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Hoërskool Jeugland from Kempton Park were given the opportunity to train with a rugby legend

By Hannes Nienaber , in Rugby | News , at 2013-05-28

John Mitchell, ex-All Blacks player and coach who is famous for guiding the Lions to Currie Cup Victory, went to Hoërskool Jeugland in Kempton last week to teach rugby teams and coaches about what it takes to “power through” from school boy rugby to Super Rugby and beyond.

He demonstrated new techniques, drills and gave guidance on other performance-related aspects of training, like hydration, before, during and after matches.

It’s not often that school boys get to meet man who has won the Currie Cup and knows what it takes to power through various types of adversity to become a success. The young rugby players from Hoërskool Jeugland were able to tap into his vast rugby knowledge and learn that they have all got what it takes to power through, as long as they know that they have to work hard and persevere in whatever they choose to do in life.

Hoërskool Jeugland invited the four primary schools in the area around the school to share in the excitement of having a Currie Cup winning coach and former All-Black share his knowledge with the school. In the end there were nearly as many coaches as players that attended the session.

Alec de Kock, deputy sport manager at Hoërskool Jeugland, and 1st team coach said it was great to have a famous coach like John Mitchell visit the school and share some of his knowledge with the coaches and rugby players.

“We were surprised that John would take a step back and recognise the importance of grass route rugby,” he said. “We did not learn too many new techniques but we were encouraged by the fact that we are actually on the right path with our training techniques. John managed to show us that even though we were doing the correct training routines we were making small technical mistakes in these routines.”

Hoërskool Jeugland have not had the best season so far but they do have one player that stands out’ “We only have one player, Darren de Bruin, that is in line to make the Falcons Coca-Cola Craven Week team so it is important that the team gels as a unit. We have been successful in doing this and hopefully it will be good enough.”

Alec spoke a lot about the importance of what he is trying to achieve as a coach. He believes that through rugby the players can learn life lessons. He would like to see that what the players learn on the field they can bring into other aspects of life. “You do not necessarily have to be the best rugby player to benefit from playing rugby, you need to see what your aim and goals are and try to meet these goals. If you achieve these goals you can say that you have been a success.

“The players must also learn respect for their coaches, the opposing players and in doing that they will learn how to respect themselves.”

John Mitchell during the Powerade Sports Academy at Hoerskool Jeugland on May 21 2013 in Johannesburg 2

Wesley Higgs, Hoërskool Jeugland’s 1st team prop said it was a great experience to meet John Mitchell. “He showed us that we have been doing the correct training drills over the last 5 year but we have not understood the true reason as to why we were doing those drills and we have been doing them incorrectly.

“I never expected that I would be coached by a real professional coach like Mr. Mitchell. He thinks differently from most of the coaches that I have played under because he thinks a lot more as to what needs to be done, how it should be done and why it should be done. Then he tells us his reasoning behind what he is teaching us. It makes it a lot easier to understand our training routines and makes it easier to understand when we can apply what we have learned in a match situation.”

Wayne Visser, the team’s other prop said: “Mr Mitchell is a huge celebrity and a rugby legend, it was amazing to meet him in person. I never imagined that a person of this stature could be so approachable and easy to talk to.”

John Mitchell has not only coached a Currie Cup team but he has also coached Super Rugby teams and since Powerade is the official hydration sponsor of the Vodacom Super Rugby, John knows the benefits of what Powerade can offer sportsmen and women.

“Our goal in getting John to schools like Jeugland is to inspire and motivate young individuals to make sure they maintain their forward momentum and achieve their goals. We know that coaches also play the role of mentor and guidance counsellor and we want to empower coaches who will in turn inspire the players,” said Trivern Chetty, Brand Manager- Sports and Energy at The Coca-Cola Company.

The Powerade Schools Programme does not end with the Powerade Performance Sessions. The coaches that come into contact with Mitchell during these campaigns will also be able to stay up to date with peak performance by means of signing up for the communications, developed by the ex-All Blacks and Lions coach himself. A select group of coaches will receive a training tips newsletter twice a month from John. This communication will take the form of skills training content, pictures and links to video demonstrations from the Powerade Performance Sessions as well as great competitions to participate in.

But the Powerade Schools Programme is far from over. The schools can continue to collect Powerade caps until 14th June. The school that collects the most caps will get tickets for the entire school to go and watch a Super Rugby game in their province.

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.