EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Bank the pass

Dropped passes are often the result of pressure being put on the receiver. Simulate this pressure in training to encourage better technique and concentration in the match. I use this session to teach my players to keep their hands out to catch early and yet still look ahead.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 5-7
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 5-7


What to think about

A good catch can give a player time to make a key decision and execute the next skill.

You should watch the eyes of the receiver because this gives away whether they can catch and react.

Encourage players to run upright with their hands out. A confident player can talk as they are running and passing.

Challenge the better players to be more vocal.

Set-up

  1. Catch first, pass second.
  2. Take the ball on the run and in front of your body.
  3. Watch where you are going and where you are passing.

What you get your players to do

Set up four balls as in the top picture. Have one player act as a clearing passer, one as the main catcher in the middle, “the river”, and one as the receiver on the “bank”. Have the clearing passer pass the first ball to the “river” catcher, who then passes to the “bank” player, who puts the ball down. Repeat for each ball.

Once the group has progressed along the “river”, they turn and repeat. This time the “bank” player is the clearing passer and the clearing passer is on the “bank”. There will be some stopping and starting, but the crucial skill is catching.

Make it a race. Either time the “river” run or have two “rivers” compete against each other.

Spread out four balls. The clearing passer plays the ball to the player in the middle (“the river”), who passes it the next player on the “bank”.

Spread out four balls. The clearing passer plays the ball to the player in the middle (“the river”), who passes it the next player on the “bank”.


Development

Stand at one end of the river with two cones of different colours. On receiving the ball, have the catcher in the river shout out the colour of the cone you are holding up. To start with, only hold up the cone once during the river run. Then increase.

Widen the river and bank corridors and have one group going one way, and another going the other way. This will make the players look up to avoid a collision.

The “bank” player places the ball. In the meantime, the next ball is passed. Once completed, the players turn and repeat.

The “bank” player places the ball. In the meantime, the next ball is passed. Once completed, the players turn and repeat.


Game situation

Split into groups of three. Make two of the group “passers” (P) and the other the “worker” (W). Put a group at each end of the box with a ball, and a second ball in a “nest” behind them.

Each group has to pass the ball so the worker can race to the “nest” at the far end. Once in the nest, a passer retrieves the second ball and they start again towards the other end. The aim is to catch the other team’s worker. Run for 30-60 seconds.

The passers (P) get the ball to the worker (W) who puts the ball in the nest. A passer then collects the second ball and they play back to the other end.

The passers (P) get the ball to the worker (W) who puts the ball in the nest. A passer then collects the second ball and they play back to the other end.


What to call out

  • “Hands toward the receiver”
  • “Run onto the ball if you can”
  • “Keep the ball off the body”
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