With more and more sport opening up in the coming weeks, everyone will be excited about the prospect of training and even playing.
For some teams, the training sessions will almost run themselves as the players are keen to just be back together and play. For others, they might have lost a certain amount of confidence, fearing that their months of inactivity will make a training session an horrific aerobic disaster zone.
I think you have three tough decisions ahead of you. MORE
In designing my first session back after lockdown, I need to understand my focus, principles and my team's current state.
What is my focus for this return to rugby?
I want the players to enjoy their return to rugby and I want to run sessions that allow for plenty of social interaction that they have probably missed.
I need to be empathetic to the fact that they will have done a varying amount of exercise in the last few months.
I do want to use the next few months to re-enforce my own principles of play for my backline players and build on the skill levels and understanding that will underpin that. MORE
Many of our sporting friends are facing tough times with lockdown rules reducing opportunities to play.
However, if you can get out onto the pitch, but are perhaps limited to what you can do within your bubble, here are some ideas for sessions. MORE
In Return to play needs more winning and competition, we discussed that competition plays an integral part in developing players whether we approve of it or not. In our current RTP environments, it might be missing. We gave the example of using intrasquad/interclub tournaments as a way of encouraging some competition in our sessions.
In this article, we are going to discuss another way of creating competition, a Sports Day with our players as competitors.
A 'Sports Day' gives us the perfect opportunity:
To create a competitive environment within our sessions.
Provide us with a chance to carry out some covert physical testing of players which can be used to guide future session design.
To analyse how our players perform, and if extra fitness work is needed, adapt our sessions to provide more physical stimulus. MORE
Use these questions to support planning and reflection in your players after they have played in a Ready 4 Rugby match.
Below each question, I add some of the possible answers and follow up questions. Of course, the players may come up with even better thoughts. MORE
Exploit the space on the outside for your wingers by using effective passing and fixing defenders. Give your speedsters enough room to run in that space.
If you have a quick winger, then you need to hold up the midfield defence and allow that player time and space to attack. MORE
Rugby is missing real competition.
Whilst we can see how competition can sometimes hinder development, especially when coaches only prioritise work in sessions to achieve this goal, it must be said that without it lurking in the background, sessions feel a bit detached.
Use these questions to support planning and reflection in your players as they are playing Ready 4 Rugby matches/training.
Below each question, I add some of the possible answers and follow up questions. Of course, the players may come up with even better thoughts.
Hone a better passing technique for your players with this coach-fed exercise which starts with a focus on one player at a time and their handling ability.
Develop good habits for your players by encouraging them to turn their shoulders and hips to deliver short passes to team mates running onto the ball. MORE