A few weeks ago, our Principal Partner nib invited Tana and Blues to a special luncheon at SKYCITY. It was an opportunity for local media, sponsors and invited guests to meet the new Head Coach of the Blues and hear of his plans for the 2016 season.
For those who’ve tracked Tana’s post-playing career, he’s earned a reputation for quiet, hard-working success. He also avoids the spotlight like no other, so to get Tana in the hot seat was pretty special.
During the interview, Tana spoke of the lessons he’s learned over the past seven years while coaching teams like Toulon, Counties Manukau and the NZ Under-20s. Today we’re sharing a few insights into how Tana will coach the Blues in 2016.
Identify with the players
“What do we need to do is understand the player, to create a culture where they enjoy coming to our facility, to understand what it takes to be successful.”
“It all comes down to confidence, I back myself. And I do have a strong support network in place – I’ve got a very loving wife who’s very honest in her appraisals of me as a coach. She keeps me grounded and focussed on the role at hand.”
Trust the team
“Coaching is like parenting – you do your best to support the player and encourage them. If they make a mistake or cross a line, you have to let them know.
And when it comes to discipline, I think the players should govern that and monitor what goes on in the group.”
Select men of character
“I want players that want to be here, who want to play for the club & the region. A bit of experience is always good, players who’ve got professional rugby experience as well as good character.”
“There are two kinds of coaches: those who have been sacked and those who are waiting to be sacked. So that encourages me to work hard. I’ll be driving our players and our coaching staff to be the hardest working team.
Talent gets you in the door, but your work ethic determines how far you go.”