Starburst was devised for a teacher day. As you will see, the defenders surround the attackers, and the attackers devise a tactic to score. We adapted the game by changing the starting points for the defenders. They also suggested using tackling – though we didn’t use that on the day, for obvious reasons.
When I rolled this out in a training session with players, it was more physical. I also noticed they spent less time on the tactics. Perhaps, this was because they were teammates already and so knew how to work together?
The other deceptive game is called Spoof. This game comes from 2010! I was coaching the Welsh Women team, and we were using lots of ways to challenge the players to think quickly in chaos.
This game took a little longer for the players to get used to. It definitely benefitted from being played a few times over a couple of weeks. Then, I really saw lots of creative ways to win.
It’s worth noting what you want from a game, rather than playing a game for its own sake. Here are my potential outcomes:
Creativity under pressure
Quick, accurate defensive communication
Passing to space, not a static player
One key “rule” for me was that the ball carrier can run with the ball. I think this is more game-like.
Develop good footwork in the last few steps before the tackle. First, to power into a tackle situation, and then to adjust as the tackle target moves either to the left or the right. This activity uses low-impact outcomes with tackle tubes to focus on the technical aspects of the skill. MORE
In the busy preparation for the season, core skills training plays a vital part in building better outcomes under pressure. Rugby Coach Weekly has a strong focus on this area, with expert analysis and sessions to improve players at all levels. MORE
Getting ready for training needs players to get their bodies and minds in tune. Play lots of games to motivate and engage the players. Then break out into skills zones where your players can start to concentrate on the details. Here are four warm-up skills activities which can be mixed into your training routines, all from our growing video archive. MORE
Technically better tacklers are also safer tacklers. Develop tackling expertise with these exercises – they are ideal for pre-season training and are also great as revision tools as the season progresses. You will note that they include plenty of footwork, which is an essential part of the process of improvement. We will start with 4... MORE
The Super Rugby final last weekend between NZ side, the Crusaders and the Jaguares from Argentina was brutal! The contact area was keenly fought, and the players with the best technique and decision making prospered. In the end, we got to see Scott "Razor" Robertson, the Crusader coach, celebrate with his iconic dancing. However, the detail that goes into winning rucks was a crucial part of the reason that they won. MORE