Rugby Drill Demonstration

Description

Set up for 6 easy to use drills to improve Aerobic capacity, Anaerobic endurance and change of direction skills at speed.

Coaching points

In and out runs

Aim: Improve ability to change direction without loss of speed/acceleration.

Set up: Place cones in a 5x3 grid with 5m distance in between each.

Performance:

Using one line of five cones; use an effective running action to run in and out of each cone to the end. At each cone increase speed until at maximum speed upon reaching the final section and maintains until the end of the course.

Coaching points:

  • Athlete must maintain an upright posture or a slight forward lean.
  • The athlete must be coached to not allow the hips to sink on contact.
  • The inside foot will contact the ground directly in-line with the centre of mass or slightly across the centre line creating a small ‘crossover step’.
  • Foot contacts should be on the balls of the feet.
  • Eyes should be looking forward, not down at feet.

Curve runs

Aim: Improve ability to change direction without loss of speed.

Set up: Place cones in a 5x3 grid with 5m distance in between each.

Performance: Using all fifteen cones; start on one corner and complete a single arced run around either the middle cone of the middle line or middle cone of furthest line and finishing at the end cone of the line you began on. This should be performed whilst athlete is continuously accelerating up to top speed. Once athlete has completed desired number of repetitions from one side, they must repeat from the opposite side.

Coaching points:

  • Athlete must maintain an upright posture or a slight forward lean.
  • The athlete must be coached to not allow the hips to sink on contact.
  • The inside foot will contact the ground slightly across the centre line and under the centre of mass creating a small ‘crossover step’.
  • Foot contacts should be on the balls of the feet.
  • Eyes should be looking forward, not down at feet.

Cut step runs

Aim: Develop and improve and athletes ability to change direction when a rapid deceleration and then acceleration is required, using a ‘cut step’.

Set up: Place cones in a 5x3 grid with 5m distance in between each.

Performance: The athlete begins the drill at one of the bottom corners. The athlete accelerates towards the middle cone on the next line up, at which point they will aggressively decelerate and perform a cut step and head back out towards the outside cone on the third row. The athlete will repeat this action, zig-zagging, all the way to the other end of the course, performing a cut step at each cone. To change the angle of the cut step and distance for them to accelerate, have the athlete zig-zag between both outside line of cones.

Note: This drill can be used with pairs or small groups. Have them start at opposite corners and stagger their starts to avoid collisions in the middle.

Coaching points:

  • The athlete must accelerate towards the first cone using good acceleration mechanics (centre of mass ahead of base of support, powerful leg drive with low recovery leg mechanics, aggressive arm drive, and running on the balls of the feet).
  • As the athlete reaches the cone, the centre of mass should be lowered and stride should be shortened.
  • When changing direction the cutting foot needs to be planted wider than the hips and knees.
  • When changing direction the foot should be planted in a range that is in between pointing the direction you were moving, and the direction in which you wish to move, although the foot being at either of these extremes is sub-optimal and may increase the risk of ankle injury. (No two foot plants will ever be the same, so do not try to over coach this).
  • When changing direction the foot should land almost flat footed, but with the weight towards the ball of the foot, which will allow for a greater force to be applied.
  • The body weight should stay within the base of support, enabling an effective line of force to be maintained.
  • The athlete should attain and maintain effective positive angles at the ankle knee and hip.
  • The athlete should use an effective acceleration action.

150 Shuttle runs

Aim: Improve speed endurance with multiple accelerations and decelerations.

Set up: place two cones 25m apart or work from try line to 22m line.

Performance: Complete six continuous shuttles (132m-150m) as fast as possible.

Coaching points:

  • Use good acceleration mechanics to begin drill (Centre of mass ahead of base of support, powerful leg drive, low recovery leg mechanics, aggressive arm drive, and running on the balls of feet).
  • Use good linear top speed mechanics mid run.
  • As the athlete reaches the cone, the centre of mass should be lowered and stride should be shortened.
  • When changing direction, the hips need to be turned around 90o, and the cutting foot needs to be planted wider than the hips and knees.
  • When changing direction, the foot should be planted in a range that is in between pointing the direction you were moving, and the direction in which you wish to move, although the foot being at either of these extremes is sub-optimal and may increase the risk of ankle injury. (No two-foot plants will ever be the same, so do not try to over coach this).
  • When changing direction, the foot should land almost flat footed, but with the weight towards the ball of the foot, which will allow for a greater force to be applied.
  • The body weight should stay within the base of support, enabling an effective line of force to be maintained.
  • The athlete should attain and maintain effective positive angles at the ankle knee and hip.
  • The athlete should use an effective acceleration action.

 

Tempo runs

Aim: Developing baseline sprint related conditioning. (Tempo runs are neither sprinting nor jogging).

Set up: Open space to perform straight line runs. In this example, I am using half the length of a rugby pitch, although the distance is can be as much as 150m or as little as 30m (performing a shuttle tempo run).

Performance: The athlete will stride the length of the course, walk back and repeat. A stride is the middle ground between jogging and sprinting. Have the athlete perform a set distance and only measure the runs, not the recovery walks.

Coaching points:

  • Be sure that the athlete is striding so that they are developing the full running mechanics (hip hyperextension) at a lower intensity than a full sprint would require.

Incremental acceleration runs

Aim: To develop acceleration speed in a controlled manner whilst minimising the risk of injury after an extended period away from performing/training.

Set up: Set up five cones in a line, the first four being 5m apart from the previous. Place the fifth cone 15m beyond the fourth cone. The total distance from the first cone to the final cone should be 30m.

Performance: The athlete starts at the first cone and accelerates to a designated cone. Once they reach that cone, they maintain the speed they have reached until they pass the final cone at which point they begin to slow down in a controlled manner.

Coaching points:

  • Use good acceleration mechanics to begin drill (Centre of mass ahead of base of support, powerful leg drive, low recovery leg mechanics, aggressive arm drive, and running on the balls of feet).
  • Use good linear top speed mechanics once they reach the desired speed.
  • Do not allow the athlete to stop suddenly once they reach the final cone, have them slow down in a controlled manner.

References

Jeffreys, I. (2010). Gamespeed: movement training for superior sports performance. Monterey: Coaches Choice

Boyle, M. (2017). New Functional Training for sports 2nd Edition. ebook: Human Kinetics

Field based conditioning and movement trainingAgility & Running SkillsRugby Drills Coaching