EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Simple hands

Though the session is called “simple hands”, there is nothing easy about passing and catching under pressure. Your players will improve with focused practice in matchlike situations. The variety of angles and approaches they make forces players to concentrate on their technique under pressure.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7


What to think about

These exercises can be easily adjusted to add or reduce pressure, depending on your players’ skills levels and improvements.

The pass from left to right will cause the most problems for less experienced players. Reduce the passing widths to help at the start. Remember to emphasise following through to the target with the hands.

Set-up

  1. Reach for the pass.
  2. Look and listen for the target player.
  3. Pass and follow through the hands to the target.

What you get your players to do

Stand at least three pairs of players with a ball each about 5m to 8m apart, as the top picture. Vary the distance according to the players’ passing ability.

Have another pair of players run between the standing pairs, taking and giving passes. It is best practice to start these players in a flat line with the second player slightly holding his run to time the catch and pass. Make sure the passing players practice passing in both directions.

Two runners advance through three pairs of players while catching and passing. The second runner holds back his run to time the move correctly.

Two runners advance through three pairs of players while catching and passing. The second runner holds back his run to time the move correctly.


Development

Repeat the exercise, but this time with only two standing pairs. Add a defender about 2m in front of each pair.

This player moves forward when the first pass is made in order to put pressure on the first receiver. The defender’s aim is to touch the ball carrier whilst in possession of the ball.

A defender starts about 2m in front of where the first player will receive the pass. He moves forward once the first pass is made.

A defender starts about 2m in front of where the first player will receive the pass. He moves forward once the first pass is made.


Game situation

Put one attacker inside the narrow 5m channel with five attackers in the wide 15m channel. Have two defenders starting from about 4m in front of the attack and two more at the back of the narrow channel.

A 9 passes to the single attacker, who cannot leave the channel but can pass out of it. Using either touch or full tackling, the attack aims to score at the far end of the box.

Encourage simple hands and straight running (hips facing towards the try line).

The first attacker can only pass out of the narrow channel.

The first attacker can only pass out of the narrow channel.


What to call out

  • “Point your hands towards the pass”
  • “Run straight”
  • “Keep the ball away from the body”
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