Some players have the natural ability to beat a player one-on-one, but don’t know when to use it or have lost their confidence. Others need the skill to be developed. Even if the player cannot get past his opponent by using this skill, he should at least get beyond the defender and create “go forward” ball.
Warm up time: 5-7 Session time: 10-12 Development time: 5-7 Game time: 10-15 Warm down time: 5-7
What to think about
How close to the defender should the ball carrier be when he changes pace?There is no set distance. It depends on the relative pace and agility of the two players involved. It is very much a trial and error process for each individual to see how close they can get before accelerating. The closer the attacker gets, the more likely the defender will set himself for a tackle. As soon as the defender stops, the attacker can accelerate away.
How can I get my players to accelerate well?They need to shorten their stride, lean forward slightly and pump their arms very fast. Use ladders (or cones) to enhance your players’ stride rate, which will improve acceleration and changes of direction.
Always be confident in your ability to beat an opponent one-on-one.
Use changes of pace to fix and then beat an opponent.
Get the ball in the correct hand so you can fend or protect it.
What you get your players to do
Start a ball carrier on the corner of a square. The defender starts near him (as picture 1). On your call “GO” the ball carrier runs across the middle of the square going in and out of the cones. The defender runs round the edge. The ball carrier has to score in the zone opposite. The defender has to tackle him.
Picture 2 describes the technique required to beat the defender.
The ball carrier fixes the defender by slowing down, and then accelerates away.
Start the defender in different positions. Move him closer if it is too easy or back if it is too hard.
Change which side the defender comes from and move the scoring zone to make the ball carrier think how he will evade the defender.
The ball carrier slows to draw the defender. As the defender slows to make the tackle, the ball carrier changes direction and accelerates away.
Select two evenly matched teams who face each other across the square. The attacking players attack one at a time against one defender. They get a point for every try scored. The defenders get a point for every try stopped.
When every player has attacked the teams swap over. After each round the players swap order so they have a different opponent. Start the defenders from the corners or the middle.
Each ball carrier uses changes of pace and direction to beat one defender and score.
What to call out
“Be ready and react to the “GO””
“Slow down to pull the defender in then accelerate away to score”
“Keep the ball away from the defender so you can fend”
“The supporting player starts in front of the ball carrier, while the defender has his back to the attack. When you shout play, with the supporting player walking forward and the defender out of position, the players will have to think quickly to come up with winning solutions.” MORE
Develop ball carriers with some grit and determination to power through the tackle situation. If they don’t break the tackle, at least they provide a good target for their support players. This session creates ways to test their mettle. MORE