Wicked warm-ups

Get your session buzzing with these three activities for an active warm-up. By using games, chaos and lots of movement, the players will be using all the key physical literacy skills in a busy environment.


Since not all the players arrive at training at the same time, and some will drift in just after the start time, you need to have an activity with few rules that arriving players can join in quickly with little explanation. So, play “Chaos” – it has only three rules.

Put all your players (if 16 or less) inside a 20m square – increase the box size as other players arrive at training. Shout “CHAOS” and they have to run around as fast as they can for 15 seconds.

Rule 1: They are not allowed to touch or bump into anyone. If they do they have to stand still. That means two “bumped” players stand near each other. Shout “STOP” after 15 seconds.

Rule 2: Repeat, but the standing players aim to touch players who are running around. See who is left at the end. They are the winners.

Rule 3: Any player you see who is not running fast is counted as touched as well.


In a 20m square, split players into teams of no more than eight. If you have more than 16 players, create two games.

One team has the ball and starts on its own try line. The other team, starting on the halfway line, “chain” together by holding wrists in twos and threes or making sure there is no gap between them.

The attacking team aims to score at the far end within a set number of touches, decided by you. If they are touched, the ball carrier puts the ball on the ground and another player passes it. The chains must retreat 2m after a touch. If a chain “breaks”, the attack gets an extra touch.

If there is a turnover, give each team 10 seconds to get ready. This improves teamwork, communication, decision-making skills and, as it is so fast paced, will increase their heart rates.


Become more rugby specific with this four-player activity.

Player 1 runs out 2m, goes to ground and places the ball. Player 2 player picks it up and passes to player 3, who then passes to player 4 who goes to ground. Player 1 regathers the ball and the drill is repeated.

Run this for 20m, turn and come back. You can emphasise lots of coaching points here, but just concentrate on two. They could be good placement or hands out to receive a pass. Only run this for two or three minutes. Make it part of your normal warm-up routine so players are used to this exercise every week.

You can add in extra skills, like ball placement or pops off the ground. Eventually, the player who places the ball can become a tackler, and then you are adding in contact.

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