EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Decision-Making Warm-Up

A straightforward decision-making exercise that highlights support play and running lines. It’s a good game to use early on in a coaching session when you want to get your players’ core skills nicely warmed up.

What you need for this game

  • 5 Players
  • 1 Ball
  • 4 Cones

Set-up

Use cones to mark out a playing area measuring 15m x 25m. One end of the area will be the try line, as  shown 1.

Rules

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. Line up five players at one end of the playing area, and position yourself halfway down the area just outside the right-hand side line.

On your whistle, the players begin passing the ball along the line as quickly and precisely as possible while moving down the area towards you.

2.When the last man in the line receives the ball, he first passes it to you and then runs round you and back into the playing area, where he becomes a defender.

3.You then pass the ball to the nearest of the remaining four players, who now become attackers. This sets up a 4v1, with the attackers aiming to score at the try line.

How you can progress the game

Make sure your players practice passing off both hands by positioning yourself to the left of the area and starting the ball at the other end of the attacking line.

Make the game more competitive by getting the last two players in the line to run round you and defend, making a 3v2.

Decision-Making Warm-Up-1

  • Five players on end line.
  • You stand at halfway.
  • Players move forwards, passing.
  • Explain: Let your players know that during the game you’ll be looking for quality precision passing, carried out at pace.

Decision-Making Warm-Up-2

  • End player passes ball to you.
  • He then runs round you and turns to defend.
  • Motivate: Identify who’s working well and let them know. If you spot areas where technique is lacking, advise and encourage those players.

Decision-Making Warm-Up-3

  • Pass the ball to the nearest player.
  • The four players realign to attack the try line.
  • Note: The game changes from a simple drill to a 4v1 where the onus is on the ball carrier to try and “hold” the defender. Does he do this?
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