Rugby: Serious Fun

Your tips and session ideas have really brought some interest back...
Eifion, Rugby Coach

DESCRIPTION

  • Tell your players the following, keeping your player briefing, brief! It's vital to get the players moving as quickly as possible.
  1. Each of the three cones should have one player.
  2. The player in the middle will have a ball, and one of the two other players will have a ball.
  3. The player in the middle has to throw their ball up in the air (vertical), catch the ball being passed from the other ball carrier, and then forward the passed ball onto the other player in the group, before catching the ball that they just threw up into the air.
  4. Once that is done, they do the same again - this time the lateral pass will come from the opposite direction.
  5. This is repeated, the tempo increasing as the players get more comfortable handling the two balls they must keep in play.
  6. Change the position of each player in the group; there can be a competition between the players to find out who can do the most without dropping any of the balls, or giving a poor quality pass.
  7. Have fun with this, but don't forget that there are great lessons to be learned here, many of which are noted in the coaching points.

COACHING POINTS

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 without players experiencing success.
  • 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. to minimize the possibility that the pass will not go astray.
  • Let the players have fun, they can learn while playing!
  • Passes need to be weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance, and accuracy.
  • Receivers have their hands out, saving time and presenting a target.
  • Receivers catch the ball at a point, which minimizes any maneuvering they might have to do in order to have the ball at the best possible passing position in hand.
  • Players do not spin the ball when there is no need.
  • A pass 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.
  • Players should aim to keep hands soft, this means that they should grip the ball loosely and handle the ball with fingers spread - passing not firing the ball.
  • Why not get a little rhythm into the exercise with a song or some music. Players should develop a passing rhythm, building muscle memory.
  • Supporting players need to be aware of their need to time their pass.
  • Increasing the distance between the cones may well make the spin pass a possibility/option - but help your players understand why it's an option. The ball will move faster, closing the space between the passer and receiver quickly. But does this comes at a cost?

PROGRESSION

If you find that some players need more of a challenge, increase the distance between the cones. This will increase the travel time of the ball and will require quicker hands from all players.

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MORE Passing DRILLS

Bang & Bingo

Set up: the cones as shown with a cone 10 meters each side of the posts on the try line. This will mark where the ball will be passed from (feeder) preferably from a scrum half. Divide the group into 3 and ask them to stand in single file behind each cone. The ball is fed from a position alternately from either side of the post. This will encourage the players to scan, communicate and to be expectant of the ball. The players on the cones opposite the posts will either be the 1st receiver or the BANG option runner. The BANG runner is always running an out to in, or up to in line to fix the 2nd defender. The players on the middle cone will receive the ball in the BINGO (pull back) option outside the ‘outside’ post or just in behind the BANG player. The BINGO players should run and an arced run to receive the ball outside the outer post. The BINGO player should try to straighten up prior to receiving or on receiving the ball. Progression: Get 2 players or coaches to stand in front of the posts with 2 different coloured cones in their hands on their hips. The cones will represent the ‘hips’ of the 2nd defender. The aim is to encourage the 1st receiver to scan, look, and make a quick decision (choice of pass) depending on what the defender is doing. If the 1st receivers sees the ‘inside’ cone on the 2nd defender then they must assume the defenders hips are turned OUT and make a short pass to the BANG runner. If the 1st receivers sees the ‘outside’ cone on the 2nd defender then they must assume the defenders hips are turned IN and make a PULL BACK pass to the BINGO runner.

Passing

Continuous Passing Off The Floor 2

Set up a rectangle of cones (10x5) with two gates of cones of a different colour 2m in front of cones on opposite sides of the rectangle (See diagram). Get the players to line up in equal numbers behind the 4 cones of the rectangle (1, 2, 3, 4). The ball starts on the floor between one of the gates of cones, a player approaches from behind a cone (1) and passes the ball off the floor to a player running onto the ball from behind a cone (2). The player who passed the ball continues his run and joins the back of the queue infront of him (4). The receiver catches the ball and continues his run, putting the ball on the ground between the cones in front of him, before joining the back of the queue (3). The player at the front of the queue (3) runs forward, and passes the ball off the floor to a player running onto the ball from behind a cone (4). The player who passed the ball continues his run and joins the back of the queue infront of him (2). The receiver catches the ball and continues his run, putting the ball on the ground between the cones in front of him, before joining the back of the queue (1). The player at the front of the queue (1) runs forwards, and passes the ball off the floor to a player running onto the ball from behind a cone (2), and the drill continues... Change the direction by moving the gates of cones forward to be in front of the opposite cones (4 and 2, instead of 1 and 3) Progressions: Instead of putting the ball on the ground, have to go to ground, present the ball, then get up and out of the way. As a group must complete 10 successful passes before the session can move on, every time a ball is dropped the whole group does an exercise (e.g. 10 press ups).

Passing

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