Rugby: Lateral - Switch

I am so pleased with all of the drills and advice on rugby. I am a...
Mokie, Rugby Coach


Tell your players the following.....

  1. Players in pairs with a ball between them.
  2. The player on the left starts with the ball and passes the ball to the player to the right. The player with the ball then runs diagonally across the grid, while the player without the ball crosses over behind the ball carrier, ready to receive the ball at the next cone.
  3. They continue passing left to right and crossing over in each grid until they reach the end. Once at the end they run back to the start to the right of the grid, practicing the same skill on the way back but without cones to guide them.


Don't feel that you have to focus on all of the following coaching points, you may have your own. Select the points that most closely match your overall training and session goals.

  • Keep the tempo of this exercise high, but only after the players have been able to succeed at a lower tempo. There is no point in moving fast and making too many mistakes as a result of pushing players too quickly.
  • Good communication is vital to define roles, position, expectations, direction of the pass, the type of the pass, the timing of the pass etc.
  • Communication should be efficient, effective, and encouraging.
  • Mistakes will happen, while we work to minimize mistakes - don't over focus on them! If you do, your players may well magnify their own mistakes. What's important is the next pass, the next catch! You as a coach have to give the players the freedom to make mistakes, you also have the responsibility for helping players adjust their passing style and decision making etc.
  • Passes need to be weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance, and accuracy.
  • Receivers have their hands out, they present clear targets.
  • Players do not spin the ball, if there is no need.
  • Players use soft hands to move the ball quickly. Passing/popping, not firing the ball.
  • It is only a good pass when it has been completed, and it is only a completed pass when the receiver catches the ball.
  • The ball should be caught in both hands, at a position that is best suited to move the ball on quickly.
  • Set targets for your payers, but make sure that targets can be achieved.
  • It is vitally important that players experience success and feel a sense of achievement at every session.
  • The support player should delay their run and come from depth at pace, they may need to work on their timing - on you could start the supporting player from a position on the groud in order to build in a delay.
  • The support player needs to run a line across and behind the ball carrier.
  • The ball carrier needs to run a line in front of and across the support runner.
  • The pass can be a dummy pass, allow players to experiment.
  • Allow players to experiment with the type of pass they use.
  • If adding in a defender, start the defender with limitations e.g. left to right movement - and then progress.
  • Change the cone placements to support your players development.
  • Ask/questions, don't tell.

    Introduce one defender with a tackle/ruck shield.



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