EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Kick off highs

Ironically, one of the safest methods of taking a kick off receipt is by lifting a player into the air. This takes some practice and requires good timing, but because the player does not need to be at his highest point to take the ball, it is worth trying out.


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


What to think about

The key player is the one behind the catcher. Inevitably, the catch will be leaning back. Hence, it is safer if the player behind grabs on to the catcher’s shorts to provide the extra lift.

If the front support player can get there, then that provides stability too.

Referees will not allow the player in the air to be bumped. However, if two players are challenging in the air for the ball, then he will be more lenient. Therefore, even if he cannot get into a position to lift, one support player should be in front of the catcher to block any aerial challenges.

This is a tiring session for the lifters. However, it can be used as part of a lineout practice to build coordination and conditioning.

Set-up

  1. Catcher: Get into position early and call for the lift.
  2. Back support player: Grab on to the shorts of the catcher and lift.
  3. Front support player: Follow-in to lift as the jump takes place, or at least get in between the catcher and opposition chasers.

What you get your players to do

Put three players inside the square and another about 10 metres away with a ball. This player throws the ball high into the square. The players inside the square jump and lift to take the ball in the air and as high up as possible.

Rotate the players and change the distance from where the ball is thrown.

The players’ timing will come with practice, so will their ability to judge where to leap.

The back support player grabs the jumper by the shorts. The jumper leans back to take the ball.

The back support player grabs the jumper by the shorts. The jumper leans back to take the ball.


Development

  1. Expand the square and kick the ball into the area.
  2. Add in a chasing player to pressurise the jump and catch.
  3. Have more than one jumping option inside the area (though many teams rely on one jumping pod).
The players aim to catch the ball whilst the jumper is in the air.

The players aim to catch the ball whilst the jumper is in the air.


Game situation

Set up four players in each square. Have one of the groups kick or throw the ball into the other square. Start the chaser outside the square and in line with the kick or throw. Score 4 points for a clean catch in the air, 2 points for a catch. If the chaser interferes illegally with the catch, then his team loses 4 points.

One group throw or kick the ball into the other square. One player chases in to disrupt.

One group throw or kick the ball into the other square. One player chases in to disrupt.


What to call out

  • “Call early for the ball”
  • “Catcher: Trust the supporter behind you”
  • “Turn in the air to make sure the ball doesn’t get knocked on”
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