

0:19:580:20:02

I still wasn't a bum-shine coach like Simon

0:20:020:20:04

but at least they were responding.

0:20:040:20:05

Let's come in, then. Let's get a sticker, let's get a sticker.

0:20:050:20:08

-It's good work. Who wants "Stellar Student"?

-Me, me, me.

0:20:080:20:11

-OK, who wants "Cool"? ALL:

-Me!

0:20:110:20:13

Cool. Freddie gets "Cool".

0:20:130:20:16

-ALL:

-# I don't care what I've been told

0:20:160:20:17

# Cos Whitland kids are good as gold

0:20:170:20:20

# Whitland kids are good as gold. #

0:20:200:20:22

Pick somebody early, George, and stick with them, like glue.

0:20:220:20:25

That's good, Freddie, good running. Go on, George. Go.

0:20:250:20:28

Good, good, Sophia. Good, that's good, Freddie.

0:20:280:20:31

I've got loads of authority, they are listening to me,

0:20:310:20:33

I've got real gravitas, I'm much more focused tonight.

0:20:330:20:36

I had to choke back the tears.

0:20:360:20:38

Just a week earlier, I had been physically abused,

0:20:380:20:40

the worst coach they had ever had.

0:20:400:20:42

Now, I was pretty sure I was the best.

0:20:420:20:44

Come on, who thinks I'm a good coach?

0:20:440:20:46

To be honest with you, in the middle.

0:20:460:20:48

In the middle.

0:20:480:20:49

-In the middle.

-Who thinks he's in the middle?

-Me.

0:20:490:20:53

In the middle?

0:20:530:20:55

OK, so maybe I'd never need sunglasses to wipe my own bottom

0:20:550:20:58

like St Simon, but I was improving all the time.

0:20:580:21:01

And secretly, I started to think there was a chance

0:21:010:21:03

we could win this rugby bloodbath...

0:21:030:21:05

I mean, have fun at this festival.

0:21:050:21:08

THEY CHANT: # I don't care what I've been told

0:21:080:21:11

# Whitland kids are good as gold

0:21:110:21:13

# Win or lose, we never fold

0:21:130:21:15

# Cos Whitland kids are good as gold. #

0:21:150:21:18

-That was just me singing that, it was embarrassing.

-Yeah.

0:21:180:21:21

Once you've got a sticker, you can go and I'll see you all Sunday, OK?

0:21:210:21:25

-You lost one.

-I get two.

-You get two, OK. Go on, just help yourself.

0:21:250:21:29

I don't care what I've been told

0:21:290:21:31

Whitland kids are good as gold.

0:21:310:21:33

Lovely jubbly.

0:21:330:21:34

-Bye.

-Bye-bye. You rest up.

0:21:350:21:37

No late nights, OK? No partying.

0:21:370:21:39

That was a lot better

0:21:400:21:42

and they may say I'm only middling but I'm making progress

0:21:420:21:46

and I reckon I did a great job,

0:21:460:21:48

so roll on Sunday.

0:21:480:21:50

The big day.

0:21:530:21:54

These empty fields would soon be infested with kids

0:21:540:21:56

from across south-west Wales.

0:21:560:21:58

I hadn't been this nervous since I invited David Cameron

0:21:580:22:00

to a hog roast.

0:22:000:22:01

This was my final chance to prepare my team to knock

0:22:010:22:04

seven shades of shit out of their rivals...

0:22:040:22:07

I mean, get them ready for a fun day, whatever the outcome.

0:22:070:22:10

I think now, finally, they accept me as their coach

0:22:100:22:12

and I think we will all pull together today,

0:22:120:22:14

now we are finally here at the championship...festival.

0:22:140:22:17

Festival.

0:22:170:22:19

I've just got to try really hard to remind myself of that.

0:22:190:22:21

It's not about the winning, it's the taking part.

0:22:210:22:23

It's not about the winning, it's the taking part.

0:22:230:22:25

As rival teams arrived, I eavesdropped on the other coaches,

0:22:250:22:29

who no doubt were taking a totally non-competitive, fun-based approach.

0:22:290:22:33

What I'm saying is, when you've got the ball,

0:22:330:22:35

don't run toward your try line!

0:22:350:22:38

Just concentrate and be ready, boys, any time, any time.

0:22:380:22:41

Up on your feet, up on your feet.

0:22:410:22:44

-Are we going to win? KIDS:

-Maybe.

0:22:440:22:45

-Are we going to win? KIDS:

-Maybe.

0:22:450:22:47

-Does it matter? KIDS:

-Not really.

0:22:470:22:49

-Does it matter? KIDS:

-Not really.

0:22:490:22:51

-What's important? KIDS:

-Having fun and taking part.

0:22:510:22:55

-What's important? KIDS:

-Having fun and taking part.

0:22:550:22:58

The other teams looked awesome

0:22:580:23:00

and sensing our pitiful posse of pretenders was in trouble,

0:23:000:23:03

even Bart Richardson turned up to lend his support.

