Introduce regular and varied simple handling warm-ups to develop skills, communication and technique. Getting the ball in hand is as vital as tackling and warm-ups need to reflect this. MORE
7 great ways to warm up
Make the best use of your precious pre-training warm-up time to ensure you get the best from your players. Here are seven ways to make sure you do.
Steady-state to rugby active
Players will not arrive at the same time, nor in the same state of mind. You need to get them from their steady state up to rugby active.
If you are lucky, they will organise a game of touch rugby. If not, encourage a gentle game. It will certainly drag a few out of the changing rooms quicker.
Once your team is ready to start properly, a briefing is needed. Say something to introduce the session and the warm-up: What is going to happen and how long it is going to take but keep it brief.
A warm-up is a good time to train areas that need improvement from last week. You can do some small area handling, contact work or tackling techniques. It is an ideal warm-up activity because it will be working SLOWLY on techniques you have covered already. Don’t work on new techniques in a warm-up.
Fire up the real core
Make sure you cover some core skills, if not covered in the “work ons”. A couple of minutes could be spent on a ruck technique for instance. Or short passing: Use Mark Calverley’s handling exercises.
Within the warm-up, do have a couple of short breaks to allow players to adjust their kit, take on fluids or stretch stiff muscles. Whether you include dynamic stretching or not, some players will want time to activate sore body parts from previous matches or training.
Your warm-up should help players prepare themselves for the amount of contact you are going to do in practice. But it should not be too intense: Try a gradual build-up, such as this contact build up.
All warm-ups should contain something a little new if possible. Keep players fresh by giving them a different exercise or variation on a previous exercise.