Improve your players’ confidence to pass after they’ve been tackled with this simple “soft-landing” offloading exercise.
Put a ruck pad on the ground.
Have a ball carrier run towards the ruck pad, then fall onto their knees on the pad.
They turn and pass the ball to a supporting player.
Keep recycling the players so they have plenty of goes.
Develop by having the ball carrier fall onto their hip before passing the ball.
Players can pass with one hand or two hands. It’s important that they don’t put out a hand when they are falling. This prevents injury.
Develop by having the ball carrier falling and passing either left or right, with the support player having to guess which way they are going to fall. This replicates a game situation where the ball carrier cannot always choose how the tackle is going to end up.
Push the ball up into the space.
Accelerate onto the ball.
Play touch rugby. If the ball carrier is touched, they have to fall to the ground and pop up the ball to a supporting player. If the supporting player is running, they can continue to run. If they are standing still, they have to pass immediately.
One of the key influences you have on your team is in the hour or so before the match. Learn how to maximise that time to bring the best out of your players and get them flying from the first whistle.