Ethan Waller and Tom Kessell say that getting involved in the coaching of local side Northampton Casuals RFC has made them re-evaluate the game they play and appreciate the position they are in as professionals more.
After being asked to coach a forwards session, Saints prop Waller got involved with a local side Northampton Casuals RFC. On his arrival in Northampton from Cornwall, scrum-half Kessell was also looking for coaching opportunities and the pair linked up with the Midlands 3 side for coaching twice a week.
“It hugely changes the way you see you own game,” Waller told SaintsTV on this week’s Saints show.
“I think especially as a prop; I’m mostly tuned to look at scrums and break downs and so on but when you come out here and you actually help coach a full team you end up looking at the bigger picture.
“So for me as a player it opened up my eyes a little bit.”
Kessell echoed his teammate’s opinion saying that his time with Casuals has enabled him to understand the game on a different level.
“It definitely gives you a different perspective on your own game,” he commented.
“You appreciate it differently; when you’re working at rugby, it’s a different mind set that you’re trying to challenge yourself with and when you come you get to see the guys who are looking to do it for a fun and enjoyment basis and enjoy it with their friends.”
“It’s enjoyable coming out of the game where obviously we’re at work all the time, we’re focussed on our main jobs.
“Coming back to grassroots rugby and working with guys that are doing it for a lot of enjoyment lets you see a different side of the game that we don’t get to see day to day.
“I think it allows you to appreciate your own game a lot more.”
Casuals player, Jack Bradbury, says that Waller and Kessell’s coaching at the club has been an invaluable addition and that the professionals' insight into the game has helped him, and the club as a whole, immensely.
“Personally, it gives me motivation to try and up my game having the professional boys here. Obviously, everyone, right from the young lads to the adults, strive to be as good as possible and Ethan and Tom always bring that out of us.
“They’ve helped me improve my leadership skills immensely and helped me to step up, be vocal and address the players equally as well.”
Waller said that coaching has given him a new perspective on his own rugby and allowed him to fall in love with the game again.
“For me personally, it’s nice to come to a place like this.
“It’s easy to get caught up in rugby being your full time job and easy to fall into the cycle of it being a job and not necessarily enjoying it all the time.
“But you come somewhere like this where the lads are doing it for the crack and you rediscover the love for it and the reason why you got into it in the first place.”