0:23:030:23:06

You are on the coaching team, OK, so I want you looking, thinking,

0:23:060:23:09

eyes up, ears open, see what the team needs.

0:23:090:23:12

-I'm going to help Simon.

-You're going to help Simon, good boy.

0:23:120:23:15

Shake hands, then. Good luck today.

0:23:150:23:17

Thanks, Richard, that means a lot.

0:23:190:23:21

We've had our difficulties but today, we are a team, aren't we?

0:23:220:23:25

Good boy.

0:23:250:23:26

Now on the coaching staff, Bart Richardson brought his own

0:23:260:23:28

thought-provoking and inspiring ideas.

0:23:280:23:31

-I want you guys acting like a team...

-And farting everywhere.

0:23:310:23:34

Richard. Not farting everywhere.

0:23:340:23:36

THE KIDS LAUGH AND RICHARD MAKES A FARTING NOISE

0:23:360:23:38

All I want to say...

0:23:380:23:39

Once Richard's stopped farting... All I want to say is...

0:23:390:23:42

-Can we just play now?

-Yeah, the problem is, everyone's making

0:23:420:23:45

farting noises, it's really hard for me to get my point across.

0:23:450:23:48

And if somebody else has got the ball on your team,

0:23:480:23:50

you're going with them, supporting them, OK?

0:23:500:23:52

-Who wants to lick my foot?

-I don't want to lick your foot.

0:23:520:23:55

But it's a nice offer, thanks.

0:23:550:23:57

We're about to go on. We're playing St David's first. Are we psyched up?

0:23:570:24:00

-ALL:

-Yes!

0:24:000:24:01

-Are we ready to have fun? ALL:

-Yeah!

0:24:010:24:03

-And take part? ALL:

-Yeah!

0:24:030:24:05

And if we win, so be it.

0:24:050:24:07

Who's having the Man of the Match medal?

0:24:070:24:09

Well, we don't know yet, Sophie,

0:24:090:24:11

we don't arrange these things in advance. This isn't Qatar.

0:24:110:24:14

Our first game under way, good time or not,

0:24:140:24:16

I soon realised we were taking a stuffing.

0:24:160:24:18

Still, nobody was counting and we had more games to come

0:24:180:24:21

so I plied my plucky heroes with encouragement.

0:24:210:24:23

Good, Cian. Good, Cian.

0:24:230:24:25

Pass it, pass, pass.

0:24:250:24:27

Good talking. Good talking.

0:24:270:24:29

Really good support play, guys. Really good.

0:24:290:24:32

I think it's going OK.

0:24:320:24:33

I feel like their coach. They feel like my team.

0:24:330:24:36

I think everyone is having a really good time.

0:24:360:24:38

I could be wrong.

0:24:380:24:40

Next game, we're smashed 25-5 but nobody is keeping score,

0:24:400:24:43

least of all me.

0:24:430:24:44

Sophie and I are working well together,

0:24:440:24:46

even if we disagree on team nutrition.

0:24:460:24:48

When it's fizzy, it's got sugar in.

0:24:480:24:50

-No, that's not true.

-And it's fizzy.

0:24:500:24:52

Fizzy is a carbonation process. It puts bubbles in it.

0:24:520:24:55

It's totally different, totally independent of sugar content.

0:24:550:24:59

-You know that.

-It's actually got sugar in it.

0:24:590:25:01

Why are you drinking it, then?

0:25:010:25:03

Because I like sugar.

0:25:030:25:05

Yeah, it's bad for your teeth.

0:25:050:25:07

It is bad for your teeth.

0:25:070:25:09

Every time I go to the dentist, he says there's nothing wrong.

0:25:090:25:12

Oh, well, just keep slamming the sugar in, is it?

0:25:120:25:15

Every time I go to the doctor, he tells me I haven't got a broken leg.

0:25:150:25:19

Go and get a hammer, we'll hit it, shall we?

0:25:190:25:21

Somehow, we were achieving the impossible - the more we played,

0:25:220:25:25

the less we scored.

0:25:250:25:26

But I was beginning to understand the non-competitive philosophy.

0:25:260:25:29

I'm starting to see the benefit of this not-about-the-winning bit

0:25:310:25:34

cos thankfully it's not about the winning

0:25:340:25:36

cos we've lost all our games.

0:25:360:25:37

But we've all had fun, we've all taken part.

0:25:370:25:39

Just, we haven't had as much fun or taken part

0:25:390:25:42

as much as the other teams.

0:25:420:25:44

We've got to smash these last ones.

0:25:440:25:46

Our final match, and I couldn't help myself any longer.

0:25:460:25:49

This fun business was all very well but we had to win one bloody game.

0:25:490:25:54

Now, more than ever, I need you to be quiet. All ears, no mouth.

0:25:540:25:57

Look at that team over there. Look at those Blues.

0:25:570:25:59

They look semi-professional.

0:25:590:26:01

How good do they look?

0:26:020:26:04

-Rubbish.

