Ground bounce

Don’t teach falling over. Teach the players to bounce themselves and therefore the ball off the ground and back into the game. It reduces the fear of falling by making the players embrace the ground as part of a skill for continuity.

Players should think purely about popping up the ball straight after landing on the ground. That puts the fall and bouncing the ball away in their minds first. It stops them from thinking about putting out a hand to break the fall or just collapsing.


  1. Put a ball carrier on their knees with another player behind them. 
  2. When you shout “tackle”, they fall forward and then present the ball back to their teammate. They can use any presentation style they want. The other player picks up the ball and they swap places.
  3. Then, repeat, but this time, you shout “bounce”. As the ball carrier falls forward, they aim to land and “bounce” on their sides or back so the ball is popped up. The next player runs forward to take the pass.
  4. Have lots of goes. The players will discover the best way to make the ball seemingly bounce up.


  1. A ball carrier stands about 2m in front of a receiver who has another player behind them. 
  2. The ball carrier passes to the receiver as they jog forward. 

  1. As soon as the receiver takes the ball, they fall to the ground and then “bounce” with the ball being popped up to the next player. 
  2. Keep rotating the players’ roles.


  • Play touch rugby. 
  • If the ball carrier is touched, they pass to a player moving onto the ball. That player runs level with the ball carrier, falls and bounces up the ball to a teammate. 
  • Endless tackles, but turnover the ball if there’s a dropped ball or the receiver is not running onto the ball or the receiver falls without two hands on the ball.
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