South African national rugby coach Charlie Lowe (58) is considered a master of strategy and tactics in the domestic rugby world. Foreign coaches have led the national team in the past, but he is the first to plan systematic player development and discovery by producing a youth program.
He was the coach when Korea went to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic 7-person finals for the first time in history, and he was appointed as a coach at the end of 2021 and led the Korean team to the 2022 World Cup in South Africa. I met him on the 15th at the office of the Korea Rugby Association in the building of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul.
Of course, what I am most curious about is Lowe’s coaching philosophy. At the time of the Tokyo Olympics, he was told by players that “I can’t do anything without this person”, and recently he is known as a leader who “explained the reason to a player who was eliminated from the national team for 20 minutes.”
Director Lowe, who is characterized by a thoughtful smile, put honesty first. “I hate it when the players don’t like it,” he said. If it’s good, you have to be honest about it. If you are angry, you must be angry. Everyone should be able to speak,” he said.
Respecting the right to speak is for communication. Players raise problems with the manager, and the manager must solve them together. If you can’t solve it, then you should clearly explain and share why. 먹튀검증
It is from this kind of trust that he talks for a long time to a player who has been dropped from the national team. He said, “The national team is not a player who works hard, but a place where the best players are selected. If you fully understand that you are not meeting my requirements, the athlete will look back and try again.”
In the details, technology, psychology, and emotion are emphasized. To do this, he uses video analytics. He said, “During the national team training, we have team meetings every day and individual meetings once a week. All based on video analytics. If the players are happy, it will be over in 5 minutes, but if they are not happy, we will talk for more than 20 minutes. He said, “If you do 24 people, it sometimes takes more than 6 hours.”
The ‘hawk’s eye’ for specific and accurate evaluation comes from observation. “Rugby is like music,” he said. If you read the flow, you can replay the entire game.”
What do players do when they repeat their mistakes? He said, “It goes up to two times. But if it’s 3 times, it gets serious. You don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes, but it’s more important to be determined not to repeat them and practice them.”
In this process, the rules set by him must be followed by the coaching staff without exception. He said, “A team should be a family, be honest, and not be afraid of change.”
Having directed both the unemployment and university teams in Japan, when asked about the difference between Korea and Japan rugby, he said, “Rugby players are all the same in South Africa, Japan, and Korea. Everyone is passionate and works hard.” However, I hoped that Korean players with great potential, who are not inferior in physique or talent, would gain more experience.
He said, “If you watch high school games, there are players who are greedy. Right now, I’m not good at passing or catching the ball, but if I teach him well, I’m sure he’ll become a good player. Unlike when we first met in 2019, Han Geon-gyu of the national team has grown into a world-class player now.”
Coach Lowe also developed a coaching program for high school leaders to nurture youth players. It will be distributed to youth rugby leaders across the country by the end of February. He said, “I put all the know-how I taught in 34 into the program. Rugby is a sport of thought. We made it so that players can play rugby safely without getting hurt.”
Coach Lowe is ahead of important games such as the World Rugby Challengers Series in April, the Asian Games in September, and the Olympic qualifiers in November. With around 1,000 registered players and dozens of unemployed team players, it is not easy to secure player resources. For this reason, in addition to core resources, a number of young players with high potential will be selected and brought to the April Challenge.
Of course, it is not easy to raise the capabilities of players with limited resources. For this reason, the Korea Rugby Association President Choi Yoon and the executive team are constantly pouring out orders to improve performance.
He said, “I came to Korea not because of money, but because of the friendship with the players.” The decision to live away from my family was due to my love and responsibility for Korean rugby. This is why his words, “I want to challenge the Olympics once again with the athletes,” are unusual.