The use of colour coded coaching aids was prompted by observing numerous sports, such as cricket, netball, basketball and rugby league over a period of five years or so. Concepts from these sports have been developed for rugby union and these aids are a result of that adaptation.
In the initial stages the system was used to promote the development of vision and decision making. With this the coloured balls were used as a visual cue for an athlete to perform a certain task previously determined by the coach. As the system was put through its paces other uses for the system became apparent, an interesting by-product was the fact that the use of colours opened up a new level of communication with the players involved. Often a difficult skill to teach, communication came naturally to the players as they identified a ball and it’s related activity by its colour.
The introduction of the coloured cards promoted scanning skills, broadening the vision of the players and allowing them to make decisions more realistic to their sporting environment.
In keeping with the theme of the earlier stages of this teaching progression, the coloured bibs are introduced to once again build on the previous stages. They bring more intensity and realism to ensure that all decisions are made in a match like situation however still under the masterful control of the coach.
Coloured cones have been used more recently to heighten the options of the earlier stages and also allow the coach to adapt their own scenarios covering other aspects of their sport.
A simple animated CD demonstrating the basic use of this system in a rugby environment is available as a coaching resource. Further CD’s are being developed that will cover more advanced rugby sessions as well as the use of the system in other sports.
The use of the coloured coaching system has been demonstrated at the International Rugby Academy Player and Coaching courses and also the NZRU Coaching Roadshows.
A coaching clinic can also be organised in which a representative will demonstrate the system to a group of interested coaches.