EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Nose to the ground

Forget cargo nets or limbo flagpoles to keep your players in a strong, low position. This fun session is designed to keep players at the best height for contact and keep them on their feet.


Warm up time: 5
Session time: 5-8
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7


What to think about

The challenge for inexperienced players is to stay on their feet around the contact area and still keep low enough to make a difference.

Traditionally, coaches used flagpoles, or even cargo nets, to keep players below a certain height going into contact. Inevitably, the height was set by the coach rather than by the player.

By forcing players to first pick up and discard cones and then to win the ball in a contact situation, it should give them a better understanding of what they are physically capable of.

As from previous Smart Sessions covering this area of play, it is always worth emphasising that the “low man wins” in the contact area.

Set-up

  1. Keep low, keep balanced, keep moving forward.
  2. Use short steps to go forward.
  3. The lower man wins in contact, if he stays on his feet.

What you get your players to do

Set out six cones in front of each player as shown in the top picture. Place a ball about 1m further on from the final cone.

Two to four players then race against each other. They have to run forward and throw the cones out of the way using alternative hands before picking up the ball and placing it over the try line.

Each player runs forward throwing the cones out of the way before picking up the ball and then placing it over the try line.

Each player runs forward throwing the cones out of the way before picking up the ball and then placing it over the try line.


Development

Two players face each other at opposite ends of the box, who are identified with a letter. Shout out a letter, to indicate to the player that he must run forward to pick up the ball, aiming to score at the other end.

Meanwhile, the other player drops to the ground on his chest before rising to tackle the player opposite.

Shout for one player to run forward to pick up the ball, aiming to score at the far end, while the other player drops to his chest before rising up to defend.

Shout for one player to run forward to pick up the ball, aiming to score at the far end, while the other player drops to his chest before rising up to defend.


Game situation

Split players into two groups of three.

Position one group at one end of the box and the other at the opposite end. In each group one player stands while the remaining two have their chests on the ground to start the game.

Roll the ball into the area and let the players play normal full contact rugby for 15 seconds, or until there is an infringement or try.

Give a point to the team in possession if they are in the other team’s half, and three points for a try.

Roll the ball towards one team. Play for 15 seconds, with three points for scoring a try and one for being over the halfway line.

Roll the ball towards one team. Play for 15 seconds, with three points for scoring a try and one for being over the halfway line.


What to call out

  • “Look ahead through the eyebrows”
  • “Bend at the hips and knees, not the back”
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