EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Make extra yards in the ‘step zone’

In very close quarters, the ball carrier can make extra yards by moving to the side of his opponent as long as he is still moving forward. Use this “step zone” to encourage both go forward and stepping. Measure the player on distance made as well as beating the opposite player completely.


Warm up time: 5
Session time: 6-9
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7


What to think about

It only needs to be a slight movement left or right to give the ball carrier a better chance of making it just beyond the tackler.

Common mistakes:

  1. Stepping sideways too far and losing forward momentum.
  2. Leading into the contact with the ball first.
  3. Bracing for contact by taking too large a step forward, rather than keeping the steps short (chopping the feet).

Set-up

  1. Run hard at the “step zone”.
  2. Change angle in the “step zone” and keep going forward.

What you get your players to do

Put a ruck pad holder at one end of the box and a ball carrier at the other end of the box. Get the ruck pad holder to run hard towards the “step zone” and then stop before he enters the zone.

Get the attacker to sprint towards the zone, changing angle once he reaches it, aiming not to be touched by the pad holder. The pad holder should not reach across with the pad but keep it close to his body. Make sure the attacker is sprinting.

An attacker at one end and a ruck pad holder at the other end.

An attacker at one end and a ruck pad holder at the other end.


Development

Get the ruck pad holder to start from one of the corners.

Adjust the length of the step zone.

Add another ruck pad holder.

Take away the ruck pad.

The ruck pad holder runs to the step zone and stops. The attacker runs into the step zone, changes direction and aims to beat the pad holder with a minimum amount of contact.

The ruck pad holder runs to the step zone and stops. The attacker runs into the step zone, changes direction and aims to beat the pad holder with a minimum amount of contact.


Game situation

Put a defender and attacker either end between two 10m x 5m boxes. The boxes should be divided into four with cones indicating how many points you get for passing it. For instance one cone is one point, two cones, two points.

Get the attacker to run as far up the box as possible. If the attacker runs out of the box then he gains no points but if he is knocked out of the box he gains the points from the zone he reached. Give points based on where his hips finish up. Swap players and repeat.

The attacker runs into either 5m x 10m box aiming to get as far across as possible. If he is tackled, take the points based on where his hips land up. No points for running outside the box.

The attacker runs into either 5m x 10m box aiming to get as far across as possible. If he is tackled, take the points based on where his hips land up. No points for running outside the box.


What to call out

  • “Keep upright as you run”
  • “Shorter steps in the step zone and keep driving through contact”
  • “Keep the ball in front of you and then away from the contact”
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