Langi Mai is a development framework that provides a coordinated approach to the introduction and development of the game to players, coaches, match officials and volunteers.
Langi Mai is a long term player development model that aspires to offer the game of rugby union in a progressive way so that all those involved have the opportunity to experience the game and develop within the game. There are four dimensions to Langi Mai;
1. The Player
Providing a skills curriculum for every player to follow.
2. The Coach
Offering education and support and training ideas to support the player at every stage in their development.
3. The Game
Providing a modified game from U18 that progressively introduces the full game.
4. Player Pathway
Detailing the pathway for those that aspire to play for Tonga.
Langi Mai is a player-centred approach to developing the game in Tonga. Every player at every level of the game has the right to experience a game that is well organized and well coached which offers a stepped progression between levels from the very grass roots of the game in clubs and schools to stepping out onto the National level to represent Tonga.
The pathway offers a progressive way of introducing the game to young players and developing coaches. At the same time it aims to capture the magic of the game and deliver a game that is fun to play, enjoyable and stimulating to coach and promotes open running rugby.
In Tonga we have a tradition of playing rugby with flair and power. With the game moving into the professional era back in 1995 there has been increased pressure to produce players who are bigger, fitter, faster and stronger.
Running with the ball, passing and having the ability to beat an opponent are the Tongan way. In order for us to try and promote and develop these skills the pathway has been adapted for our younger players. The rationale and philosophy of the rugby pathway is to aid the development of the player through their early years of playing and to provide them with a progressive approach to their learning and the skills of the game.
Contesting the ball is introduced in a controlled environment at the age of ten helping players to gain confidence in this area of the game. With these skills being developed progressively at each age group it is hoped that young players will be encouraged to stay within rugby and enoy the benefits of the game.
Within the pathway there is also information for coaches to support them to introduce and develop skills safely and effectively. The progressive nature of the pathway will, it is hoped, assist the coach to deliver the skills of the game in a progressive manner, without overloading them with too much information too soon.