Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Create flexible players

By Dan Cottrell
There are five core generic skills that all rugby players need to practise regularly.

1) Passing

Whatever position a player ends up playing, passing will be a core part of their role. There is no excuse for any player not being able to deliver a variety of passes effectively or selecting the best pass to use in different situations.

Players should all be competent at delivering clearing passes, spin passes, orthodox passes and pop passes, and in both directions.

In training, you must put players under pressure to deliver passes and condition games so players have to select different passes to suit different situations.

2) Running

Focus on the key running skills common to all players - acceleration, changing pace, changing direction and running efficiently sideways and backwards.

Incorporate multidirectional running into all your warm-ups and work on all the running skills every week. Impress on players the need to be balanced when they are running especially just before contact situations.

3) Support

All your players need to understand their supporting roles in the game. Always insist they come from a deep position behind the ball carrier and accelerate onto the pass.

They must communicate accurately with the ball carrier to tell him exactly where they are and when they want the pass.

4) Tackling

Players need to be able to efficiently execute a variety of tackles in different situations. Your team's target should be that all players are competent tackling in one-on-one situations.

Work on individual technique and include tackling exercises and games in every training session. Expose your players to different situations where they have to make different tackles.

5) Decision

Some players are natural decision makers but it is important that all your players learn how to make good decisions under pressure the majority of the time. Like most complex skills, decision making can only be developed by making real time decisions repeatedly.

This article is from Rugby Coach Weekly.

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