Tindall admits transition will take time
July 21, 2012
Mike Tindall will coach Gloucester's backs next season while continuing on the field © Getty Images
Gloucester's Mike Tindall has admitted that it will take time to become accustomed to his new coaching role and has sought honest and forthright feedback from his team-mates.
Tindall will act as both a coach and a player next term for the Cherry and Whites in what will be his first season in the backroom staff. There were doubts over whether he would stay at Gloucester and at one time it seemed certain that he would be turning out for another side next term. But new coach Nigel Davies opted to keep the 33-year-old in the mix and Tindall claims that he will be looking to the players to help him move into his role.
"I have sat down with the players and had a chat about my transition and how that affects them as much as me," Tindall told the Gloucester Citizen. "We've talked about how I have to view them now, and of course how they have to view me.
"To be honest, not too much has changed, because I have been helping out and giving tips and pointers to the younger players for a few years now. So hopefully this is just the next stage of my development.
"I'm trying to build in all my coaching experiences from the past, learn from both the good and the bad, and hopefully keep the players in mind when I'm coaching. It's a massive learning curve for me on the coaching front, and I've told the players I'll need consistent feedback from them, to work out where I can improve and where there are areas where I'll be going wrong.
"So I've asked them for total honesty with me about that - the sooner you know, the sooner you can start making changes. Then you can re-evaluate and hopefully start to get better."
Tindall's role as backs coach will see him help the younger players in the side - the likes of Jonny May and Henry Trinder - realising their vast potential and the centre admits that they may have to make mistakes if they are to progress.
"My role is to challenge that backline a little bit more," Tindall added. "We have a talented bunch of lads and it is about making sure we get that improvement that we really need. We lost too many games last year on poor little decisions and as long as we can come away saying we have improved that then I think this season will be different.
"We've got to stick together as a unit, enjoy what we're doing, work hard and feed off each other all the time. One of the biggest challenges for us is to bridge the gap between youth and experience. Ultimately the younger players just have to live the game, and make mistakes on the field - that's always the best and quickest way to learn.
"So they are going to have to live and make those mistakes, but my role is making sure they realise when they make them, and what to do the next time instead. I am never going to detract from or inhibit a talent like Jonny May or Freddie Burns - look at what those guys can do on instinct, and you have to harness that and give them rein to try things.
"They've got something special and we need to help boost that, so as long as you can positively influence them, hopefully they will end up making better decisions more frequently."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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