Positive Coaching Scotland Programme

Scottish Rugby include key elements of the Positive Coaching Scotland programme in to our workshops and courses.

The Positive Coaching Scotland programme has the main aims to develop players on and off the field. We work with clubs, schools and individuals to share a width and depth of experience from different aspects of the game to deliver key elements of the programme.

  • PCS Plus For Coaches

    PCS Plus is the next stage of Positive Coaching Scotland, providing the opportunity for coaches to focus on specific issues or challenges in developing players.

    As a coach, you contribute to the sporting culture and environment players experience and you lead by example. The way that you coach young people has such a huge influence on them and what they learn. Your role is critical in ensuring a young person has a positive, enjoyable and fun experience.

    PCS Plus content focuses on five key areas: mastery, confidence, mindset, life skills and values, where coaches can develop these these within the coaching environment.

    Scottish Rugby are running a series of 8 free workshops across Scotland aimed at coaches of all levels of the game. These will also feature special guests from the Scottish Rugby Performance team, where they will share their own experiences and help you understand how each theme can be applied within your own coaching environment.

    Each workshop will be complemented by a set of practical tools that can help you be a better coach by providing practical new ideas, helping you address challenges and developing young people to achieve their best in sport and life.



    Mindset is a young person’s beliefs about themselves and the qualities that they think they have – this relates to areas such as sporting ability or intelligence. They can have either a fixed or a growth mindset depending on whether they believe their abilities can be developed or not.

    Mindsets can be changed and learned and as a coach you can help develop growth mindsets and manage fixed mindsets.



    We want young people to be confident and have the self-belief that they can achieve what they have set out to accomplish. It is the belief that they can pick themselves up after a disappointment and still do their best and help those around them to succeed.

    The good news for both players and coaches is confidence can be improved, it is not fixed at the same level all the time. As a coach having the awareness and understanding of how to develop confidence will give young people the greatest chance of being the best they can be.

    Developing A Mastery Environment


    Mastery coaching is the ability to create a player-centred environment that focuses on long-term development and includes: effort, learning, challenge and struggle, improvement and learning from mistakes.

    With mastery coaching, young people consistently achieve more, develop faster and have greater levels of success, by concentrating on specific challenges and aspects that they want to develop. This benefits them in both their sport and home lives.



    As a coach you should intentionally be developing young peoples’ values during training sessions and games/matches. Values such as discipline, respect and integrity are just as important in life as they are in a sporting setting.

    We provide a range of tools that can be used to develop values and include teamwork, good manner, fair play and respecting referees, officials and opponents.

    Life Skills


    Research shows that by developing life skills through sport this can significantly impact not only a young person’s sporting ability, but their whole lives.

    Life skills developed through sport include, communication, resilience, decision making and teamwork.


    Candidates must be a minimum of 16 years of age to attend

  • Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) Clubs Programme

    The PCS Programme for clubs is a cultural development model to ensure that the club is creating the right environment for its players, coaches and members to have the opportunity to develop and enjoy rugby.



    Mission Statements

    The club produces and uses a mission statement which outlines what they aim to achieve, this will be supported by identifying the ethos of the club and the core values it portrays day in day out.


    Workshops will be delivered to Club leaders, Coaches, Players and Parents.

    Critical Mass Engaged

    The Majority of your club need to be engaged in the PCS process, this may be in the form of surveys or attendance to PCS workshops at the club.


    Coaching is at the heart of the accreditation with the development of Mastery Coaching to create the environment for players to flourish and reach their own personal best.

    Match and Training Policies

    We look at ways that you can create the most positive environment for everyone involved with rugby activities at the club from coaches and players to referees and visiting teams. Valuing the volunteer contribution to clubs running smoothly is a massive part of this.

    PCS Communications

    The way the club communicates is essential to have a smooth running club and positive environment engaging all.

    PCS Materials

    We will be looking for the club to spread the word of PCS and use it as a tool to generate interest in the club, everything from new members to gaining sponsorship.

    PCS Champions

    The club must have people in place that can ‘champion’ the programme in their club and community. This is to ensure the sustainability of the programme in the club as new people come in

  • Positive Coaching Scotland Schools Programme

    The PCS Programme in schools is a workshop based approach to target Players, Parents and Coaches of school rugby teams.

    Each of the workshops will be tailored towards each specific group, but will cover the same themes that influence the player’s development on and off the field.

    MindsetDeveloping a Growth Mindset is key to creating players that have the desire to continually improve and challenge themselves. The programme will help the key influencers nurture this kind of mindset in our players.
    Mastery CoachingWe will work with coaches to help develop their approach to coaching. Mastery coaching is about becoming process over outcome orientated. This helps to develop players to master the skills of rugby, thus increasing the chance of success.
    Creating a Positive EnvironmentThe environment that allows the players to develop is key. There must be a mixture of challenge and support coming from all the key influencers to create the correct environment.
    Codes of ConductDeveloping codes of conduct around training and match days are important to install not just respect and rugby culture, but also the soft skills essential in development of young people. Skills including responsibility, leadership, punctuality and communication that are learned on the pitch, help to develop individuals off the pitch.
    RespectEnsuring that respect remains a massive part of the rugby culture we will look at the areas of respecting the Laws, opponents, officials, teammates and their self.
    Resilience and ConfidenceAs players are growing and travelling along their rugby journey, they will face many challenges and setbacks on and off the pitch. Participating in a competitive contact sport will help develop confidence and the experience of winning and losing along with the other challenges involved in rugby will help develop resilient individuals.
    Triple Impact PlayersThis looks at ways in which players can improve their self, their teammates and the game of rugby. We want each player to achieve their individual potential, thus improving the overall competition at youth rugby.
  • Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) Hub

    Good practice and success stories of clubs across Scotland benefiting from PCS

    Sharing Best Practice at the PCS Seminar

    BT Murrayfield hosted the annual Positive Coaching Scotland Seminar on Saturday 2 April. There were representatives from across Scotland including PCS clubs, clubs working towards PCS as well as those interested in what the programme has to offer. Here they engaged in discussions, problem solved and shared best practice.

