If you can spot gaps, you need to get the ball there quickly. That's the best space. What happens is the best space on the edges of the defence? That might need some quick but long passes. Work on your players' technique and put it under pressure with these exercises. MORE
Attack the ball
This session works on a common problem – drifting out with the pass. The drift is a natural action that has two unfortunate effects. First it reduces the space for the outside players. Second it allows the defence to drift across. Help your players to break the habit with “attack the ball” running lines.
Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 10-15
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
- Why do players drift out with the pass?Players tend to move in the same direction as the pass. It takes them away from the defence but towards where they are going to pass next. You are going to be breaking this natural movement habit with this session. Catching early will give the players more decision making time or time where they can adjust the ball slightly before passing it on.
- Are the players attacking the ball?Practise in pairs with one passer and one receiver. The receiver must do two things as he is about to catch the ball – step towards the passer and throw his hands out towards the ball.
- Angle your run slightly in towards the player passing to you.
- Reach for the ball early with your hands.
- Your final step before you catch the ball should be towards it as though attacking the pass.
What you get your players to do
Split your players into groups of four attackers.
- Start with players running and passing through angled channels as in the top picture.
- Then mark out targets opposite the four attackers. The ball is passed to the attackers, who have to run just inside their target, while reaching towards the ball and attacking it with their hands before passing it onto the next player. It will be obvious if the players are drifting off the pass as they will end up outside their targets.
- Cut down the space between the attacking players and their target.
- Instead of targets have four defenders, who can reach forward and sideways, but cannot move.
- Do the same practice but run a number of phases, with the attacking four always attacking the ball.
Split into two teams, five attackers against four defenders. The attack start in the middle of the pitch. Only one defender at a time is allowed in the wide channels. Use either touch or full tackling.
The attack get two points for scoring in the middle area and one point for scoring in the wide channels. Restart if there is a ruck or maul.
What to call out
- “Pass the ball to the receiver’s hands”
- “Throw your hands out towards the pass”
- “Start your angle of run towards the target”