Make sure your players enter the breakdown legally – by getting tough through the tackle gate. This will also mean they’ll arrive square and in a better position to drive over the ball and win it. MORE
Develop the “catch and act”
Fielding a kick is one thing – what you then do with the ball is another. So ensure your players can make a safe catch every time and then pass the ball away like they might have to in the game.
When receiving an uncontested kick, the catcher should keep his technique solid so he can quickly pass (or run) once he has secured the ball.
- Start by checking players’ technique.
- The catcher should watch the ball all the time, reaching for it as it arrives.
- Keep the elbows together so the ball doesn’t slip through.
- Next, put two players on each corner of the box.
- Start with one ball.
- The ball carrier kicks along the length of the box to a player at the next corner and then follows his kick.
- The catcher gathers the ball, then passes to the player on the next corner. He follows his pass.
- Then the ball will be kicked again, so that the ball and players are continually moving around the perimeter.
- As players become more competent, add another ball.
- Not all the kicks will be accurate, so the catcher might have to make some adjustment, but he must return to his corner before making his pass.
- Eyes on the ball all the time.
- Elbows in when the ball comes into the body.
- Reach up and soften the landing of the ball as it comes into the body