EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Handball

How often is an overlap wasted because one pass is poor and the receiver has to check his run to take the ball or drops it? Players need to work in pressure situations where they are challenged to pass quickly and accurately. “Handball” will push your players to their passing limits by making them pass under intense pressure.


Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 15
Development time: 15-20
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7-10


What to think about

How often do you really put your players under pressure at training?

I’ve seen so many players who look great on the training ground, but who can’t ever seem to perform come match time.

Over the last few years I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s very little point to training if players are not under some sort of pressure.

The pressure can be from defenders, restricted space or time, or competition against another group of players.

Find ways to introduce pressure on your players in every part of your session including the warm up. Handling exercises especially should always be performed under some form of pressure.

Set-up

  1.  Focus on catching the ball cleanly away from the body.
  2.  Pass in one movement keeping the ball away from the body.
  3.  Pass accurately in front of the receiver so he can accelerate onto the pass.

What you get your players to do

Set up a shallow attacking line of four players five metres from the try line. On your call of “GO”, the first player accelerates forward about 2 metres and then passes. The players pass down the line with each one accelerating onto the pass before scoring on the try line. Have two groups racing against each other from either side of the try line. This adds to the pressure on each passer.

Teams will soon realise the importance of passing in front of the receiver so he doesn’t have to check his run.

Teams will soon realise the importance of passing in front of the receiver so he doesn’t have to check his run.


Development

Add a defender starting opposite the first player. He moves forward when the ball carrier does. As soon as the first player passes the ball, the defender has to get across and tackle the last player before he can score.

The defender cannot move sideways until the first player has passed the ball. He then aims to tackle the last player.

The defender cannot move sideways until the first player has passed the ball. He then aims to tackle the last player.


Game situation

Split into two teams of six. The rules are that the ball can be passed in any direction but passes must be below shoulder height. Players can only take two steps between receiving the ball and passing it. A goal is scored by passing the ball into the goal but teams can only shoot after every player has touched the ball. Defenders can intercept the ball or knock it down to win possession.

Keep the tempo of the game high, swapping on and off teams, or reducing the numbers in each team.

A goal cannot be scored unless all the players have touched the ball. Possession changes on a knock down or interception.

A goal cannot be scored unless all the players have touched the ball. Possession changes on a knock down or interception.


What to call out

  •  “Hands up early and out towards the ball.”
  •  “Look at the target before passing.”
  •  “Watch the ball not the defender”
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