EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Session with a template

Here is how Vince (with the help of Mason no doubt to start with) might put together a session.

First he outlines the performance problem, works out the solutions and then pulls together a training session that helps.

Remember that Motley Crew has a problem contesting the wrong rucks in defence…


PERFORMANCE PROBLEM

Opponents trying to penetrate our line and/or exploit space.

TACTICAL SOLUTIONS

Our aims here are to

  • Pressure the attack by contesting effectively at first and subsequent phases.
  • Reduce loss of field position – actively reduce opposition time/space.
  • Quickly establish and maintain our defensive integrity.

SCENARIO

Motley Crew understands these tactical solutions because they were developed collaboratively through the development of the shared game model.

However, the team is currently making some poor decisions: that is, prioritising contest of dead rucks over establishing and maintaining defensive integrity.

PRACTICE APPROACH

The problem here is not that the players don’t understand or share the game model. The problem lies in decision making.

Therefore the training approach should review the information (or cues) that players should be using to make their decisions, and then provide opportunities for them to practise making these decision using these cues under game-like conditions.

Game/drill conditions (constraints) should be manipulated to ensure that these decision making situations occur frequently.

The speed and complexity of decision-making can also be manipulated using the deficit-matched-surplus approach.

ALIGNED GOALS

While tactical periodisation always focuses on achieving a tactical playing improvement, all practices should also aim to improve physical, technical and mental aspects of performance (co-actives).

The practice explained above could therefore also aim to achieve the following aims.

PHYSICAL

Repeat high intensity efforts – Emphasise the ability to make a number of impactful collisions during a short period of time

TECHNICAL

Different scenarios breakdown scenarios require different cleanout techniques. Opportunity to re-enforce appropriate body shapes and choice of body shape in each scenario.

MENTAL

Patience – often players enter a breakdown, or give away a penalty, not because they see the appropriate cue but because they become anxious/frustrated/pressured. Practise/discuss why players enter breakdowns at inappropriate times.


Here is the session plan.

There’s more detail on here than you might find in a normal plan because it aims to explain the exercises in more depth.

Here’s a blank template to use:

game playing template

Let’s consider some IF-THEN possibilities.

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