EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Preparing to tackle

Get the detail right when coaching skills and everything will fall into place. Let’s look at what players should do just before tackling a ball carrier.

Before a player makes a tackle, he has to have the right body shape. He should be crouched with elbows in, ready to punch his weight forward. Look at the figures on this page. Notice how the player is on his toes, eyes up, looking for his target.

Practise this body shape by working in pairs on my session. Start by showing your players the ideal position. Then run through the exercise.

In the activity, the defender starts “out of position”. He has to find his body shape and footwork quickly, just like would happen in a game.

As your players improve, use the X-factor tips to advance your players’ technique still further.

There are lots of key factors to look for, but only emphasise one or two in every session. Build up a technical template over the season, putting them into practice in my complementary activities.

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