EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

4 simple tips for quick splits

Organising your players in the right groups fast is essential if you want to ensure quick transitions between exercises. Avoid the session losing its momentum with these basic ground rules…

Within sessions, there are times when it’s necessary to split players into groups or teams. This can become time-consuming to arrange and, if it drags on, can lead to disruption and loss of concentration. So, to ensure the session goes without a hitch…

ONE: Prepare ahead

Plan what players are needed where and when in advance – and tell them before training. Use social media, email or a noticeboard – that players can check when arriving at training – to prepare them as to what is required.

Create groups based on surnames, by dividing the alphabet into the number required. So, if three groups are needed you might divide players into A-H, I-P and Q-Z. You may have to tweak the numbers further at training itself, but this will be a valuable starting point.

TWO: Session planning

Split training into “workshops”, where players work on small-group activities for a short time before moving on to the next. Players move to exercises quicker because they retain groups for the workshops. Pre-plan which players to group for these.

Units make obvious splits, such as forwards and backs. But you could use tight fives and back rows, inside backs and back threes. For example, a quick split is back threes/front fives one side, inside backs/back rows the other.

THREE: On arrival

Players pick a bib on arrival and are given a number. These provide easy ways of splitting players into groups. This can be as simple as greens v reds, or as complex as even-numbered green forwards in group one, odd-numbered red backs in another and so on.

FOUR: Easy and fair splits

Group the players into threes and ask players within the group to give themselves the letter A, B or C. Now you have three lettered groups. It helps to break up friendship groups, because initially the players will group themselves with their mates, before you split them up based on their group letters.

And if all else fails? Then get the players to take a water break or run around the posts and back while you work out what to do next!

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