Rugby: Off-Loading Pass

What a fantastic tool. I've found a few drills that are unfamiliar,...
Wes, Rugby Coach


Tell your players the following......

  1. There will be two static players, passers, on the mid sections cones. One on each side. One of which will have a ball.
  2. There will be one runner who will start with one ball in their left hand.
  3. The ball carrier should start running towards the other side of the grid. The static player with the additional ball feeds that ball to the runner who has to catches the ball with their right hand only - and underloads the ball to player the opposite side.
  4. Repeat 5 times and then change over.


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

  • The tempo of this exercise must be high as a skill is only a skills when it can be preformed under pressure, and this exercise applies pressure.
  • Ball carriers work a speed they are initially comfortable with, building more in more speed and faster decision making as they go - while retaining passing quality.
  • Passes from the carrier and the static players are weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance, and accuracy. Spin passes are not used when they do not need to be.
  • The ball carrier uses effective, efficient, and encouraging communication to ensure that they receive the ball when they want it - and to ensure that they have enough times and space to make their pass without having to pull back the pass at the middle station.
  • Players on the cones use good communication to encourage the runner - also helping with the timing and origin of the pass. You'll find that players will be working hard to scan the grid, and some may be a little like a rabbit in headlights - confused!
  • Players should aim to get into a rhythm - they need to loosen up and establish a tempo. This is about playing the game or completing the exercise with freedom. Mistakes happen, if we can help players by not having them over-think or get stressed - then we can cut the number of mistakes. Giving players the freedom to make mistakes can actually reduce the number of mistakes and gives players the freedom to enjoy their game and training - while being creative.
  • Ball carriers pass, by gathering the ball, moving it to a position that allows them to guide the ball towards the target - this will be important for off-loading in the game.
  • When passing, ball carriers draw the pass, in one motion, across their body.
  • Receivers present targets and have their hands up, ready to catch.
  • Players should be allowed to experiment and discover.
  • Question don't tell.

    The players do the same as above, but use their left hand for catching and passing.



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