Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Learn set piece moves from this year’s Super 15

Some great moves to try out, but of course, they need:
1. Good set piece ball.
2. Pace onto the ball.
3. Players who are willing to change their angles to find the gaps.
4. Accurate execution of skills.

Lots of wrap arounds here by the way.

Dan

www.betterrugbycoaching.com



Tidy handling drills to get improve fast and soft hands

I like these drills because the players have to start outside their comfort zone and yet will enjoy the success when they are good at them. Ideal for warm ups and for work ons at the start of sessions.

I have used all these drills/activities and found them to work well with a good range of players. Probably a bit far advanced for Under 11s unless they are particularly skilful.



Some great pre season team building ideas here

Here is a team building exercise video. Obviously you can use the equipment they provide, but some of them are generic too.

Remember: rugby is a dynamic game of changing situations and these exercises can build rugby mental strength.



A scrum drill – a bit controversial though
July 5, 2011, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Drills | Tags: , ,

I like the idea behind this session, but you might think there are some problems with the players flying off their feet.

But good for looking at scrum body profiles. Perhaps it would be good to put some weight on the bags. A cheap alternative to a scrum machine?

Dan



Great rugby tackling drill for kids

Loved this video, dying to try it out soon. Must be great for young players who are learning how to tackle.

Dan



What we can learn from video games
June 28, 2011, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Training | Tags: , , ,

We find our kids spend too much time on them, become addicted to them and end up with pasty white faces…the curse of the video game.

But we can learn plenty from the kids “playing video games” for our own coaching.
1. Why do they play on them for so long
Because they are competitive. The players keep wanting more.
Lesson: players like to play and they enjoy a challenge.
2. They can make mistakes and not feel bad
“Game over” and start again is the worst they can hear.
Lesson: players know when they have made a mistake – don’t make a fuss, let them start again.
3. Practice makes perfect
They keep playing, experimenting and improving – the finger and eye coordination is breathtaking.
Lesson: think about the practice environment – they are playing a game, learning from their mistakes and working out how to solve the problems themselves.
4. No manuals, no help?
To start the game, they may use a brief tutorial, but then plunge straight in. However, they will want tips, cheats and shortcuts. They get this from their friends and surfing websites.
Lesson: be a port of call for problem solving, not just someone who tells them what to do. They will ask when they are ready – are you ready for them to ask?

Dan Cottrell



The absolutely spot on basics of a good tackle


The R80 series of videos give some good technical methods and this is one of the simplest and most basic.

Watch for the boxer stance and approach and how square the tackler remains during the tackle.

Since the drill concentrates on technique, it is worth “suiting up” the tackler so he can make multiple rugby tackles.

Overall a good rugby tackling drill that is simple to set up and easy to observe for good technique.



What players can learn from being a referee

Read this article first.
TV pundit and former Lions hooker, Brian Moore decided to learn to referee and managed to pull a muscle in his first game. He was definitely a poacher turned gamekeeper. But he was brave enough to put himself in the firing line. Perhaps he might have tried it as a player…I wonder whether he would have played differently.

Now, the naughty Sebastien Chabal is to referee some games himself. My first thought was that few would argue with his decisions. Well, for the first five minutes anyway. After that, he will find that the referee is only a human and will be prone to mistakes. Many a referee will tell you that they may make fewer mistakes than any player on the pitch yet they will be picked up on the smallest error.

A lion in the lions’ den. Will there be tears? I don’t think so, but I do believe that Sea Bass may be a little more careful in what he says in the future.

Better Rugby Coaching



Great training activity for players just starting in rugby


The US rugby development team are doing a great job rolling out rugby to new players. Here is one their coaches showing young players how to develop lateral passing. It is not a new idea, but it is extremely well executed.

Better Rugby Coaching



Tale of two coaches (part six)

See previous parts…

Phil sits with his head in his hands. It has been one of the most stressful Sunday mornings of his life. A mug of tea stands cold next to a bottle of beer with only a few sips taken from it.

All around the rest of the family go about their normal Sunday afternoon routines. His youngest son is reorganising his cars, talking to them as if they understand every word he says. Of course, they do not move, so he has to push and manipulate them into the correct position before standing back to admire his work.

His son Rory, is glued to the computer game: “Club Penguin”. Rory skilfully manoeuvres his character around a series of scenarios, interacting with other online members. Rory is the real reason why he has decided not to pack in the coaching job.

