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. MORE
This simple game is an excellent warmup exercise that will get your players thinking about their core skills, communication and, most importantly, decision-making. It’s also great for getting players to feel alert and focused at the beginning of a training session.
What you need for this game
- 6 players
- 1 ball
- 4 cones
Use cones to mark out a playing area measuring 10m x 10m. Choose one end of the area to be the try line 1.
Play two-handed touch rugby.
Each game ends when either a try is scored, the defenders take possession of the ball or the player in possession is tackled by a defender.
What you do as coach
1 This game is easier if you number your players from 1 to 6. Position players 1 to 4 on the four corner cones, with players 5 and 6 lined up behind player 1, who starts with the ball.
2 On your whistle, player 1 throws a pass to player 2, who then runs forward and combines with player 3 to attempt to score a try. At the same time, player 4 moves forward to try to defend against them. Having made his pass, player 1 moves into player 2’s starting position.
3 When a try is scored or play breaks down, player 2 replaces player 4 as the defender and player 4 becomes the support player. At the same time, player 3 gives the ball to the front of the line (or player 2, who ever ends up with the ball) and goes behind players 5 and 6 and the drill starts again with player 5 throwing a long pass to player 1.
The drill can continue until everyone has had tried each position, or until you feel that it’s time to move on to the next part of the coaching session.
How you can progress the game
You can alter the dynamics of the game by changing the size of the playing area.
Make sure you play from both sides to practice passing off both hands.
- Number players 1 to 6
- Place players 1 to 4 on the corners
- 5 and 6 wait behind 1.
- Organise: Even a simple warm-up game requires you to be on top of your game from the start so that everyone understands their role.
- Player 1 passes to 2
- 3 supports 2 in attack
- 4 comes forward to defend.
- Make calls: Explain to the players what they should be doing, such as running harder, getting their heads up or moving into space.
- After a score, players rotate positions, with the final ball carrier giving the ball to the front of the line player, in this case, 5.
- Player 5 passes to 1 as before.
- Look and learn: As the game starts again, look closely to see who has learned from mistakes made in the previous game.