EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Push pass basics

This is a great revision session because it works on core skills under pressure, especially short passing when the ball carrier is running “offline”. That means he is either running towards the intended receiver or away. This will test how much power he needs to put into the pass and highlights good timing.


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


What to think about

This is a short passing exercise and session so passes should all be “pushed”, not spun. If the player “spins” the pass, he will have to wind it up, reducing the time available. Spin passes also require the player to turn his hands over the ball, further reducing accuracy.

Make a big fuss about accurate passes. Ask players to judge for themselves whether they are improving – and what they can do differently. Answers should include: “Look where I am passing”, “Follow my hands through to the target”, “Push the ball in front of the receiver”.

Set-up

  1. Attack the gap and then pass the ball.
  2. Pass hard, with hands following the ball to the target.
  3. Look at the target!

What you get your players to do

Put an attacker 5m away from two coned gates. Get him to run forward and either go “short” or “wide” through the gates. This means either nearer to the passer or further away to receive a ball from a feeder at the side.

He then passes the ball to another attacker, who has to time his run to take the final pass at pace. At the same time a defender comes forward to make sure the first receiver has a reason to pass (see pictures 1 and 2).

The first receiver goes short, takes a pass and then gives a long pass. The defender puts pressure on the first receiver.

The first receiver goes short, takes a pass and then gives a long pass. The defender puts pressure on the first receiver.


Development

Change the distances, so sometimes the first receiver has less time or more.

Take away the “gates” and see how the ball carrier reacts.

The first receiver goes wide.

The first receiver goes wide.


Game situation

Put two attackers at one end of the first quarter of a 10m box, and two defenders in the middle of the box. There is a feeder on two of the corners (see picture 3).

The attackers are fed the ball. They aim to beat the defender in the middle. He can only come forward once the ball is fed and can only “touch” the ball carrier in possession to make a tackle.

If a tackle is made, that pair has finished. If the pair make it to the end, they turn into the next channel, put the ball down and take a pass from the next feeder.

Rotate after each pair has finished, with feeders becoming attackers, feeders the defenders and defenders the feeders. Count the number of lengths each pair completes.

Each pair has to complete as many lengths as they can without the ball carrier being touched by a defender. The defender can only come forward once the ball is fed. After every length, the attackers put the ball down at the end of the channel.

Each pair has to complete as many lengths as they can without the ball carrier being touched by a defender. The defender can only come forward once the ball is fed. After every length, the attackers put the ball down at the end of the channel.


What to call out

  • “Pass the ball in front of the receiver”
  • “Keep your hands about hip height – if they drop, you will lose accuracy”
  • “Don’t spin the ball!”
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