The best way to stop an opponent stealing your ball is to beat him to the breakdown. But if you do lose the race, use one of these three techniques to thwart him – in and out, scissoring or breaking the pane. We don't endorse the "croc roll" where the player is rolled out. MORE
Contact confidence – ball placement
Contact confidence is one of the most difficult things to teach young players because they have different approaches. Work on falling onto the ground and keeping control of the ball.
- The first group of players jog out and fall to the ground, placing the ball
- The next group moves forward to pick up the ball and they go forward and repeat
- Start at jogging pace and build up the speed as players become more confident. Ask players to carry the ball in either hand or both.
- Develop by asking the players to fall on either side or on their front/back BEFORE placing the ball back
- Have a competition between two players
- The first player who gets to the ball must fall on it and place it correctly
WHY USE IT
If a player is comfortable falling to the ground after a tackle or onto a loose ball it will give him the confidence to fall as he will know what the outcome will be.
Eight cones in two lines of four. The cones are placed in 2m lines, 10m apart. A player on each cone, four balls.
HOW TO DO IT
- Four players jog 7m with a ball.
- They fall and present the ball back and the four players at the other end run out and pick it up, repeating the exercise in the opposite direction for the next line of four players (see picture 1).
- This can be developed by getting the players to fall at different angles but still presenting the ball back (see picture 2).
- Once players are happy with ground contact, get them to race in pairs to a ball, fall on it and place it correctly (see picture 3).
- Start off jogging or walking, then falling down and presenting the ball before building up to running at pace.
- Once confident falling and presenting, the ball can be held in left, right or two hands.
- If the ground is too hard don’t do it as it will not work and it will affect confidence.