EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Four top tips to enhance parent/child rugby

Another lockdown…another chance for a parent and child to connect through sport.

It’s been exciting to see a bunch of parents and their children out in the parks, rugby ball in hand, running (well the kids mostly), kicking and passing.

Here are my four top tips to help support you and your child get the most from your time together.

1  FUN FOR BOTH

It’s not a formal rugby session. It’s time together. Think about what you want to get out of it.

Tell your child what you want for yourself as well. For example, “I want to see if I can pass better with my left hand, can you help me?”

Or “Let’s try to do 10 consecutive kick-catches.”

But, don’t say, “I want to have fun”. Try saying, “I’m looking forward to getting some fresh air and throw the rugby around”. There’s no pressure then.

2  DRESS FOR ACTION

While I’m not suggesting you need to don a full tracksuit, looking a bit more like a player helps. It helps you move more freely. Have you tried kicking a ball with a Wellington boot on, let alone sidestepping in them?

It also creates an environment for some possible training outcomes. Absolutely don’t go to the extent of becoming a coach. Unless your child specifically requests this, your dress sense should be rugby “smart-casual”.

3  MOVEMENT

Rugby is about finding space in attack and reducing space in defence. Try to create some boundaries in your training space.

Use objects to mark out playing areas which give opportunities to move into and out of space. For example, can you pass into a space that the child is running to? Or can they move out a space you are trying to throw a ball into?

4  COMPETITION TOGETHER

Small targets for competitions are an ideal way to “play”. But make it a joint effort. That way you share the success. For example, can we make it to five kick and catches?

That’s a very powerful way to connect and create stories. Imagine coming home and telling everyone that you two beat your personal best.

Our Sparta collection provides an ideal way to work with this.

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