Develop the players’ ability to make extra yards by moving to the side of their opponent, while still moving forward. A player who’s moving forward is harder to stop than one who’s moving sideways. Develop a step that’s both forward and sideways. MORE
The telephone box
The best sidesteppers seem to be able to beat another player inside the space of a telephone box. Use this exercise to make even the least fleet-footed replicate this skill.
Develop light feet with a jump and step to create a really dynamic sidestep.
- Put a player 2m in front of a set of cones, set up as above.
- He jumps over the front cones, landing on two feet before moving either left or right through the gap to either side of the cones.
- Adjust the distances to suit your players.
- Develop by putting a defender in the middle of the back of the cones. He cannot move either left or right but can stretch to touch the attacker.
- Finally, put two defenders about 2m apart inside the box.
- Each one holds a ruck pad. The ball carrier aims to attack one of the pads and then use a jump sidestep to inside or outside the pad holder. In the meantime the pad holders come forward, aiming to make a solid contact on the ball carrier.
NOTE: This is not a natural skill, so let the players experiment and try out different methods. Encourage them to land on two feet about shoulder-width apart so they can move either left or right.
- Keep the ball in two hands to help maintain balance.
- Don’t leap, just make a small jump.
- Try doing it in slow motion first.