Activities for U9 players

Under 9s rugby is the first year of contact rugby.

This is a significant challenge for players and coaches. However, if you introduce the elements of tackling and being tackled piece-by-piece, the players can adapt and grow at their own pace.

First, play games in a small area where they are likely to bump into each other. This creates awareness and resilience without getting too technical.

Second, keep tackling activities short and sharp in every session. You can have three sections of five minutes interspersed over an hour’s session.

Third, help ball carriers learn to fall when they are tackled.

Follow our guide to coaching U9s for the first time here.

For the new skills needed for players moving from tag rugby to U9s, click here.

Snake footwork races

in Footwork and evasion, Mini tag, Return to play, Rugby drills

Develop your players’ go-forward skills with evasion in this competitive scenario. It’s easy to set up and you can add lots of variations. Even though some of the players will “cheat” by not exactly stepping to the side of the cones, their swerves and go-forward will help them replicate these skills in a match situation. MORE

Ready, set, free pass

in Rugby drills

Create pace onto the ball from a “free pass” to a static player by encouraging your players to organise themselves quickly and work in threes. When the rules state that a free pass has to be to a static player, your players have to be at ease with repositioning themselves to be able to generate some pace onto the ball. MORE

Box bumps tackling

in Tackling

Encourage good head position and leg drive in this fun exercise in tackling. It’s low impact and ideal for building confidence with your players. MORE

Pick up and play – ideal for younger players

in Passing & Handling

The ball is often fumbled or passed poorly as players get used to handling. That means more ball on the ground. Help your players recover the ball and play away. A moving rugby ball isn’t an easy thing to pick up. And once gathered, the new ball carrier has to make decisions on what to do next. Use this session to work on techniques and options. MORE

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