Make kick training meaningful

Because it’s not a skill used by many players in a game, kicking tends to be ignored in training. Instead, the players will practise before training or a match and do little else. Yet, we recognise it’s a key part of the game to either put pressure on defences or relieve pressure from your own half.

My first tip is to allow more kicking in your warm-up touch rugby games. It gives players a chance to experiment and recognise when a good kick can make a difference, or when a bad kick does the opposite.

For more individual work, I like to have targets for the kickers, rather than just kicking back and forth between two players. For this, I might use Simple kicking target practice, something the players can work on before training or times away from the normal sessions.

For a more advanced session, which involves more players and concentrates on accuracy, then try out How you should be practising kicking. All your backs, plus any forwards who might want to challenge themselves, should be involved.

Or, you could using kicking explicitly as part of your warm-up. An old favourite is kicking tennis. Why not put in our little twist, which will add to the pressure on the players.

Finally, for more senior players, you can start to develop their kick return positioning, where they cover the backfield area behind the front line of defence. As always, I like to put it into a game if possible, try Kicking game for a pendulum backfield defence.



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