EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Lockdown planning: Protecting against an overlap

If you are able to train, then you will be aiming to improve your players’ skills and tactical appreciation around specific areas of the game.

If you are in lockdown, it’s a chance to hone your session planning in readiness for your return.

In Lockdown planning: Exploiting a narrow defence we focused on ways to attack when you might have more attackers than defenders, in other words, an overlap. In this series of planning, we look at the other side, so that’s defending when you are outnumbered.

To enhance learning, you are better off focusing on an “arc” of learning for a specific area. This means spreading out the training over a number of weeks, rather than dedicating one session to this.

Here’s a four-week plan for defending an overlap, but you can split this up into more sections if you want.

Objective: Develop awareness of who to cover, when to go forward in defence and when to slide across.

Week one: Keeping connected in defence

Week two: Manipulating the attack when outnumbered

Week three: Defensive organisation to cover the threats

Week four: Reacting as a defence (using an attacking based session)

Let’s say you dedicate 15 minutes each week to the activities and assuming you have warmed up before the start of contact, you could use a mix of games and drills.

Each session may include all of the skills or tactic from all of the weeks. However, each week focuses on the specific skill/tactic, the reasons why there are important and how the players could improve their own contributions.

The mix depends on the skills of your players. Here are four ideas to help.

Note the last session has an attacking focus. However, it is just as good as a defensive session too because the defenders have to organise themselves appropriately.

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