EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

How do I get my players to play “heads up” rugby?

Heads up rugby means the players make decisions on what’s in front of them rather than play to a pattern. We would like our players to do this more often because it allows them to exploit weaknesses in defence.

But, it’s not as easy as just playing with your head up. Your players need to:

  • Look ahead and anticipate what’s going to happen.
  • Take the right action to exploit a weakness.
  • Do it collectively.

It all starts with:

  • The confidence to try out skills
  • Making mistakes
  • Seeing what works and when.

You can do this, for example, through activities that build a technique from the basics into a game situation, or in game where there are opportunities to anticipate and then find success.

Here are some exercises and games from our Rugby Coach Weekly website to try out with your players. It includes the debate on whether you need a defensive system or can you play heads up?

Defence systems or heads up

Heads up decisions

Support Drill

Get out of my space

Sweaty headbands make for better outcomes

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