EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

The big step

If the ball carrier can be powerful in the contact area, then they can offload or maintain possession more effectively. Less experienced and younger players have a tendency to fall over or crumple unless they practise good body positions and use a good step into contact. This session concentrates on this footwork.


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


What to think about

  • Are the players balanced and powerful at contact, or when making contact do they lose power and at times fall down?The players have to make sure their final step before contact is big and the lead foot is placed beyond the defender. This will make them more powerful and strong.
  • Are players holding the ball in the lead shoulder?The ball can be vulnerable if held in the lead shoulder, therefore get the players to practise moving the ball from shoulder to shoulder, while on the run.

Set-up

  1. Be purposeful in your movement forward.
  2. Use your shoulder, hip and thigh to make contact with the pad.
  3. At the contact point take a big step to make a firm base and keep you strong.

What you get your players to do

Split your squad into four defenders with contact shields, with the rest working as attackers. Position the defenders evenly on each side of the box. The attacking player has to make his way through the area taking a big step into each defender and knocking them back. The defenders can step towards the attacker as though moving into tackle.

Defenders move in to the attacker who steps into each pad in turn.

Defenders move in to the attacker who steps into each pad in turn.


Development

  • Add a support player who takes the pass after the defender is knocked out the way. This player takes it onto the next defender.
  • Add more defenders and attackers so it becomes more like a game.
Include more attackers to act as support players to develop the off load and create the continuity.

Include more attackers to act as support players to develop the off load and create the continuity.


Game situation

Split into six attackers and six defenders. The width of the pitch is 20 metres so there is little space to go through and plenty of contact.

If you have contact shields use these to start. If not, condition tackling to be a grab, rather than a full-on tackle. By doing this, the players will be able to break through the defence and off load to supporting players. Tries have to be scored in the corners.

Once the attack break through, get them to finish off by scoring in the corners.

Once the attack break through, get them to finish off by scoring in the corners.


What to call out

  • “Attack the defender”
  • “The last step is a big step”
  • “Feel the air being knocked out of the pad”
  • “Step past the pad”
  • “Be aggressive”
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