EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Reviewing your journey to a game model

The most effective teams have a shared way of playing.

All planning and training focuses on that shared way.

A GAME MODEL

A game model is the way your team solves the key problems in a game. Those problems are

ONE: Penetrate the defensive line and score.

TWO: Advance the ball up the field.

But we must also account for the contest for possession.

THREE: Recycle and continue with possession of the ball.

GAME SOLUTIONS AND PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS

A solution to a problem is a tactic. Essentially, it is a coordinated action by the team. For example, a kick and chase to advance the ball.

A performance problem is that the opposition will position themselves to outwit your tactic.

Tactical understanding is the if-then rule that you need to read the opposition and make adjustments to the tactic. For example, if the winger is back, then run and then kick.

REALISTIC SOLUTIONS

A performance solution needs your players to be able to execute the tactic.

First, you need to assess your strengths. Can you execute this tactic now?

Second, you need to develop a training programme to continue to develop these strengths and also develop other skills to execute this tactic.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

Have an honest conversation with your players.

It should lead to a shared understanding, which means having a shared language and knowing what they see on the pitch, not just what you see.

This simplifies complexity. The players will begin finding situations that they recognise on the field and then play from there. For example, they get to a ruck in the midfield, with all the backs on their feet, and so know what to play and where to play.

GIVE OWNERSHIP

In reality, giving ownership is sharing the responsibility for performance with the players.

If everyone knows “why”, that is, what tactics are going to be used for what reason, they can offer their own solutions and methods.

When the players suggest a solution, help them review it against your team’s principles. They can try it out it in training too.

Ultimately every player should be able to say:

  1. This is our plan.
  2. I know what my role is in implementing this plan.

YOUR TIME

Can you now answer these questions for yourself?

  1. What is meant by a game model?
  2. The benefits of using a game model
  3. How to construct a game model
  4. How to adapt a game model (as shared understanding grows).

If you feel you can, then we look forward to seeing you in the next part of the course on Tactical Periodisation.

 

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