Finally, his wife Louise is speaking to him. She does this as she clears up the remnants of breakfast and starts to cook the “late” Sunday lunch.
“We can’t expect the kids to eat so late every Sunday,” she says. “Couldn’t Rory have had something to eat at the rugby club after training.”
Phil does not answer – he knows Rory ate two bags of crisps and a chocolate bar, eschewing the hot dog provided. That’s about all he remembers of Rory after the training session.

“I’m okay Mum, “calls over Rory, “Dad got me some stuff and Piers let me share some of his food too!”
As a debate ensues over eating arrangements, Phil reflects that it was calmer than at 8.30am that morning…

-+-

Phil wakes at 5.30am on Sunday morning. Well, he is not sure, because he does not think he has slept at all. The coming first session goes through his mind again and again. What was it Nigel, the Club Coaching Coordinator had told him? “Be bold, be positive and enjoy.” Nigel had said that approximately 15 minutes after Phil had phoned Nigel to confirm that he was not going to stand down from being coach.

“That’s great news Phil”, a relieved Nigel had replied. “What changed your mind?”
“To be fair, it was in part down to the great recruitment day you put on by the professional club. Rory enjoyed it so much, he begged me to carry on coaching. I think he knew I was thinking of giving it up. Truth is, I am still pretty nervous.”
Nigel was quick to come up with ways to overcome these fears. He put Phil in touch with one of the current Under 11s coaches who had been through the same problems. He sent him a DVD on contact rugby for new players. Finally, just before he uttered the words, ”bold, positive, enjoy”, he said he would be down at the first session to help out.

Phil rehearses the opening minutes of the session again: Quick welcome, make sure every player has a ball between two, and do some simple handling in the grids. “I must have the grids marked out beforehand, I have put the cones in the back of the car already, do I have the balls in there already…” The mental list is similar to the real one he has by the front door, next to his boots, whistle and folder.

-+-

The alarm shocks him. Is it 7.30am already? He slides out of bed and immediately goes down to his list and paperwork. Rory meets him in the hall, already changed. His other son Matthew is also there to greet him, wearing a rugby top. He is desperate to come along to despite the fact he has never shown any previous interest in rugby at all.

By 8.30am, at least 45 minutes before Phil intends to leave the house, he is ready. He texts Nigel and then also his friend Si, who has said he will help, to check they are on course. Nigel replies immediately. He is at the club sorting out pitches. Si texts back that he might be late because he has to drop his eldest off at another club for a match.

At 9.21am, Phil and Rory drive into an almost empty car park. He recognises Nigel’s car and pulls in beside. Rory leaps out and rushes around to collect the kit. Phil’s heart is racing and he becomes all fingers and thumbs as he tries to pick up all the balls, cones and bags at the same time. Eventually, he decides to put it all down and find Nigel. He has not got a clue which pitch he is on.

10.07am: The car park is full and there are cars parking awkwardly along the road outside the club. Phil has his pitch set out, shown Nigel his plan (“Good stuff, but you might find you don’t get through all of it”), and he is welcoming the first few players. There is a queue of parents around him as he passes out pieces of paper to fill in. Meanwhile the boys who have arrived are chasing around with the ball.

10.25am and five minutes before the official starting time, he has 15 boys and two girls. He is still answering questions and passing forms to and fro. Nigel appears. He tells one of the mothers to take over from Phil and then almost drags Phil onto the pitch. No sign of Si!

10.29am Loud blast of the whistle and Phil asks the boys to come in to him.

10.29am and 17 seconds. Phil shouts “Stop kicking the ball and everyone into me”. He has surprised himself.

10.30am Phil spots Si rushing across to him with his son about four paces behind. He turns to the group (there are two more players now) and tells them to get in pairs with a ball.

11.37am Phil wraps up the session after a game of grab tackle and turns to speak to the parents. They are worse than the players at coming over in a group. He starts to say thanks and well done and still some of the mothers are talking whilst one or two of the fathers seem to be wandering off.

11.48am Phil is picking up the cones with Si (who has not stopped apologising for arriving late). Nigel comes over to ask him how the session went. Phil can hardly string together two words at first, but then rushes through everything:

“They are impossible to control. They don’t listen, but the first thing seemed to work okay for a couple of minutes, but it took ages to bring them back in. Then, they kept running off for water and then we tried out a drill, but we had too many players for the drill, so they were mucking around. Eventually we had a game of grab tackle and that seemed to work well, so we played that for the last twenty minutes, may be longer. I don’t know, I don’t think they learnt anything. But they seemed to enjoy themselves, though Rory did say during the drill that is was boring and when were they going to play a game.”

Next time, we see how Doug finds his first session.

Better Rugby Coaching