EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Improve kick-sense with the kick-pass game

Because kicking is a feature of the game, we have to find ways to include it in our sessions. Use this game to focus on one aspect of kicking – landing the ball on top of the foot.

Kicking has become far more prevalent in all levels of the game. Exit strategies almost all involve some sort of kick, whether it’s for distance, accuracy or both. Kicks are often used to break through organised defences and the wide kick to the winger is far more common.

All players love to kick the ball before, during and after training so it must be given more importance from your coaching team to ensure inclusion into sessions.

GAME FOR KICKS

To make kicking an enjoyable part of your session, play a game of kick-pass. Keeping the game simple, start with these rules.

  1. Play up to six-a-side so that all players are involved all the time.
  2. Instead of scoring between the posts the aim is to complete as many successful kicks as possible.
  3. A successful kick is when the ball is kicked to a team mate and caught before it hits the ground.
  4. The playing area should be relatively small to encourage shorter kicks rather than long range 30 or 40m kicks.
  5. Ball changes teams when it hits the ground, is intercepted or kicked out the area.
  6. Players are encouraged to run with the ball and move into space.
  7. Defenders look to intercept the ball. They cannot grab it from the ball carrier, they must let them kick. They can charge down, therefore movement into space to kick is essential.

TECHNICAL BENEFITS

The players will quickly realise that accuracy and ball strike are vital if they want to complete successful kicks. Good kickers will strike the ball with the top of their foot. Encourage others to watch and copy the technical points associated with this. They can use drop punts or spiral kicks.

SPIRAL KICK

  • Hold the ball in the middle of the body, angled in the shape of the foot.
  • Striking the ball on the top of the boot helps the kicker follow through to the target.

DROP PUNT

  • The sweet spot is just above the point of the ball.
  • Kick the ball on the sweet spot with the top of the foot and follow through in the direction of the kick.

The game will also develop a decision-making factor of when to kick, as well as the movement into space. Because the players are working in traffic, they will have to be more aware of where they are kicking to.

SUGGESTED DEVELOPMENTS

  • Allow grubber kicks between players.
  • Add in scoring zones for players to run into and catch to score.
  • Create a further turnover opportunity by allowing a two-handed touch on the ball carrier if he decides to run.
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