William (14), Tom (12), John (9), Clara (5) and dad Jamie Green go through different ball handling ideas bouncing a ball against the wall. It shows how you can give each age group a different range of challenges. MORE
How to make greedy ball hoggers pass
Use simple “house” rules in training and games to help reduce the chance of selfish players dominating your team’s possession and preventing you scoring more tries.
With young players, it’s all about them. They play as if they are the only one on the pitch, ignoring team-mates and their shouts to pass to them. In the worst-case scenario the most dominant players score every time they get the ball.
A player passes on five occasions:
- When stopped by the defence.
- After running from side to side getting nowhere, tiring themselves out and at last realising a pass makes sense.
- When faced with a really hard tackler.
- If your team has better players than them and they know it.
- In a planned move.
SET A PASSING RULE
- From a restart, insist on at least two passes before a player makes a run
To encourage more passing might go against your principles but Minis in its purest form is what you as the coach are aiming for with all your players able to run, pass, evade and tackle. However, to get that greedy player passing you could use a simple passing move at restarts where he is involved by passing the ball.
The rules around the world vary for Minis and in Scotland they introduced a requirement that two passes must be made from any restart before a try could be scored. This at least encourages players to make two passes, rather than just one to the big fast player who runs through the defence and scores.
TWO HANDS ON THE BALL
- A player with two hands on the ball may be slower but he is more likely to pass
- It is easier to run with one hand on the ball but few young players can pass with just one hand
Set a ground rule that the player has to always hold the ball in two hands. This makes it far more likely he will pass, as tucked under one arm there is no chance. It will also let him get arms free in contact to offload out of the tackle. So when you play the two-pass game, players must hold the ball in two hands or lose possession.
HOLD OUT FOR THE FUTURE
Keep working on passing, especially with the greedy player. In a few years, these players will find their game compromised by better defences and other players catching up. In the meantime, you want your other players to be more involved and developing their skills. That’s why it is worth the time and effort make the greedy players less greedy.