Coach Development

2019 Coach Development Registration

Registration Instructions * Limit 10 coaches; please register early as it sells out each year.  Thank you. 

  • To register for the Coach Development Course taught by RFU and Coaching Wizard Russell Earnshaw, please complete our online registration form. Residential price includes full room and board, jersey, materials, instruction and ‘live’ coaching practicals; Commuter price includes all the same, plus lunch & dinner without housing.
  • To pay for your registration, you will be prompted to pay by credit card or check at the end of the online registration form. If you would prefer to pay by check, or need a payment plan, please click the “Pay by Check” box instead of submitting your credit card information.  We will contact you to make arrangements.

2020 Registration Fees

  • EARLY Registration (before 4/30): $600 Residential/$500 Commuter
  • REGULAR Registration (by 6/15/19): $650 Residential/$550 Commuter
  • LATE Registration (after 6/15/19):  $700 Residential/$600 Commuter

Course Information

Polar Bear Rugby Camp offers a Coach Development Course that gives experienced and new coaches an unparalleled educational opportunity to learn the practical, philosophical, technical, and tactical elements of effective coaching.  The small group size and personalized learning curriculum are designed to meet your individual needs. The schedule includes classroom and on-the-field learning, using the Polar Bear Rugby Camp as an ‘experiential classroom’.

We are fortunate to have Russell Earnshaw lead the Coach Education Course again this year.  Russell is a former player and current Coach of England U18s. Creator of RFUs Magic Academy and the C.A.R.D.S. coaching philosophy, he is a Level 4 RFU coach, Coach Developer, Coach Educator and Level 4 mentor in high demand across the rugby world.  We are very excited to have him with us this July!

This course is approved to earn you the maximum 10 CDP (Coach Development Points) required to maintain USAR coaching certification.  If you’re looking to improve your coaching expertise with a top rugby coach educator, mark your calendar and register soon!  Space is limited. Please email with questions or for more information.

The curriculum includes:

  • Goal setting
  • Developing your coaching philosophy
  • Creating learning environments
  • Skill acquisition
  • Gamification
  • Coaching through games; co-coaching
  • Individual Practice Planning & Practice Design
  • Practical application session in sub-unit skill area of choice
Specific Skill Building:

  • Confidence in Contact – Defensive skills
  • Handling – Catch/Pass/Kick
  • Decision Making on Attack
  • GCA:  Games – Contest Approach, using Outcome Goals
  • Defense
  • Forward & Back Play; Team Play

In addition to preparatory work online, you’ll receive 3 days of quality instruction, discussion and observation on the pitch and in group discussions, along with on-field practicals and follow up coaching during the year. Each coach stays in a private room with towels and linens, receives all meals, access to Bowdoin’s facilities and a camp jersey.  Arrive Thursday afternoon in time for dinner; camp ends Sunday early afternoon.

This is a great way to improve or re-energize you or your assistant’s coaching career.


“The Coaching Workshop at the Polar Bear Rugby Camp offered the unique and challenging experience of working one-on-one with some of the most accomplished rugby thinkers in coaching today. MaryBeth, Griff, and the other head coaches worked with me to customize their messages to suit my exact experience level and coaching needs. Though only a single weekend long, the intensive workshop pushed me to develop my observational, analytical, introspective, and communicative skills in a nuanced, holistic way. I had never–and have not since–experienced a coaching-educational opportunity that offered such depth and support with a personal touch.” 


“The coaching clinic at the Polar Bear Rugby Camp was well worth the cross-country flight from California. Marybeth, Rusty, and Griff created such a positive, accessible learning environment that encouraged me to be innovative and critical about my own coaching. The camp provided all of the coaches many opportunities to put their ideas and plans into practice and we also were able to learn from each other. It was my impression that I was able to gain so much from the coaching course because the theme throughout the clinic was that rugby is fun and so it stands to reason that learning how to grow within the game of rugby should also be fun for the players and the coaches. When I first watched Rusty running around with the boys playing touch I initially thought, look at this crazy fool – is he coaching or just having fun? Fast forward to the end of camp games, and the young boys’ game was by far the best display of players who were able to identify and exploit space, work well with their teammates and just have fun playing rugby. It was a testament to how Rusty’s coaching gives players the opportunity to express themselves, have fun, and learn how to play rugby at the same time. Thinking about how to create a positive learning environment and encourage joy and understanding with our players was a very important concept that we were able to expound and study and learn about. I enjoyed the camp immensely and was able to rediscover meaning behind why I continue to coach. The coaching clinic was hard, exhausting at times, lots of work, lots of thinking, and lots of fun. There is great coffee nearby and a beautiful campus to enjoy. I would highly recommend the coaching clinic to all coaches.”


“Bowdoin’s Polar Bear Rugby Camp Coach Education Course gave me an entirely new perspective on the game, tactical vision, and the player/coach relationship. The experience was an outstanding investment in my coaching self development.”


“The Polar Bear coaching clinic offered the opportunity for me to expand my comfort zone in my coaching style.  I learned different styles by observing the coaching staff and in residence coaches.  The opportunity to build lesson plans with various coaches enabled me to better connect with my athletes, experience different view points to get skills across to the athletes, and to feel comfortable in adding new skills into my toolbox. The environment was presented in a way to allow for idea growth, allow for mistakes, and to gain the satisfaction in seeing the athletes enjoy the game more.  The coaching staff and coaches in residence were very supportive of each other, learning from each other, and helping each other expand their networks.  We were able to be open with each other on our abilities and our flaws and work to improve both. The soft skills learned are valuable life lessons, and I was able to even transition those skills to my work environment as well as the rugby coaching environment.”