EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Two clever ways to read the current rugby roadmap

With the exciting possibility of a return to rugby less than five weeks away and sometimes earlier in other countries, here are two ideas and a bunch of activities to get you and your coaches ready.

ONE: LET’S PLAY (WITH A PLAN)

Everyone will want to be playing. Depending on the protocols, there will be some restrictions on contact and perhaps even the numbers allowed to play together.

However, have a plan. Fitness levels will be very low, so keep the game areas small and provide plenty of breaks.

Here are some good small-sided games to start.

RTP: Three touch rugby games that give better context

Slide and hammer defence

Of course, the emphasis is on fun and connections. I would also sprinkle in some tactical intentions. These are ideas that have been flourishing in your mind during lockdown.

What’s a tactical intention? It’s not a structured tactical plan. Instead, it is a toolbox of skills that will allow your team to play to their strengths.

So, if it is a quick ball game you want to play, you will have some form of hurry-up in your game. Therefore, “let’s play, and, by the way, here’s a little bit of a plan”.

TWO: EASY-HARD RUGBY STEPS

Don’t think you can make up for lost time with an accelerated curriculum of skills and tactical appreciation. Instead, rebuild your players’ confidence with some skilful building blocks.

While most of the players will appreciate that they will have lost out on some technical development and their own skill levels will have reduced, they are less likely to appreciate some “back-to-basics” work.

In which case, use activities that require basics, but in a slightly pressurised context. Slow down or speed up the exercises during the session, mixing them in with games.

Here are two activities that work on passing “basics” which can be varied for speed.

Attack: Handling booster

Gate chase

As is often said: Focus on just one or two factors. Don’t sweat every detail…for now.

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