EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

VIDEO: Catching the high ball

Develop the players’ ability to catch the high ball (a ball from a kick) under pressure and the roles of the supporting players.

PRACTICE 1

  1. In a small grid, a player throws a high ball.
  2. A receiver calls for the ball, catches it and pops it to another player.
  3. This continues, with each player having a number of throws, catches and pop passes.
  4. Develop by making the thrower put pressure on the catcher.
  5. The supporter now has to make a decision on whether to take a pop pass or drive in on the catcher.

PRACTICE 2

  1. In a larger grid, one player kicks to a catcher with a support player.
  2. Another chases the kick.
  3. The catching team tries to beat the chaser and then the kicker.

DEVELOPMENTS

  • Add more chasers and supporters.
  • Change the size of the grid, making the chasers either further away or closer to the kicker and/or the catcher.
  • Change the type of kick, e.g. box kick, bomb, drop kick.
  • Make the supporters start in front of the catcher.

GAME SITUATIONS

Develop the session with these game situations and their typical catchers: a drop out (any forward); a box kick (the no. 8 or a winger); a high ball (the full back or a winger). The scrum half or fly half kicks into a designated area on the pitch where these situations might occur (the kick does not have to be perfect).

The players start from set positions (e.g. lineout, second phase breakdown). Play through the situation and get quick feedback. Play again and then swop attackers and defenders. Focus on the session objectives, but allow players to make their own decisions. Develop the practice by halving the pitch size and the number of players.

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