EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

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01/13/2019 | Tackling

Tackle, change feet

Develop good footwork in the last few steps before the tackle. First, to power into a tackle situation, and then to adjust as the tackle target moves either to the left or the right. This activity uses low-impact outcomes with tackle tubes to focus on the technical aspects of the skill. MORE

Mini tag


11/13/2018 | Email Newsletters

Four fun games for mini tag (and older players...

Need to inject some new ideas in training. Sometimes the old games have run their course. Well, for the time being anyway. Here are some fun games which are quick to set-up and, with few rules, give the players new challenges. Though they are primarily aimed at mini-tag, you can easily adapt them for older players. I think you find the energy generated quite uplifting. MORE

Small-Sided Games


09/7/2019 | Rugby drills

Decision-making breakouts

Use these breakout exercises to focus on handling decision-making before returning the players to a game. Avoid stopping and starting – just let it run to allow the attackers to find solutions. MORE

09/4/2019 | Rugby drills

Mike Hall: Running an U16 academy session

Here’s how Mike Hall, formerly head of academy at Bristol, likes to put together an academy session for his U16 players at Bristol. Each session has two themes but we're going to look at one half of it – in this case, moving the ball into space. MORE


How to provide support from counter attacks 1

09/10/2019 |

Support seekers

Retrieving kicks can mean a chance to counter attack, but it carries risks. Your ball carrier is likely to be behind his team mates and therefore needs to find support so he does not become isolated. This session is about players’ options when running with the ball. MORE

How to build tackling confidence 3

09/9/2019 |

Easy defence

Use this session to build tackling confidence and technique with low impacts. Low impact tackling still requires good skills to bring the ball carrier to the ground. It then focuses on completing the tackle by making the tackler get back into the game. MORE

How to coach rucking skills in defence 3

09/3/2019 |

Counter ruck

Disrupt teams that do not put enough players into the ruck by counter rucking at the right moments. The first skill is to know how to counter ruck, then when to do it. This session works on developing the technical and decision-making tools to slow down or steal opposition ball. MORE


08/6/2019 | Warm Ups

VIDEO: Log roll warm-up

A physical, fun and warm-up, log rolls encourage teamwork and prepare players for contact.   Split players into groups of at least six. Put five players in a row, on the ground, shoulder-to-shoulder. Put another player, on their back, across these players, lying across their middles. On your call, the group has to propel the... MORE

07/18/2019 | Rugby drills

Essentials for the warm-up

One of the key influences you have on your team is in the hour or so before the match. Learn how to maximise that time to bring the best out of your players and get them flying from the first whistle. MORE

07/16/2019 | Email Newsletters

Warm-up video content | Ruck defence, tackling, contact and...

Getting ready for training needs players to get their bodies and minds in tune. Play lots of games to motivate and engage the players. Then break out into skills zones where your players can start to concentrate on the details. Here are four warm-up skills activities which can be mixed into your training routines, all from our growing video archive. MORE


09/12/2019 |

Coaches: Set the tone and allow parental engagement to...

We know that parents are the biggest influence on their children’s lives and character, but coaches have such a key role to play in the creation of effective sporting environments and setting the tone to allow parental engagement to flourish. What do we mean by setting the tone?  Well this can range from anything as to how coaches behave at training or on match day or the dialogue and messaging that we give both our parents and our players. MORE

09/6/2019 | Rugby coaching

Chicken or egg? Games before skills or vice versa

Jack Pattinson, academy and DPP coach at London Irish, in the South of England, talks to me about how he plans his coaching and what principles drive his sessions. I challenge him about the balance between skills training and game training, what the future player needs to know and how he measures success. MORE


09/12/2019

For the coach who has to referee: tips, reminders...

Whether you are refereeing in training (a good thing!) or have to referee your team on a Sunday (not such a good thing!), you will probably find yourself refereeing in some capacity this season. You will need to be confident that you can apply the laws as a coach to satisfy referees who take charge of your team. And if you do find yourself reffing, then it's far more than that...game management, crowd control, position, language, whistle control and signals.  MORE

08/20/2019

Give your players a better chance to learn

The more players learn, the more they improve. Learning is about retaining relevant knowledge and then using it in the right context. Our expectation is that our training sessions will do this. We are probably not that scientific in our approach, though the main thrust of what we do tends to lead to improvements. Let’s tighten this up with some training ideas and solutions to give our players more opportunities to learn MORE

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