EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

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01/15/2022 | Rugby coaching

Video games for your toolbox

A Digital Video Games Approach is more than putting points and levels into your training. Let’s start to unlock their power. By Amy Price, FA Women’s National Coach Developer and coach developer with GreyMattersUk.com, with Dan Cottrell. MORE

01/11/2022 | Tackling

Tackling from the hip

The best tacklers read the movements of the ball carrier and anticipate where they are going. This session improves anticipation skills by focusing on the core of the ball carrier. 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


Latch and smash

Here is an easy-to-coach contact technique that will help break through defensive lines. It is especially good if you have a smaller team, a support player simply latches on to the ball carrier and pushes him through the defender. MORE

How to tackle effectively by focusing on the core 3

Always score – tackle the core

Better tacklers anticipate where a ball carrier is going. You can improve anticipation skills by using this session to help focus on the core of the ball carrier. The hips don’t dummy, so if the tackler can keep his eyes on this area, he should make more tackles. 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


01/13/2022 | Rugby drills

Wicked warm-ups

Get your session buzzing with these three activities for an active warm-up. By using games, chaos and lots of movement, the players will be using all the key physical literacy skills in a busy environment. 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


01/21/2022 | Rugby coaching

Create a positive day one climate

In her paper published by the University of Kansas in 2010, Mary D. Fry, the college’s professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology, demonstrates the vital importance in children’s sports coaching of working to create a positive environment from the very first training session. MORE

01/12/2022 | Coaching Laid Bare with Bird Burgess

Coaching Laid Bare with Rachel Lund

Bird and LJ caught with Rachel Lund, former England international and now a Gloucester-Hartpury player who is studying to become a physio. They asked her about the following: Her journey from minis player to premiership. Combining and juggling her commitments as an international and club player whilst studying full time for a degree. Whether she would have changed to a full-time contract if she had been offered it. The importance of having many career options. Her current degree in physiotherapy. How her degree combines with her sport. MORE

01/7/2022 | Rugby coaching

Unopposed: the pros and the pitfalls

Is a team run without opposition a necessary evil? Experienced schools and club coach Bill McDonald considers both sides of the argument, with solutions to some of the pitfalls and ways to make your team runs more effective. MORE

01/6/2022 | Rugby drills

Not really homework (plus great playground game!)

In 5 simple handling homework tasks, we’ve come up with some ideas for players to practise their handling at home. We’ve called it homework, but I’m never sure that’s a good idea. The word sounds like something most kids will do everything in their power to avoid. 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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