EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Small-sided games

We love games!

There’s plenty to choose from here.

We have: Adaptive games, game scenarios, touch rugby games, mini games, small-sided games, warm up games.

From tackling to handling, all require decision-making under pressure.

So look out for handling games, tackling games, rucking games, kicking games and even fitness games.

Dens

in Small-sided games, U10+

This is an adaptation of a game I use in school. It’s great as a warm-up or as a game to encourage and support creativity before moving towards a more rugby-specific game. It encourages and challenges evasion skills, spatial awareness, communication, as well as passing, kicking and catching. MORE

Command and conquer

in Small-sided games

Here’s a game of invasion, evasion, tactics, intensity, teamwork and nerve. Every player will be involved and it will help develop fitness as well as skills. This game is really active and allows everyone to take a role. Great for fitness due to a high work rate and also allows you to focus on a range of fundamental skills. MORE

Using Rondos for positive environments

in Small-sided games

We have been adapting to the new way of working with Covid and trying to create a positive learning environment. I believe the environment you create is far more important than your tactics and complicated game plans. I will show you how we set up and extended Rondos as a game, plus the feedback the players told me afterwards. MORE

Three zone touch: Training the “apply pressure” principle of...

in Attacking Principles of Play, Small-sided games

Applying pressure is an often-misunderstood principle of play, with coaches often equating it to scoring points in attack or turning a ball over in defence. Whilst applying pressure will commonly be the precursor to these actions, the principle relates more to the exploitation of time and space in attack, and the denial of these in defence. In the following game, we look to explore these ideas. MORE

Better kickers using rugby rounders

in Kicking & Catching, Small-sided games

Develop rugby rounders into a skills development game specifically aimed at improving kicking techniques and tactics. While there are also good outcomes for catching and passing, I want to focus on the precision of the connection between ball and boot and then finding space with the kick. MORE

Dice defence

in Defence, Small-sided games

Create adaptive defenders who can react to the problems in front of them and make accurate defensive calls. This game works on both sides of the ball with the attacking team looking to get past the defence and score within the allocated number of phases. MORE

Using the “freeze” reward to enhance your game play

in Small-sided games

Use a game with a "freeze" reward to challenge your players’ awareness, scanning, communication and to plan ahead. The game involves the attack or defence (depending on your focus) freezing the opposition as a reward for completing an agreed criteria. For example, if a team complete five dominant tackles, they can freeze the opposition for 3 seconds to realign. MORE

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