EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

VIDEO: Simple pop passing (and how to coach it effectively)

Develop the pop pass to a support player running at pace into space created by the ball carrier. Just before contact, a pass is flicked up off the fingertips to a support runner. Also, note the different coaching styles in action: coach-led, player-led.

 

  1. Four players line up in single file with the ball carrier at the front. The remaining three players stand in a row 5m apart as defenders.
  2. The ball carrier attacks the first defender and, 2m away from him, steps to one side.
  3. The defender follows him to make the tackle, creating space where he had been.
  4. The ball carrier gives a pop pass off his fingertips into this space to a support player who is running at pace.
  5. The new ball carrier then attacks the second defender with the third runner in support.

COACHING TIP

Put cones where the defenders stand and encourage the ball carrier to pull the defender to one side. The ball carrier then passes the ball over the cone for the support player to run onto.

WHAT TO CALL OUT

  • Run at the defender at pace then veer left or right. > Support players run on to the pass at pace.
  • Ensure all the passes go backwards, but leave it in the space you’ve stepped away from.

DEVELOP THE PRACTICE

Create a 5m wide corridor, 10m long. Put a defender 2m inside the corridor and another at the far end. Put three attackers at the beginning of the corridor.

When you say go, the attackers aim to reach the far end without the ball carrier being caught in possession of the ball. The defenders are allowed to come forward, but not allowed to intercept the ball.

You can have touch tackling or grab tackling depending on the level of players.

Here are some more pop pass activities to try out…

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