EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

The communication game

It is often proposed that coaches and players should share a common language to ensure clarity in all communications. This activity allows both verbal and visual communication to occur while also allowing the players to develop their own errors as they go along.

SET-UP

  • Think about the words your team uses a lot in training – words that are linked to verbal communication.
  • Place the 10 most common words among your players into a bag/box.
  • Ask four players, two from each side, to pick out a word from the bag.
  • Those words are the only words they can use in a five-minute game of touch – it applies to both teams.

HOW TO PLAY

  1. Play a game of touch with the chosen words.
  2. After 5 minutes, pause the game and ask the teams to discuss amongst themselves what is wrong with the words they have chosen.
  3. What was good or bad about the words, can they use hand signals, for example?
  4. At the end of that discussion, ask them would they like to change two of the words they have chosen – as a group they may decide on other words that would help the game develop better.
  5. Play the game again.

NOTES

A game allows the players to talk through the words that they use and their effectiveness under pressure.

It also allows them to see whether the words mean the same for everyone or whether there are players who simply follow a pattern and do not adjust to this new challenge placed in front of them.

Finally, the players will begin to note the visual cues that players give when they are (1) about to pass, (2) want to receive a pass or (3) not to pass at all and take the ball into contact for recycling.

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