Merchiston Castle

Transforming the School Boy Rugby Environment

Working with Coach Logic, Merchiston Castle have steadily been climbing back to the top of Scottish (and indeed British) Schools rugby under the direction of Roddy Deans, who was appointed Director of Rugby in 2014.

During his tenure Roddy Deans, Director of Rugby, has been focusing on developed a new structure that helps facilitate long term individual growth by recognising the importance of providing the right mindsets, which result in improved team spirit and foster leadership skills.

Deans ensures all pupils who go through the rugby programme at the school are ready to maximise performance on the field of play, but importantly, beyond the field of play as well.

He stated that when he began this role it was not about finding the quickest solution to restoring rugby success but about being responsible and finding the best path for the pupils’ growth at the school.

As part of the restructuring the Rugby Programme at Merchiston Castle went through, Deans explored lots of options for allowing players to view more video footage. Partly through 2017 the school signed off use of Coach Logic throughout the Rugby programme. During the year Deans has allowed all users within the programme to use the software in a unique and innovative way.

A particular area of high performance that Roddy places a high emphasis on is that of feedback and review post-match to enhance player learning.

Deans completes his match analysis using Coach Logic deploying a range of feedback methods. His workflow includes posting a thorough match summary, which is then followed by creating a mixture of short and longer video clips that are sent to individuals or groups from within the playing squad.

Players from the Merchiston Castle School are granted the appropriate rights to analyse matches and create clips that lead to discussion with the relevant individuals involved. The Social Media look of Coach Logic has allowed boys of that age to quickly grasp what they’re trying to do when analysing performance.

While Deans and the rest of Merchiston’s staff would love to continue to pick up silverware, Deans is open and transparent about winning not being the be all and end all at school boy level.

The Merchiston rugby programme is about setting pupils up for life and using rugby to learn many of the skills required for this.

Deans’ approach to using Coach Logic has allowed pupils to learn in their own environment, take ownership for their development as a rugby player and explore the intricacies of feedback, review and group discussion that will ultimately be transferred to life post-school.

Read the full blog post of the transformation of school boy rugby at Merchiston Castle School.

The big thing for me is the inclusive nature of the programme. Analysis is not just for the elite, importantly everyone is learning. Our players also lead the analysis reviews in the classroom and the coaches just sit and listen.

Roddy Deans
Director of Rugby, Merchiston Castle School