EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

The skill development matrix

For this example, I’ve developed a skills development matrix.

It isn’t the definitive list. However, for the purposes of my session, these are the elements I will consider in my thought process for planning.

Non-negotiables for GamePrinciples of PlaySkill Development
Passing
Skill Development
Receiving
1. High activity
2. Clear purpose
3. Decision-making
4. Game related

Get Better
Feel Better
Go Forward
1. Look for space
2. Move the ball into space (run, pass)

Support
1. Depth
2. Give ball carrier options (short, long, either side, confidence in contact)
1. Scan early to be spatially aware
2. Hips square
3. Ball carried off the chest
4. On release fingers facing towards receiver
5. Ball passed FOR the receiver rather than TO the receiver

A. Scan early to assess the situation
B. Call for the ball to raise awareness for the ball carrier
C. Work hard to receive ball – hands out to ‘grab’ the ball early
D. Watch the ball into the catch
6E. Catch & Pass – ONE MOVEMENT - Receive early, transfer ball across and away from body, fingers pointing in direction of pass.

This session is going to focus on only some of the areas above.

Principles of PlaySkill Development
Passing
Skill Development
Receiving
Go Forward
1. Look for space
2. Move the ball into space (run pass)

Support
1. Depth
5. Ball passed FOR the receiver rather than TO the receiver

B. Call for the ball to raise awareness for the ball carrier
C. Work hard to receive ball – hands out to ‘grab’ the ball early
D. Watch the ball into the catch

Before I design the game, I will consider what the players already know. In this case, I’m happy that the players have prior learning of Go Forward and Support.

In this session, I really want them to focus on:

  • Passing for the receiver so they don’t have to break stride.
  • Supporting from depth and taking the ball at pace.
  • “Grabbing” the ball early.

Remember KISS. I only have three elements to focus on. I might mention the other elements if they happen and feedback to individuals and group. For example: “I really like that you looked before receiving the ball to see where the space was.”


Time to find a coachable game.

It will have a purpose to explore these principles and skills. It isn’t going to be a game for game’s sake.

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