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can anyone recommend a good drill for practising the missed pass, besides just passing along a line?

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Nick It is easiest to practise the miss pass in a line - see attached practice. The key though is to get your players to understand when a miss pass is most effective. To develop this understanding perhaps you could get your players to play 3 v 2 in small grids and encourage players to make miss passes (reward with extra points)to put teammates in for a try. The key points are that the missed player in the middle calls for the ball and angles their run away from where the pass is going.

I hope this helps Simon

Quick Hands

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Description:
  • Tell your players the following.....
  • The first player runs out with the ball to the first set of cones and passes the ball to the second player.
  • The second player then runs out to the next set of cones and passes the ball to the third player, who runs out to the next set of cones.
  • In the last area of cones, the ball has to be passed quickly amongst all the players.

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.

  • The tempo of this exercise must be high as a skill is only a skill when it can be preformed under pressure, and this exercise applies pressure. There is no point in pushing the tempo of this exercise beyond the ability of the players to meet their targets.
  • 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 are weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance, and accuracy. Spin passes are not used when they do not need to be. But if needed - they are.
  • 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 time and space to make their pass.
  • Players should aim to get into a rhythm - they need to loosen up and establish a tempo.
  • Players should feel that the next pass and catch is the most important.
  • Following a pass, players take up to steps back.
  • Players explode onto the ball at speed, completing their pass before the cone.
  • Players draw the pass across their body, guiding the ball - not forcing the pass or firing it.
  • When passing, ball carriers draw the pass, in one motion, across their body.
  • Receivers present targets and have their hands up, ready to catch.
  • Relievers can clap their hands to establish a target.
  • The work rate will need to be high, lazy running and a low work rate will force the attack to grind to a halt.
  • Players can be creative in attack.
  • Players can use a variety of methods to pass the ball e.g. on handed.
  • Communication must be at the heart of the attack, it must be: effective, efficient, and encouraging.
  • Nick, sorry, blowing my own trumpet time; look up the Technical Journal in the RFU website, archives Autumn 2006 (I think - but it is definitely 2006), and there is a series of practices for passing, including the one you need. Basically, I put 3 attackers in a line facing 2 tackle bags fairly close together. They represent the "best tacklers in the world (thereby answering the question "Why do that pass)," and the aim is for Player 1 to pass to Player 3 so that Player 3 receives the ball in the space outside the second bag. In my article, I have 5 in a line with 4 bags (2 then 2), so that Player 1 and Player 3 both have to try the miss pass. Start at jogging speed, and when the players get good, introduce a speed contest between the sets of players in some way. I made the players go through 5 times changing positions with each run so that they all played in every position, and timed the 5 runs. Reward for the fastest team. Dropped passes/any other miss voided the run. Do it left and right.

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