EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

From drawing board to super-charged: top skills transfer

In Jason Tee and Mike Ashford’s e-learning course, Turn your game model into a training session, they set out how you can solve a performance problem. For example, how would you improve your double tacking or quick ruck ball or passing out of the tackle.

They suggest you break down coaching the problem into four stages. Depending on your current players’ understanding, you can start your next training session at any one of those stages.

For example, if their passing under pressure is already good, then you might be in matched or surplus training. However, for new skills or tactical plays, you might need to build from the “classroom”. The classroom could be a zoom call, a WhatsApp message, a meeting in the clubhouse, or a whiteboard in the changing room or on the side of the pitch.

Let’s put this into practice with the performance problem of retaining possession in contact and then offloading if you can.

Explicit knowledge

Share with the players the picture in this article on the four points of contact, either through email or WhatsApp.

Emphasise: THE 4 POINTS OF CONTACT

They are the

  1. Hand
  2. Forearm
  3. Bicep (guns)
  4. Chest (nipple)

Deficit training

Use this ball manipulation training exercise Move it, keep it, to give the players a chance to walkthrough, experiment and understand the skill. Perhaps you might need to breakout from this exercise to work on specific skills or techniques.

Matched training

Put this into a series of scenarios in this activity The cat flap, with some defenders in place.

Surplus training

Ramp up the pressure with live defenders and more random scenarios.

Ideally, this is a game that players are already familiar with, so they are not learning the rules, but concentrating on winning the game. One of my favourites is Adaptive games: A coaching guide to “Fiji touch”.

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