EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

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11/15/2021 | Rugby coaching

How I kick queues into touch

If we want to maximise learning and engagement for players, we need to kick queues to touch and offer them a practice environment that will capture their imagination and help them improve as rugby players. But how do you coach without queues? MORE

11/9/2021 | Tackling

Defence boxers

Use boxing style footwork and arm movements to improve your players’ tackling. They should be end up in better positions to complete tackles. MORE

Mini tag


07/28/2020 | Mini tag

Return to play: Minis and juniors try chasers

Get your ball carriers used to running forward to score tries. This session can be run as a warm-up or as a proper tackling session as well. Often players fail to run forwards even when they know the try line is that way. This session should encourage them to attack a space in front them and go for it. MORE

Small-Sided Games


10/12/2021 | Small-sided games

Do or die game

Use this blocked attack game (one team attacks for a period of time) to challenge players to apply the principles of play under pressure. The attacking team get extra “lives” for good support when they score tries. MORE

10/6/2021 | Tactics

Use scenarios to engage players

Scenarios offer a great way of engaging your players in games. By putting the players in a specific point of a well known match, they get the opportunity to develop their game management. For younger players, scenarios give them the opportunity to be their favourite players of their favourite teams. For older players, scenarios give them the opportunity to challenge their decision making with regards to the score-line and also how to deal with specific threats or weaknesses in future opposition. MORE


How to promote threats from the deep 2

Hidden threats from the deep

Deception and pace break down organised defences. This session teaches a front line attack to pass to a player arriving at speed from a “hidden” second wave using timing, passing and running angles of both front and back players to hide the threat until the last moment. MORE

How to drift the defence at scrums 2

Drift defence at scrums

With a 5m ruling at scrums, teams tend to use drift defence. However, they need to practise not only the mechanics of the drift but also ways to cover the gap inside the 10, who has to catch up with his openside flanker. MORE

How to counter ruck effectively 3

Counter ruck kings

Counter rucking can spoil an attacking team’s quick ruck ball. Either your players win back the ball or, at worst, disrupt the opposition scrum half’s attempt to pick and clear it. This session progresses to focus on the decision-making process for counter rucking. MORE


09/4/2021 | Rugby drills

My three go-to warm-ups

"When asked what my three go-to U12s warm-ups are, I have no hesitation in listing them out", says Dan Brockhurst, owner of DB Sports Coaching. MORE

08/31/2021 | Rugby drills

Warm up with rondos, the grid game, prison break...

Here are four great warm-up games to energise your players while working on skills and decision-making. Notice that I'm keen to showcase player-led activities for warm-up games. This is a good chance to build more cohesion amongst the players, while you are still providing a certain amount of control on the direction of the session.  MORE


11/29/2021 | Rugby coaching

Safeguarding can’t be just signed off

Andy Pollard, head of safeguarding for Yorkshire Rugby and former police officer, argues that safeguarding goes beyond a tickbox exercise. Ignore the full implications and your club could suffer. More importantly, your players may fall into the cracks too. MORE

11/28/2021 | Round-up Rodeo with Phil Llewellyn

Roundup Rodeo Ep70: Reviewing the best content

Host Phil Llewellyn with guests review some of the many great podcasts, books, articles and webinars from the last week.  This week's guests: Stuart Dixon, Programme lead for Yorkshire Rugby Academy and Alex Grieve, Developing Player Programme lead Yorkshire Rugby Academy.  This week’s content Assessing and Evaluating Player Performance and Potential: The Influence of Age. In: Rugby Football Union Player Pathway Conference – Till, K. (2019) Challenges and [Possible] Solutions to Optimizing Talent Identification and Development in Sport– Till,K. (2020) The Long-Term Athlete Development model: Physiological evidence and application – Till, et al., (2011) Considering maturation status and relative age in the longitudinal evaluation of junior rugby league players - Till, et al., (2013) MORE

11/26/2021 | Ask Dan

Combating a lack of aggression

In my Ask Dan post, I answer a question I get asked regularly: “my players are skillful but lack aggression when it comes to games - how can I address this?”. I offered some games and solutions to the question on creating more “aggressive players”. MORE

11/21/2021 | Round-up Rodeo with Phil Llewellyn

Roundup Rodeo Ep69: Reviewing the best content

Host Phil Llewellyn with guests review some of the many great podcasts, books, articles and webinars from the last week.  This week's guests: Adam Gorman, senior lecturer in skill acquisition at Queensland University of Technology, Alex Lascu, lecturer in skill acquisition and performance psychology and PhD candidate at the University of Canberra and Rob Mason, coach developer with Port Adelaide AFL club and researcher in feedback and communication.  MORE


10/19/2021

Mix up your lineout training and tactics

Lineout training should be based around getting the basics right first. When Gary Gold was coaching the South African team with Victor Matfield and they were the best lineout in the world, he used to say: "They know where the ball is going, but Victor will always beat them into the air." But a lineout is not just about the jump/lift. It's also about what happens afterwards. Here are four activities to develop different aspects of this set-piece situation. MORE

10/5/2021

Priority skills for passing and catching

There are so many elements to passing, which ones do you concentrate on first and how do you train them? Here are a bunch of the priority skills you need and then great ways to train them. MORE

06/15/2021

Sessions that develop better tackle height

The RFU has brought forward plans to reduce the tackle height at age grade rugby to below the armpits. Talking to experienced school coaches in particular, they don't see much change in the impact on the game as a whole. However, it is an excellent opportunity to reexamine your tackle technique training. MORE

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