EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Footwork flyers

Give your players better footwork options before contact and in open play. The session forces the player to use footwork and scan what is in front of him. There is plenty of game-related activity so players can work out the best options.


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


What to think about

What makes this session relevant to matchplay is that it is easily repeatable – lots of goes – with different and realistic evasion situations. Remind players they are not always going to make a clean break but should at least try to get through the tackle. This means dominating the contact area and not being driven back.

As with all evasion exercises, players should always be looking to go forward, not sideways.

Set-up

  1. Look up and stay balanced. Drive off one foot to get to the target.
  2. Attack one space hard and then change direction with conviction.

What you get your players to do

Put a ball carrier 3m behind a gate of cones. Put a defender in front of the gate. Stand behind the defender.

Get the ball carrier to come forward through the gate and indicate which cone you want him to aim for (see picture 1).

Delay the indication to increase pressure. The defender can only move side to side and no further than the cones either side of him. Adjust that distance to suit your players.

The ball carrier running through the gate and reacting to which direction you (or another player) points to. The defender can only move between the cones.

The ball carrier running through the gate and reacting to which direction you (or another player) points to. The defender can only move between the cones.


Development

  1. Have the ball passed to the player before he goes through the gate – he might have to adjust his run.
  2.  Don’t show which cone to run to – the ball carrier decides.
  3. Allow the defender to come forward once the ball carrier has reached the gate. Use two-handed touch to start with.
Where the first attacker runs through the gate in front of him and aims to score at any of the cones. One point for the near cones, two points for the far one.

Where the first attacker runs through the gate in front of him and aims to score at any of the cones. One point for the near cones, two points for the far one.


Game situation

Put a line of attackers behind a coned gate 5m away from one corner of a 10m square and a line of defenders behind a coned gate 3m from the opposite corner (see picture 2).

Get one attacker to run through the gate in front of him and then aim to score at one of three cones . He gets a point for a score at the nearest cones and two points for the furthest one (see picture 3).

The defender runs through his gate aiming to two-hand touch the ball carrier or tackle him.

Give the ball carrier five seconds to score. Release the next set of players quickly.

The defender runs at the same time through the middle and tries to tackle (or two-hand touch) the attacker. Give the attacker five seconds to score before restarting with another pair.

The defender runs at the same time through the middle and tries to tackle (or two-hand touch) the attacker. Give the attacker five seconds to score before restarting with another pair.


What to call out

“Run hard, upright and look ahead”
“Try out your options to step – don’t worry if you don’t make the break every time”

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