Develop better communication in defence, support and attack | Activities, games and advice

How you get your players to “talk” more in games and training is a constant challenge for coaches. Responding to a request for activities and advice from one of our readers, here’s a selection of approaches.

I always think that one of the best ways to improve better communication is to make it matter to the players. Get off the line encourages defenders to get into position quickly and then choose their targets before closing down an attack. Frankly, if they don’t communicate, it will go wrong pretty much every time.

In Twist and clout, you disorientate the players before they have to make rugby decisions. Again, without good communication, they will fail to defend or attack effectively and miss out on success.

Not all training ideas come from considered planning. I found this out when I was running a session last season. Here is how I changed my approach to creating an informal tactical conversation in my blog post Be patient – and heed your own advice.

Finally, in the two Support play adaptive games, the players are discovering new ways to score. If they want to win the game, they naturally find themselves communicating. Otherwise, they will be constantly frustrated.

As you can see, all these activities don’t have you telling the players to talk more – it just makes more sense. Then, afterwards, you can tell them what they did.

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