Pit forwards against the backs in this exercise to develop straight running and quick handling. It puts your players’ skills under pressure and the session can be adapted to suit groups of any size. MORE
Cool hands no fluke
Developing catching skills needs to be converted into a game context as soon as possible. This session will help the players take tough and unusual passes, and then turn them into good possession. It is a fresh way to mix up your handling training.
Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7
What to think about
You are going to have to decide whether the difficult passes cause the players to become downhearted too quickly. Set a low target for success, with a celebration for completion. Do not spend too long on each part of the exercise, but use them throughout the season.
Mix forwards and backs as the first receiver. Also, think about where the second receiver should be depending on the passing skills of the first. That pass might have to be short if the handling skills of the receiver are weak. The second receiver may need to hold back on their run, if it takes time to gather and pass.
- Always have your hands towards where the ball is coming from.
- Bend at the knees a little with the head up to receive the pass.
- Don’t force the second pass.
What you get your players to do
Spread out three players ready to take a pass. Either kick, throw or pass various types of balls to the first player who has to gather and pass the ball along the line.
Try blindfolding the first receiver, who has to walk forward, with you giving the ball to him before he passes.
Put a defender about 5m in front of the first receiver. He pressurises the first receiver only, moving forward when the ball is passed. Develop the drill further by making this defender go for either the first or second receiver.
Start the attacker and defencer closer together at a distance of, say, 3m apart. Inexperienced players can have a longer distance between them but no more than 5m.
Play touch rugby with 5-man teams. Put two teams inside the playing area about 10m apart.
Throw a ball to one of them. The player in possession has only three seconds before he has to pass (adjust this time according to the skills of the players). If he is touched in possession, he has one second to pass the ball. If the ball is on the ground, continue play, but a knock on or forward pass means a turnover. Once a try is scored replace the losing team.
What to call out
- “Point fingers towards direction of pass”
- “Communicate to the first receiver”
- “Run straight”