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I need ideas for fun team building activities and any?

I need ideas for fun team building activities and any fun games to help towards team building. Has anyone got any ideas on what to do? Anything to spice up rugby training sessions in the dark, cold winter nights.

What age group?

from 16 to seniors.

do you have any tractor tyres at hand?

No But I can try and get some. I've got 8 car tyres.

Tractor tyres are the best cause they provide weight, a challenge and more players can get a purchase on them.

I had a problem with team cohesiveness with an U16 side I started coaching, so pre-season I got 2 tractor tyres.

I started setting out a training area of 60mx30m and placed the tyre in the middle, split the group into 2 equal teams (usually backs v forwards) and started each team on their fronts on each goal line. On the whistle they had to get up and each team had to try to get the tyre over the opposing goal line.

The initial conditions I applied were that players could clear out only players that were in contact with the tyre, but that the tyre had to be in contact with the floor at all times, it couldn't be lifted.

From the off, the players began to communicate with more urgency, they started to make more decisions as there was more than one option i.e. do I flip the tyre or do I assist the team by clearing out the opposition? I found that the more teamwork started to play a part, the longer the game took to finish.

The next stage.....rather than apply further conditions myself, I asked the players how we could change the game to bring in other rugby oriented skills. They wanted to try progressing the game to allow players to tackle anyone that wasn't touching the tyre, but at the same time, still being able to clear out players on the tyre. So now, everyone was active, both trying to flip the tyre and stopping players getting to the tyre.

Everyone is active, there is purpose to it as many rugby techniques are being employed, the players enjoy it, and it is safe. So it conforms to the RFUs APES mantra.

We generally finish of the tyre session with a few relays. Start with:

  • each team flipping the tyre
  • then, dragging
  • lifting with players sitting around the inner rim
  • rolling the tyre but having to keep it within a 3m channel (a lot harder than it sounds)

Players dont realise how much exertion they are putting in, its great for Cardio vascular, strength and endurance, and the competition is intense.

Has it helped the team in games?

Maybe. The team feels more cohesive, the stats also back this up:

  • won 90% of games (9 wins in 10 games)
  • 296 pts for, 53 against!
  • 100% win on own ball in scrum, 86% turnover in the scrum!
  • retained over 90% and turned over 47% at ruck.
  • communication has become 'deafening'

I think its about finding the right balance. Introduce the first game I mentioned then let the players design further practices.

Further to the above, I held team meetings where we discussed various non-rugby team building events. So far the lads have taken part in a Go-Karting league and been on several team building high-wire sessions at Go-Ape centres. We've also secured several 'out-of-area' fixtures to south Wales, Ireland and the North of England against the Yorks county champs - which we incidentally beat last season!

Hope this helps.

Den

 

Dennis, Thank you for this! It looks and sounds great! I am definitely going to find tractor tyres now. I now wish you were my coach when I was younger. About the stats you were talking about, is there an easy way to take stats during a game by me as the coach (no assistants) who is trying to focus on the game and trying to get some stats going. Thanks for all your advice!!!

Thanks. If you don't have an assistant coach(es), maybe a parent or 2 would be able to help out.

All i'd say is that you don't need to go into stats test rugby style i.e. ball carries, metres made, territory, possession etc. I would say you need to record the 'contests', when I say that I mean ALL set pieces, ruck, maul, tackle and restarts, but its also important that all errors are recorded.

You can draw up a recording sheet in excel, which records all stats as a tally that reads who put the ball in and who won the ball. Just keep it simple.

When communicating the stats to the team, always do it in a positive manner and don't single players out - even if they've had an exceptional game - always give individual feedback individually, but make sure feedback is appropriate and warranted i.e. exceptionally good or bad. I find that some players continually seek me out for feedback, so I go to them before they come to me which I think shows them that I understand their needs. 

Always start by giving the positives and making sure that they're emphasised, then the negatives as an acknowledgement, but always finish up with the positives and how you as coach intend on addressing both the positives and negatives. Once players start to see what the team is doing and how they themselves impact on the game, 'buy-in' to future sessions and training plans meets little or no resistance at all.

I also - depending on assistance - keep a quick run of play for the first 10-15 mins. I notate on a plan of a rugby pitch the lines of play, whether passed or kicked and any errors. This is a critical time in the game, so I want to remember what my teams do from game to game during this period.

Hey! even walking rugby is a lot of fun!! also you can try the piggy bag rugby!! The second does need a lot of team work! .. so i guess it can help you build unity! :) cheers!!

I coach a college side in New England.  I took over after they had been put on 2 yrs probation for hazing (alumni/under grads drinkning together and a fund raising project that involved shaving heads).  I had a group of very green players with minimal high level athetic experience - ZERO rugby experience and I had to do something.  I took a page out of Marine Recon and took the team on a 4.5 mile hike in the mountains and I had them each pick a rock out of a stream bed that would be a representation of their rugby time at Babson.  They all carried their rocks for the entire hike and upon completion, they were amore of a team than they went in...We went 8-1 and only had 2 tries scored on us that Fall.  

 

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