EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Play through the mistakes

A bad pass need not always mean the end of a fluid move. Players can learn to react positively by adjusting their bodies to catch and then deliver the ball, and support players can learn to delay their runs. In this way, your team can continue its patterns of play even if one of the passes has been disrupted.


Warm up time: 7-14
Session time: 20-25
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 7-10


What to think about

How do I help players who are struggling to catch and pass on poor initial passes?

Start with a static situation where the ball is picked up from the ground or low down at pace, then passed to a target (see picture 2). This helps convert a poor situation into a better one.

Are players able to stay balanced and keep up the forward momentum?

Do the same initial exercise but cut out the onward pass. Ask players to concentrate on keeping their speed up instead.

Set-up

  1. Hands out for the ball. Be ready to adapt your hand position to catch it.
  2. Bend at the waist and keep watching the ball.
  3. Try to keep your speed constant throughout the run.
  4. Once you’ve retrieved/caught the ball, quickly adjust your position to pass accurately to the receiver.

What you get your players to do

Set up two feeders at opposite sides of a 10m x 6m box. Get two pairs to line up at opposite ends of the box.

Each player runs through the area and is fed a pass at knee height or below. The player has to take the ball low and make a good pass on to the opposite feeder (see picture 1).

The players run through the 10m x 6m area receiving a low or bad pass and turning it into a good pass to the opposite feeder.

The players run through the 10m x 6m area receiving a low or bad pass and turning it into a good pass to the opposite feeder.


Development

Turn the poor feed into an “ugly” feed by passing the ball behind the player, to his feet or too high.

Add a defender holding a ruck pad to add pressure (see picture 3).

Add another player and widen the area. Now the first player has to turn a bad pass into a good pass to his team mate, who then passes on to the feeder on the opposite side (see picture 3).

The player bending at the waist, retrieving the ball at pace, then offloading a far better pass to the target (T) who waits with his hands in a ‘W’ formation

The player bending at the waist, retrieving the ball at pace, then offloading a far better pass to the target (T) who waits with his hands in a ‘W’ formation


Game situation

Set up a conditioned 8v8 game with all restarts a tap and pass. Start with touch tackling before progressing to “live” tackling.

There are two scoring methods: The first is the conventional method of tries worth five points. The second is based on the quality of passing. For every bad pass, the team is deducted a point, unless the bad pass is followed by a good one. If possible have two referees, one to referee the game and one to make decisions on the passing scores.

Adding an extra attacker (A1 and A2). The first feeding pass is still poor, with the first receiver turning this into a good pass for his team mate. Add defenders with ruck pads to increase pressure and encourage early release of the recovered ball.

Adding an extra attacker (A1 and A2). The first feeding pass is still poor, with the first receiver turning this into a good pass for his team mate. Add defenders with ruck pads to increase pressure and encourage early release of the recovered ball.


What to call out

“Hands up as a target in a ‘W’ formation”
“Flip the ball away using your wrists”
“Take smaller steps to keep your balance”

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