Here is a 15-minute mini contact session based on reintroducing players to the contact area. What’s important in this early stage is to revisit the basics of contact. Not only as players’ techniques may have slipped during lockdown, but also in an effort to make everyone’s contact area safer and better.
The session focuses on technique in a safe but competitive environment, enabling the players to have fun with first getting the contact positions right and then working on their tackling.
First, split your training group into smaller groups of no more than six people.
Split into pairs.
Place three different coloured cones between each pair.
Shout out body positions to adopt, and then another and continue until you shout out a coloured cone.
Once the coloured cone is shouted, the players race to see who can grab the cone first.
You can shout out body positions such as “Tower of Power”, that is a strong scrum profile or make them do a short bear crawl. Or you can get them to touch parts of their body. Or even fall to the ground by calling “NHS”, with the knees, then hips and then shoulders landing on the ground in that order.
The more the calls, the harder it gets and leads to more competition.
Using three cones, make a triangle with 3m sides.
Split into pairs, with one attacker with a ball and one defender.
Put an attacker on one cone and a defender on another.
When you say “go”, the attacker aims to touch one of the two cones they are not standing on.
The defender aims to tackle them to stop them.
All tackles must be below waist height.
The attacker scores a point for touching a cone with the ball, the defender a point for making a tackle. If the attacker is tackled and still touches a cone with the ball, then both score a point.
Play for three goes and then rotate.
After the tackle, if the defender can get to their feet and grab the ball within three seconds, they score a point.
At the same time, if the attacker can make an accurate ball placement back to their starting cone they also score a point.
Secretly tell to the attacker which coloured cone they’re only allowed to score on for that attempt.
You can also add extra points to the attacker if they completely evade contact prior to scoring, and extra points to the defender if the attacker is stopped without reaching the cone at all.
It might be worth spending a few minutes prior to this skill zone refreshing the tackle technique in pairs: starting on knees and then building it up.
The developments focus on quick play after the tackle, from both attacker and defender.
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