Coaching easier than home-schooling, says Batley Bulldogs coach Craig Lingard

Craig Lingard has gone from delivering instructions on the training pitch at Batley Bulldogs to home-schooling his four young sons after rugby league was shut down by the coronavirus last month.

Batley Bulldogs head coach Craig Lingard doing PE with his four sons; Joe, Sam, Tom and Ben.

The Batley head coach had only taken charge of five competitive games at Mount Pleasant before being thrust into a makeshift teaching role after schools across England were closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

For many parents, home-schooling children has become the new normal and Lingard admits that coaching rugby league players is the easier of the two tasks.

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“I would say that coaching rugby league players is much easier than home-schooling four kids under 11 because, in general, the rugby players do what you tell them to do,” chuckled Lingard.

Craig Lingard: Batley Bulldogs head coach is busy home-schooling his four children.

“With four kids it is different but the sooner we get back to some kind of normality the better.”

Lingard and his wife Claire have four sons aged between four and 11, named Joe, Sam, Tom and Ben.

“It is not too bad, to be honest,” Lingard continued.

“We have a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old who do their stuff in the morning and then the six-year-old and four-year-old do their work in the afternoon. We split them into twos, we couldn’t have four of them around the table at once!

“When two are sat doing their schoolwork, the other two are doing an activity like reading, drawing or something like that.”

Batley forward Michael Ward is a schoolteacher but Lingard didn’t need any tips from the Bulldogs man after working as an alternative provision teacher for the last 18 months.

Alternative provision schooling is for children who receive education out of normal school due to exclusion, behaviour issues, school refusal, or short- or long-term illness.

Lingard added: “I have worked with kids for the last 18 months or so and I am doing my High Level Teaching Accreditation.

“So I am not in too bad a position compared to some parents, who have never had to do this before.”

On the coaching front, Lingard admits there is little he can do with rugby league suspended indefinitely by the Rugby Football League.

With no date for a return and with the possibility that Championship teams could have slightly different squads to the ones that started the season, preparation is made all the more difficult.

“There is not really a great deal as a coach that you can do at this time,” admitted Lingard.

“You would usually use this time to get some plans together and get some reviews done but because there is no end in sight we can’t really put plans into place.

“We don’t know when we are going to restart the games and in which order.

“The teams might be completely different to how they started the season by the time we start again.

“It is quite tough to fill your time rugby wise but I have got the four kids at home that are keeping me busy.”

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