WOMEN’S RUGBY COACHES ASSOCIATION (WRCA)
The WRCA mission is to be an advocate for women who coach rugby at all levels.
The WRCA aspires to create a support network for women coaches. Currently we have 33 members but we want more!
Our goal is to have all women coaches enroll as members. There is no cost to join and it is easy to do. Simply go to
http://www.uswrf.org/JoinOurMailingList.aspx, select the WRCA
option and enter your contact information.
The WRCA will provide its members access to a public forum and host periodic conferences for members to meet face
to face to examine various issues surrounding women coaching rugby.
Send any questions or comments to WRCA@uswrf.org
MEET A FEW OF OUR MEMBERS
Mary Beth Mathews
Head Coach Bowdoin College
Women’s Varsity Team
On coaching and teaching:
I've found that a mixture of pedagogical and athlete-centered learning works best and it's much harder than one would think
‘where and when and with whom’ to vary the coaching/teaching style.
Coaching rugby is about so much more than the actual game. It's an opportunity to challenge young women to be strong and physical
and work together on a team. The benefits of playing this game extend long after their last season ends in the form of confidence,
communication, and self-reliance. After years of coaching, I've found that a mixture of pedagogical teaching and athlete-centered
learning works best at Bowdoin College because our team is so large and players are at multiple levels of skill and experience.
My philosophy is to teach the game of rugby in a safe, supportive and fun environment, setting clear expectations and reinforcing learning
with positive outcomes and games. "Less talk, more DO" is often called out at practice, in an attempt to nix their over-thinking and get them to ‘just play’.
No one is cut from our program and I've learned that most players will meet or exceed the expectations set for them, so one must be careful
with assumptions and judgments. After 16 years I continue to learn!
The rewards often come later, right around graduation, when they realize they haven't only learned to play a sport, they've gained confidence
and the strength to be themselves and pursue the life they want to live.
Head Coach University of Virginia Women’s Rugby
On Coaching College Women:
Coaching college women is both a gift and a curse. The age range of 18-23 is a time of enormous change in a young woman’s life.
There are issues concerning academic pressures, being away from their families for perhaps the first time, and issues dealing with making
life decisions on their own. I approach coaching my players as being a mentor to them. YES- I’ll teach them rugby skills, but it’s also
important to create a team culture and environment that is both supportive and yet holds them accountable. When I think about a particularly frustrating practice,
I try to frame it with the notion that everyone brings their entire day with them to practice, and that no one sets out to do a bad job.
The single most important thing to do is to establish yourself as the coach is to prove yourself trustworthy to them, earn their respect,
and give each of them the physical and psychological skills to perform at the highest level.