    Some of the topics discussed were:

    • Working together better
    • Developing the (right) environment
    • Troubleshooting common problems
    • Getting more girls at your club
    • Transition planning for players

    This is very encouraging for the development of PCS going forward and we hope to share the best practice and suggestions via our new online training hub (coming soon).

    It is more than just winning at Lismore RFC

    A club that truly epitomizes what PCS is all about is Lismore RFC, in the South of Edinburgh. They have truly utilised the power of rugby to develop people on and off the field. With their development team working in all aspects of the community, they affect over 2500 children with positive experiences, developing their physical and mental wellbeing. This is PCS in the wider sense in full glory, giving everyone an opportunity to flourish regardless of whether they are a member of the club, the next internationalist, or just someone needing to take out the frustrations of everyday life on the rugby field. Developing important things like confidence, resilience, and self-worth in the individuals they work with through a variety of rugby initiatives. The video is a touch of creativeness that really hammers home the amazing work they do. We could all show off the impact we have on children’s lives, no matter how small.

    Watch video.

    Caithness RFC are loud and proud about PCS

    Caithness RFC are visually promoting the fact that they are a PCS club. In their community facility, they want everyone to know their PCS values and mantra. By displaying this in plain view there is no hiding from what they are trying to achieve as it is a constant reminder for all involved. This also keeps the message fresh for all players and parents, as they are in the clubhouse, it becomes a talking point as well as looking great. PCS also features heavily on their website for all to see, www.pitchero.com/clubs/caithnessrugbyfootballclub/

    By taking this approach the club hopes that they can attract new young players to the club by showing the parents the values and benefits of growing and developing in a rugby community. They want to show the region of Caithness that they lead the way in shaping people on and off the field to create a successful rugby environment. They are also working with a local artist to produce a painting depicting PCS at Caithness RFC, we hope to show you this creative way to spread the word very soon.

    Pebbles Piranhas RFC Keep it Fresh

    Peebles RFC are well into their second year post accreditation and their mini section, the Piranhas, have decided to re-invigorate their PCS messages. A letter went out to all the parents and asked them to engage with a short SurveyMonkey with their children and discuss some of the PCS values, thus ensuring that both players and parents help the coaches keep the values at the forefront of what they are trying to achieve at the club. Neil Clark writes

    "3 years on since receiving accreditation, we continue to ensure the values identified as being important continue to infuse our coaching today. From shaking hands with team mates and coaches, to involving children in learning during training sessions, to clapping each other off the pitch after training, to helping the coaches to tidy up after practice the principles continue. As coaches we remain committed to the ‘One Club’ values of enjoying rugby, developing the children to have the skills to compete and achieve to be the best they can be."

    Murrayfield Wanderers RFC Utilise PCS to Galvanise Club

    Murrayfield Wanderers RFC took the chance of developing the culture to bring all the sections of the club together to share in the common goal and vision. Using the social media handle of 'Proud To Be A Wanderer' (#PTBAW) they have seen the benefit of greater engagement of volunteers, player and parental engagement. This resulted in several well attended events driving not just revenue, but a culture of ‘One Club’. They are now reaping the benefits of larger numbers of players at mini and youth sections along with an engagement of people in the club at all levels whom had drifted away in the past.

    See some of MWRFC's journey in this video from The Winning Scotland Foundation.

    The PCS Culture at Gairoch RFC Spills Out to the Community

    Gairoch RFC had a different approach, using the PCS programme to drive an improvement to their facilities. Thus showing again how building a culture of everyone chipping in can benefit the environment around us. The club have engaged a large number of people by ensuring they have a welcoming and first-class facility, which has built a real community feel and a successful club. With the adverse weather we have been experiencing recently, local North East communities have been hit hard by the flooding and the club put out the call to action to show their community spirit. Gairoch utilise their PCS culture to reach out to these communities and show how rugby (and the muscular, athletic people we have) can get their hands dirty to clear up after the floods. Local clubs Moray, Dyce and Ellon RFC were also in attendance at this clear up. Gairoch have really lived up to their slogan #GetBehindGairoch and now the local community look favourably on the rugby club.

    Perthshire RFC Shows Creativity to Engage the Community

    Perthshire RFC have being utilising their creativity for this seasons recruitment video, more so they are engaging in their local community to show the rugby club as a leading light for not just sport but also the social side of things. Their PCS journey has led them to realise that engagement with the wider community and sharing of best practices and expertise is the way forward. Their partnership work currently in place ensures the sustainability of what they have set out to achieve. Perthshire RFC have set out to be pro-active in maximising resources to aid in their club’s development. This means they have looked into the local community to get help they need but they have also reached out to them to offer their help from expertise they have in their club. Strong partnerships have been forged with the local schools and other sports clubs which only serves to benefit all of Perthshire’s young sports stars.

    Watch the video.

Please contact Gordon Lyon by emailing [email protected] for additional information and for available courses relating to the Positive Coaching Scotland Programme.

PCS Programme Partners

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Scottish Rugby.


Principal Partners

Peter Vardy logo