Room 101: Russell Earnshaw – England Sevens Assistant Coach

Rusell Earnshaw1. Not coaching people
There’s a fantastic quote by ex-England coach Geoff Cooke (below) that ‘good coaches coach activities, great coaches coach people’. Putting down a few cones, emptying a bag of balls and telling people what to do certainly doesn’t fit into Geoff’s or my definition of ‘coaching’.
It involves treating people as individuals and understanding and helping their lives off the field too. By developing interests outside rugby, not only are we producing more rounded people, we will only end up with better, happier rugby players who will be able to cope with life after rugby.
It is our job to encourage people to set attainable goals on and off the field and achieve them. It is not our job to produce players in their 20’s who lack the necessary qualifications and skills to function in today’s world.
TRP verdict: You’re out. If we wanted more rounded people we’d pick a team of props!
2. Breakfast glasses
I spend a fair proportion of my life in hotels. While the size of bed, bathroom facilities, the view and the prevalence of Wi-Fi can all vary significantly, there is one thing I guarantee will be the same worldwide.
When I go to breakfast, I will always be underwhelmed by the size of the glasses made available for the orange juice.
Breakfast turns into a non-alcoholic drinking session as you head off to the buffet inquiring, ‘can I get anyone another drink?’ only then to immediately regret your generosity.
What follows is akin to an episode of ‘It’s a Knockout’ as you are required to fill an assortment of thimbles and shot glasses of various juices and then stumble across the assault course (restaurant) in a state of competitive focus beyond anything you achieve on the rugby pitch.
TRP verdict: You’re out. No self-respecting rugby player on tour should be up for breakfast to moan about the girly glasses.
3. Middle-lane drivers
Through good parenting and good teaching I reached my educational potential, which included a GSCE English Language qualification.
There are times when I wonder if those who failed to do likewise are entirely responsible for the plethora of car and lorry drivers unable to understand the sentence ‘STAY LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING’.
I was okay at Maths, too, enabling me to grasp the concept that, by clogging up the middle lane, you remove the ability of others to use the inside lane and the motorway system operates only at two-thirds capacity as a result. If enough of you do it, then congestion ensues and everyone’s carbon footprint goes up.
All of this just because you didn’t listen in English or Maths at school!
TRP verdict: You’re on the fast-track to Room 101; there’s no sitting in the middle on this one.

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