-Rubbish? That is the attitude.

0:26:040:26:07

That is the attitude, cos to me, they look amazing.

0:26:070:26:10

These guys look organised, they are disciplined, look at them,

0:26:100:26:13

they are standing there ready like machines. They're going to be good.

0:26:130:26:16

These guys could murder us. OK? Right?

0:26:160:26:19

-They're not going to cos I'll just beat them up.

-OK.

0:26:190:26:22

I need you to step up a gear. We need to take it up a gear.

0:26:220:26:25

-We need to beat them up.

-This is our last game,

0:26:250:26:28

let's play out of our skins and show them what Whitland can do, yeah?

0:26:280:26:31

It didn't matter at all, but it all came down to this.

0:26:310:26:34

-Are you firing on all cylinders?

-Yes.

-Good boy.

0:26:360:26:38

Let's get in line. Come on, look at them.

0:26:400:26:42

Chase it, chase it.

0:26:420:26:44

Good boy.

0:26:440:26:46

That is good work, Sophie.

0:26:460:26:47

Good work, Freddie. Good work. Go on. Go on!

0:26:470:26:50

Our final opponents were a macabre exercise in robotic perfection.

0:26:500:26:54

Their young eyes bent on destruction.

0:26:540:26:56

They were smashing the Phil Bennett out of us.

0:26:560:26:59

WHISTLE BLOWS Good try. Unlucky, Whitland.

0:26:590:27:02

They're semi-professional, these guys,

0:27:020:27:04

probably half of them are paid, these players.

0:27:040:27:06

The rival robo-tots slaughtered us

0:27:060:27:08

but you know what? My lot didn't care.

0:27:080:27:10

They were too busy doing their best, playing a game they loved

0:27:100:27:13

and supporting each other.

0:27:130:27:15

Let's look for the gaps, guys, look for the gaps.

0:27:180:27:20

And with just seconds remaining, my little team's hard work paid off.

0:27:200:27:24

Not that it mattered.

0:27:240:27:25

Good work. Go on, George, go on, George.

0:27:250:27:28

Go on, George. Go on, George!

0:27:280:27:30

WHISTLE BLOWS

0:27:300:27:32

Great play. Great play, Whitland.

0:27:320:27:35

Well done, Whitland, good work.

0:27:350:27:36

The final whistle should have come as a relief

0:27:360:27:38

but we were having a ball and I'd never been prouder

0:27:380:27:40

of my little band of merry mischief makers.

0:27:400:27:42

I'd learnt a valuable lesson about getting kids interested in sport

0:27:420:27:45

and the importance of preparation.

0:27:450:27:47

And they'd learned loads about life, friendship, authority, etc, etc.

0:27:470:27:52

Oh, and maybe even something about rugby.

0:27:520:27:54

Three cheers for luck, Whitland.

0:27:540:27:56

-Hip, hip... ALL:

-Hooray!

0:27:560:27:58

-Hip, hip... ALL:

-Hooray!

0:27:580:27:59

-Well done, George. Great try there. Did you enjoy that?

-Yeah.

0:27:590:28:02

-Did it feel good?

-Yeah.

-You had fun?

-Yeah.

-Good boy.

0:28:020:28:05

-Who is Man of the Match?

-Eh?

-Who's Man of the Match?

0:28:050:28:08

If it means that much to you, Soph, you can be Man of the Match.

0:28:080:28:12

-Yay.

-But does it mean that much really?

0:28:120:28:15

It does. OK.

0:28:150:28:17

There's only so much you can do,

0:28:170:28:18

Well done. Congratulations, Man of the Match.

0:28:180:28:20

-Where's my medal?

-I haven't got any medals.

0:28:200:28:23

I didn't know you were going to invent Man of the Match at the start of the day.

0:28:230:28:26

You should have brought your own medal. You've arranged all this.

0:28:260:28:29

THE KIDS CHANT "SIMON"

0:28:290:28:31

SOME KIDS CHANT "GILBERT"

0:28:340:28:36

There's one. There's one Gilbert.

0:28:360:28:37

There's a Gilbert. One Gilbert.

0:28:370:28:41

Two Gilberts. Three Gilberts.

0:28:410:28:43

-Gilbert!

-Good boy, Cian!

0:28:430:28:46

A confused report there at the end. I can't begrudge it too much.

0:28:460:28:49

Simon has put in the hard yards, he's got them this far, really.

0:28:490:28:52

Don't get me wrong, it would be nice if they were all chanting

0:28:520:28:55

my name now, it'd be great, but it is not about the winning, is it?

0:28:550:28:58

Thankfully, again, it's about the taking part.

0:28:580:29:01

In 15 years of playing, Rhod may possibly be the only rugby player on earth never to score a point. How will he fare when given the role of coaching a team? After a day at the WRU's school of excellence, he is dumped with Whitland RFC's under-8s and expected to prepare them for a major tournament. Inspiring and managing the gaggle of energetic youngsters might be his biggest test yet.


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