Who Are We?

Stephen Kaplan

Stephen Kaplan | Coach

What do you coach? 
Tell us about yourself
I started coaching women's rugby in 1989 and started coaching rugby at ECS in 2000. I am also currently the Head Coach of the Quebec U16 & U18 girls' teams.  
Please describe what makes the ECS community special 
The girls' and their parents' dedication to participating in a wide range of activities - inlcuding playing sports - is remarkable.
Why did you choose to become an coach? 
I wanted to give back to the sport I grew up playing and loved. Why rugby? it is the ultimate team sport, 23 players per team for each game, and it is a game where every player is expected to do everything: run, pass, catch, tackle and score. Because it is a full contact sport, it is perfect for improving physical and mental self-confidence.
Do you have a philosophy that guides your coaching? 
Focus on skills and then ensure my team pratices and plays with focus, heart and passion.
How does coaching affect your work? 
Coaching rugby is a full time activity. I start work at 5am every morning to make sure there is always time to devote to my teams.
Tell us about a special aspect of this sport, and how it helps shape the girls as students
Rugby is a full contact sport, so it requires courage, which ECS girls fully embrace. All players from Grades 7-11 practice together which encourages all age groups to get to know one another and work together.

As you mentioned, you coach some Provincial teams. How does your work at that level of coaching complement your work at ECS, and vice versa? 
It ensures that I am up-to-date with the most current coaching strategies and philosophies by constantly being in touch with the top rubgy coaches across Canada and worldwide. 18 ECS girls have played rugby for Quebec, and Emilie Bydwell '02 has played for the USA National team, and Bianca Farella '09 won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games as part of the Canadian National team.
    • Coach Kaplan in action!