John Mitchell, ex-All Blacks player and coach and helped guide the Lions to Currie Cup Victory, went to Hoërskool Wonderboom in Pretoria last week to teach four of their top rugby teams 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 Wonderboom 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.
Etienne Hellere, flank and Hoërskool Wonderboom 1st team captain enjoyed the training session and found John very approachable and easy to follow due to the passion that he showed during the Powerade Performance Session.
“John Mitchell was fantastic; as soon as he started with the training session he got immediate support from the players. His dedication to the training session, passion for the game and the fact that he was very serious about his objectives behind the training session helped get us to give all that we had and learn as much as possible in the 2 hours that we trained.”
The training session was not only of benefit to the players but also to the school’s coaches.
Braam Pretorius, coach of Hoërskool Wonderboom’s first team found the session interesting and informative.
“I cannot single out any part of the session that was of more interest as I found the entire training session very valuable,” he said. “John took us through various aspects of the game and then showed us how to put them together in various drills.
“For example, he taught us how to fall when tackled, how to put the ball in a position where you can recycle possession and then how the rest of the team should ruck over the tackled player to guarantee possession.”
“We also enjoyed the passing drills because it reminds the players of how important something simple like passing is and how you can make the ball do the work to gain the advantage line”
Hoërskool Wonderboom has two players that will take part in the Coca-Cola Youth Rugby Weeks taking place in July. Prop, Ghan Snyders will play in the U16 Grant Khomo Week and Malcolm Fischer, inside centre is the vice captain of the Coca-Cola U18 Craven Week Bulls squad.
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 Hoërskool Wonderboom 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 counselor 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.