Rugby: Pass within a channel

Great site and excellent drills. Easy to understand and apply in training....
Tyrone, Rugby Coach


Tell the players the following.....

  1. This is simple, just attack from the bottom and top of the grid at pace.
  2. There can be two groups in the grid at any one time.
  3. Anyone in the line can start with the ball, and the attack should vary between lateral and creative.
  4. The ball and attack will be considered alive within the grid, so respond at all times.
  5. Players should change places within the attacking line after each attack.
  6. The starting position of the ball should change on each attack.
  7. Players should avoid contact within the grid.


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

  • Players should work to keep the tempo of the session high, increase the pace of the session - allowing players to experience success.
  • Receivers hands should be out, presenting a target.
  • Ball carriers carry the ball in two hands.
  • The pass is weighted in terms of distance, speed, and accuracy.
  • The pass is only complete when caught.
  • Players do not spin the ball over short distances and their pass should be sympathetic to the receiver.
  • Ball carriers pass to where the receiver is going to be, not where they are.
  • Ball carriers provide a flat ball or a ball that the receiver can run onto.
  • The receiver attacks at pace, receiving the ball while moving forward at pace.
  • Players demonstrate good communication . Communication should be efficient, effective, and encouraging. Receivers should identify themselves, their location etc. Ball carriers should verbally seek out support.
  • Mistakes will be made, allow your players the freedom to make mistakes without feeling a failure.
  • Passing should be off both hands. There is no weak or strong hand, just hands that need a little more work. Work is the key, not talent.
  • The attack must maintain width and depth.
  • The ball should be held on either side with both hands and fingers spread, raise the elbow opposite to the direction of the pass, push through the pass moving the point of the ball to face the target passing area - using the wrists to generate more power when needed, pass the ball with the fingers/hands finishing at a point towards the target. You may ask younger player to finish with a thumbs up to the receiver - ensuring their hands finish facing the target.
  • Be careful not to give the players too much to think about e.g. if they are worrying about foot position etc - it may impact on their ability to - just pass the ball. With respect to foot position, the opposite foot to the direction of the pass should be forward (this opens up the hips) - but this won't always be possible in the game.
  • Players need to stay on the balls of their feet, using changes in foot-speed, side-steps, spins ect. in order to avoid traffic.
  • As the session progresses the players must work at pace, and keep working!
  • Players realign in order to keep the attack going.

    • Make the grid bigger to increase the length of the pass.
    • Limit players to two steps with the ball before having to pass.



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