Use these two warm-up catching skills activities to develop excellent hand-catch habits. Tosh Askew, a very experienced coach who's worked with elite squads, shows us how to work the basics. MORE
Catch and pass skills
Most passing exercises line up players neatly so they know exactly where their support players will be, but that often isn’t the case in a match. In this session, players have to pass and catch under pressure, time their runs and be aware of where team mates are.
Warm up time: 5
Session time: 6-9
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7
What to think about
Repetition of core catching and passing skills is always beneficial.
This session aims to put players in differing situations so they have to use those skills in sometimes novel ways.
Not every player will be able to complete the skill as efficiently as the next.
Sometimes it is worth splitting into groups of similar standards to help players develop at a pace suited to them.
However, everyone will benefit from working with other players of different abilities as it replicates match-like situations.
- Reach for the pass with the fingertips.
- Keep the ball off the chest.
- Turn hips up the pitch.
- Pass, following the hands through to the target.
What you get your players to do
Set up three columns of players about 5m apart. Put at least two players, each with a ball, about 5m in front of the middle column.
Mark out two gates as in the top picture. Shout which gate to run to.
The player at the top of the middle column runs through that gate and receives a pass.
He then passes to a player from the nearest outer column who has now run forward.
The ball carrier runs to join the middle column of feeders, the feeder joins the middle column and the passer runs around to join the outer column nearest to him.
- Put the columns further apart.
- Use a defender, who stays in this role for the entire drill, to pressurise the first receiver.
Put two groups of three in a line, in the centre of the area facing each other. The first player of each team has a ball.
Shout out which colour will attack. The three players of that colour can go left or right and attack the two defenders. The ball holder of the defence does not join in. The attackers aim to score at the try line.
What to call out
- “Stay upright when you pass”
- “Look for the pass and then look for the target”
- “Aim to pass in front of the receiver”