Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Side stepping for devastating breaks

The ability to change direction sharply gives attackers a chance to make devastating breaks. Use this drill so players can side step into space and they will be able to drag defenders out of position and open up the defensive line.
This "flat foot" drill will coach the rugby side-step skills your players need. While you're coaching it, look for any rugby players who slow down when they come to the bit where they have to side-step the defender.

The skill ought to be performed at speed. Any sign of slowing down and the defender will be on to the ball carrier, ready to turn over the ball.

Set up flat foot rugby drill

  • In a 10m box, place a defender at one corner and an attacker at the corner diagonally opposite.
  • The attacking player can score anywhere on the opposite line.
  • Condition the rugby drill so that the defender lets himself be beaten on his inside by the attacker's side-step.
  • Quickly move on to live tackling.

What to look for in this rugby drill

  • Players who don't change direction sharply.

  • Some players may take two or more steps to change direction. Ask them to alternate by jumping from one foot to the other.

  • Once they have mastered this, get them to run forward and jump off either foot to the left or right. They should then be changing direction sharply in a basic side-step.

  • Players who lose speed performing the side-step. Get them to side-step the opponent earlier and accelerate past them on the inside. Using smaller steps and shouting "accelerate" after each side-step can help your players further.
Develop the side stepping drill
  • Change the try line so the players have to side-step off the other foot.

  • Add a second covering defender for the attacker to beat once the first defender has been flat footed.