The Investec International Rugby Academy is at the forefront of rugby coaching in South Africa, responsible for shaping the lives and futures of young players and coaches by tapping into the experiences and skills some of the world’s greatest rugby icons.
Headed up by former Eastern Province player, Greg Miller, with his appetite for coaching and moulding the lives of young rugby players and coaches, the Investec International Rugby Academy is filling the gap for mentorship in the sport. Passionate about using his experiences, achievements and knowledge to make a difference in the lives of young South African rugby players and coaches, Miller as General Manager, is the perfect man for the job.
After retiring from professional rugby, Miller’s unwavering passion for the sport remained and he knew that he needed to use his success, and experience, to ensure that those with potential had the opportunity to enjoy the same rewards. Following a career as a school boy’s rugby coach, Miller joined the Investec International Rugby Academy in 2009, who together with former Springbok, Dick Muir, has made the initiative fruitful for both players and coaches.
The Investec International Rugby Academy relies on former rugby icons – both South African and international players – to provide hands-on coaching and mentoring to future generations of rugby players and coaches. Not only does the opportunity allow players to improve and be noticed, but also allows the coaches to reconnect with their passion and give back to the game.
“The coaches at the Investec International Rugby Academy have been chosen because they have the knowledge and experience that can add value to young players’ lives. These players are able to tap into this rich and diverse source of knowledge allowing them to learn, what took the coaches’ years to develop, in one week,” says Miller.
Some of the keys to making it professionally in rugby can be seen in the way Miller’s rugby career unfolded. Miller’s success as a professional rugby player and coach didn’t come from attending the right schools or clubs, but rather through hard work and dedication. As a young man, Miller proved his love for sport and his diversity through his achievements. Miller grew up in Port Elizabeth and attended Grey High School. He played for, both, SA Schools’ and Eastern Province’s cricket and rugby teams.
“Success in rugby is not just about talent; it is about having the right attitude, commitment, teamwork and skill. All of which can be developed over time with the right coaching opportunity,” says Miller.
“At the academy, these young players and coaches are able to gain valuable insight and an understanding into what it takes to play or coach professionally, from the wealth of experience our coaches have,” he said.
While he did well in both sports during his school years, Miller decided to focus on his love for rugby and played Currie Cup for Border and Eastern Province and Super Rugby for Eastern Province. His successful playing career consisted of 130 Currie Cup games. Following his gratifying professional career, Miller decided to retire and move his passion for rugby towards coaching.
“I wanted to use my knowledge and experience as a rugby player to influence the youth. We often take for granted how much of an impact we can have on moulding a child’s life,” added Miller.
Miller went on to coach Selborne College for eight years and Grey High School for five years. He has also been involved in Craven Week and various clubs. After having enrolled in Murray Mexted’s International Rugby Academy of New Zealand’s Coaching course, Miller was approached by former Springbok, Dick Muir, and asked if he was interested in getting involved in the South African franchise. Miller was appointed General Manager shortly afterwards and is responsible for the course structure, skills coaching and team building.
Adding to his coaching portfolio, as of the start of this year Miller was appointed as Director of Coaching at Hilton College and plans to continue influencing young player’s lives for the better.
“Coaching is about understanding the team environment. In a team there are 15 unique individuals, and as a coach you have to know how to deal with each one – his strength, weakness and his position, and not generalise in order to get through to him,” said Miller.
Just as the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand afforded Miller an opportunity to coach professionally, the Investec International Rugby Academy offers high performance training to players and coaches at different levels and aims to provide an understanding of the life skills needed to make it on and off the field.
“The Investec International Academy takes players out of their comfort zone and pushes their boundaries so that they understand that professional rugby is not all smiles and roses. It is a must for those who are serious about taking their rugby to the next level,” added Miller.
Players and coaches are invited to partake in the Investec International Rugby Academy’s highly sought after player and coach courses which will commence from 10 to 16 December at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg. Visit www.investecacademy.com or contact Bernadine on 031 940 5565 or email@example.com.
Author: Tegan Mitchell
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