Rugby: The Atom Game

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

DESCRIPTION

  • Quickly tell the players that when you blow you whistle and shout Atom, you will also shout a number to let the players know the size of the groups/atoms they need to get into. For example - if you shout Atom six - you want the players to get into groups of six. They should bind on in the groups to create a small circle of players.
  • In between atom calls the players run around the grid in different and random directions.
  • Some players may be left out of some groups/atoms, depending on the size of the groups when you call Atom. If those plays are a little put out by being left out, give them the opportunity to make the next Atom call.
  • Progression: Same as above, but in between Atom calls you play Simon Says e.g. let the players jog around but you call Simon Says put you hand on your head, Simon Says touch the ground with your right hand, Simon says jump up and clap your hands, ATOM 4! T
  • his should be fun, joke a little with the players and have fun with this. You may decide on minor outcomes for players that don't get into groups quick enough e.g. 2 press-ups. You are the referee, so use your judgment.

COACHING POINTS

Remember you don't have to focus on all of the following coaching points. Pick the points that are relevant to your session, or decide on your own!

  • Players really do need to listen to their coach and to each other!
  • This warm-up, if used at the start of the season, is a great opportunity for younger players to learn each other's names in small groups.
  • This warm-up is also about building the team, having them bind on will help build that bond.
  • Players should be silent when in their groups, you want to help your young players understand that when you talk - they listen.
  • Allow some players to act as leaders - making the atom calls.
  • Players should look out for their team-mates, it's not just about them.
  • Look out for leaders, players that care about other players and work hard to sort their atom out - you can learn a lot from watching them respond to this warm-up.

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MORE Warm Up DRILLS

Living On The Edge

Split the players into two teams, giving each team their own set of bibs. Two different colours that clearly define the teams. Keep your player briefing, brief. It's important that you get your players moving as quickly as possible. Tell the players that we will be playing One Touch Ruck, see the laws surrounding this game in the Warm-Ups section of the SportPlan site. Briefly - when an attacking player is touched while carrying the ball: they go to ground and either pop or present the ball for a minimum of two supporting players to ruck over. The defence should behave as they normally would at the ruck, committing two players who will not compete for the ball or go into contact. The defence should employ their normal patterns around the ruck. The attacking team can have three touches in a row between the 15 meter lines, if they move the ball to the either of the 15 meter channels they can have another four touches in that channel before having to move the ball back out. If the attacking team moves quickly from one 15 meter channel to the other (exploiting space), they get a bonus of 4 touches in that zone. If any attacking team exceeds the number of touches they can sustain inside a channel, the ball is turned over. Play with these laws a bit - keeping an eye on what you want to achieve in this session. The normal laws of rugby apply, any law infringements result in a turn over. There is no kicking in this game. Don't forget to give the defence a turn in attack, if for any reason the attacking team is particularly good at retaining the ball. If they are, well done you as a coach!

Warm Up

Maul Touch

Be brief when telling the players the laws of this game, it's important to get them moving quickly. This is not a contact game, but there will be some light contact. Break your players into two teams, giving each team their own colour of bibs if necessary. One team goes to attack, and one to defence. Nominate a Scrum Half for each team, it will be their job to move the ball from the back of the maul and out to an attacking line. There is no kicking in this game. Normal laws of rugby apply e.g. a forward pass will result in the ball being turned over to the opposition. If an attacking player is touched: they must stop and turn, a maul is then built based on how you have trained your players to Maul. Only four players should be in the maul - but every player should be able to maul - including the backs! When you start playing this game make sure that the defence is employing your defensive pattern around the maul. They will commit 4 players, but will not do anything more than provide light resistance. Once formed the maul can take four steps before moving the ball. If there is a delay in creating the maul, or the quality of the maul is poor - the ball can be turned over. Depending on your goals decide on the number of touches you wish to allow e.g. unlimited is not a bad option as mistakes will be made! If a team has been in possession for a long time, don't forget to turn the ball over to give the opposition a run. Don't hesitate to shape the game to focus on your session goals, and let us and other coaches know what worked for you.

Warm Up

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