Interview With Brian Moylett on His New Coaching Venture: Off-Field Rugby Coach
BCRN: Hi Brian, I understand you've started a new venture called The Off-Field Rugby Coach, could you give us an overview of the concept?
BRIAN: Hi Mark, yes I started The Off-Field Rugby Coach recently on Instagram and Twitter (@offfieldrugby) to help young ambitious rugby players with mental skills, mindset and lifestyle.
Pro teams nowadays understand how crucial sports psychology and the mental side of the game is, but the further you are from pro teams the less support you have, and I think this is a big problem for young players, so want to help. A lot of young players suffer with self doubt, low confidence and struggle with dealing with setbacks, you can get better at these things the same way you can get better at your passing or kicking.
Everyone is starting to realise now that physical and mental skills are as important as each other for high performance.
BCRN: Tell us a bit about your rugby journey and some of the key moments that inspired Off-Field Rugby Coaching.
BRIAN: My rugby journey began in Ballina RFC in the West of Ireland as a five year old, and like a lot of kids, from a very young age I wanted to play for Ireland. I knew to do that I’d have to train extremely hard and throughout my teenage years I did. In my last year of high school I was selected for the Leinster Rugby u18s, and I felt really comfortable at that level because I knew I had ability and had put in the work on the field.
Then a call up to the Irish u18s came. I didn’t feel comfortable in the environment, started doubting myself and my confidence took a real dive. I didn’t perform anything like I knew I could and wasn’t selected for the 6 Nations. After, I knew well that my mindset and lack of confidence was the reason I didn’t get to wear that green jersey, not a lack of physical abilities, and decided I had to work on it. I did, and made the Irish u19s the following year. That was the first time I realised just how crucial your mind was for performing at your best. Physical abilities aren’t much use when you don’t believe in yourself.
I then went onto captain the Connacht Rugby u20 side to a Grand Slam, and win two All Ireland League titles with Lansdowne FC. Although mentally there were still ups and downs along the way, I didn’t have exposure to a mental skills coach and was researching myself. But from studying over the past few years I’ve really nailed things down and learned the tools to get your mind right to perform your best. With The Off-Field Rugby Coach I’ll be sharing those tools with young players so they can learn these earlier in their career and avoid the pitfalls that I, and a lot of my teammates, went though.
After moving to Vancouver in May 2018 I won the BC Premier League with the Ravens, played for the BC Bears against Canada and am now Backs and Attack Coach with the UBC Women’s team.
BCRN: One area that's been an issue in rugby and probably many sports, is the drop off in athlete participation in the transition from high school rugby to club rugby. Is this an area you address in your Off-Field coaching?
BRIAN: Absolutely. The reason nearly all of us start playing rugby is because it’s great fun and we get to play with our friends. Along the way we sometimes forget this. No matter what aspirations you have or what level you’re at, you have to enjoy it. I’ll certainly be reminding young players to keep enjoying their rugby and also talking about the many many benefits of playing rugby, competitive or social, into your 20s and beyond.
BCRN: How has the reaction been so far from athletes and the rugby community?
BRIAN: I’ve actually been taken aback and humbled by the reaction. Lots of former teammates who are now playing pro and international rugby have got in touch and said it’s a brilliant idea, exactly what young players need, and they (like I) would have loved to have known this side of the game back then.
BCRN: What's the best way to reach you or to keep up to date with your coaching sessions.
BRIAN: Instagram is best @offfieldrugby
, I’ll be posting content there and sharing webinars. Players, and coaches can DM me with any questions they have. Also coaches can DM me on Instagram or email me email@example.com
if they want to help their players/team work on mindset tools and better prepare mentally this season.
BCRN: All the best Brian, in your new venture. Keep us in the loop with updates.
BRIAN: Cheers Mark, thanks so much for your time and for all that you do for the rugby community here in BC. I really appreciate it.