Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


The absolutely spot on basics of a good tackle by David Clarke


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.

Advertisements


One hundred words for rugby coaching by David Clarke

Given that the England soccer manager, Fabio Capello, believes that he only needs 100 words to talk to the players, I set out to produce a similiar list. In fact, I got to 106, but I am sure I have left some out.

The rule for the list is this: ONE WORD IN means ONE WORD OUT. So any suggestions must come with a word to leave out.

Advantage, Backs, Back Play, Ball, Bind, Blind Side, Blitz, Box Kick, Centre, Charge Down, Chip, Clean Out, Clearance, Communication, Concentrate, Conditioning, Contact, Conversion, Cool Down, Corner flagging, Crash Ball, Dead Ball, Decision Making, Decoy, Defensive Line, Development, Drift, Drive, Drop Goal, Drop Out, Dummy, Engage, Fast Hands, First Phase, Five Metre, Fix, Flankers, Flat Pass, Fly Half, Footwork, Forward Pass, Forwards, Foul Play, Free Kick, Fringes, Front Row, Gain Line, Game Plan, Game Sense, Gate, Go Forward, Grid, Grubber, Handoff, Hooker, Inside Centre, Jackle, Jumper, Kick, Knock-On, Laws, Lifter, Lineout, Line Speed, Lock, Loose Head Prop, Mark, Maul, Miss, No 8, Offside, Open Side, Outside Centre, Overlap, Pass, Peel, Penalty, Phase Play, Punt, Quick Ball, Recycling, Restart, Ruck, Scrum, Scrum Half, Seal, Second Phase, Set Piece, Set Play, Sevens, Side Step, Skill, Slow Ball, Spin Pass, Support, Switch, Tackle, Technique, Tight Head Prop, Touch, Try, Turnover, Warm-Up, Wheel, Wing,Yellow Card.

Better Rugby Coaching



Contact awareness for the youngest by David Clarke


Here are a couple of great videos…the kids are having a fun time tackling and bumping into bags.

Rugby contact and rugby tackling does not need to be just about “technique”. Confidence, enjoyment and hunger all play a part.

Better Rugby Coaching



Day 23 of August pre season training tips: defence by David Clarke

August 23

Defence

Pre season is good time to set out your defence principles. Start with the basics at the key areas and then develop them as the season progresses.

Defence is how your players align themselves from a static situation like a set piece or breakdown. It is also how they move once the ball is released.

Here is the running order of importance:
1. Ruck defence. There are more rucks than any other static situation. You need to decide how to cover the fringes of the ruck and then how line up from there. More time should be spent on this organisation than all the other defence areas put together.
2. Scrum defence. Probably there will be more scrums than lineouts, so this is the next most important area. Things to consider: where does the scrum half go, what are the roles of the back row, where does the 10 stand in relation to the scrum, where should the wingers go.
3. Lineout defence. Here you want to think about the connection between the back of the lineout and the 10.
4. Kick return defence. When your team kick the ball, apart from the chasers, how will you cover the backfield.
5. Maul defence. If there is a maul close to your line, then how will you defend?
6. Red zone defence. If they have the ball in your 22m area, will your ruck and set piece defence change? For instance, will you bring your wingers up?

Better Rugby Coaching



Day eighteen of the August pre season training tips: cutting edge by David Clarke

August 18

Cutting edge

You can create a cutting edge in your team over pre season. In a previous blog, I talked about improving your speed of thought (Day 12). You want to be able to generate a team that can impose itself on other teams.
Here are five ways to “impose” yourself on other teams, and use pre season to start this process:
1. Become fitter in the areas where you have a strength. If you are a large team who likes set piece, work harder on upper body work. If you are a fast team who like to keep the ball alive, then work on speed and stamina. You might say “how about our weaknesses”? Well, be strong in what you can do first and then the other areas will start to fall into place as the season unfolds.

2. Develop and practise a few “killer” moves from set pieces and second phases. Have these as near to perfect as you can. Only then start on the next set of moves.

3. Work on “chunking” a game into segments of time. How do you play in the first five minutes. What you might do from 5 to 20 minutes if you are ahead or behind. How do you aim to finish the first half. Think about the fatigue elements. If players focus on these chunks of time, the scoreboard and all the psychological effects it can have on the players become less important.

4. Build a defence culture that celebrates success. If the ball is turned over, or the opposition has to kick, make sure the team acknowledge this and the opposition know about it.

5. Know what “tempo” wins you games. Does your side like to play with pace, use set piece and play close to the breakdown, or break the game up with kicks? Know this and then you can aim to capture that in the game. Pre season is an ideal time to work on the specifics of how the tempo of your game develops.

Better Rugby Coaching



Day twelve of August pre season training tips: speed of thought by David Clarke

August 12

Speed of thought

Sharpen your players’ minds as well as their bodies in pre season. Put them into situations where they have to make tactical decisions quickly and decisively.

Here are five ways to increase your team’s speed of thought.
1. Every exercise has at least one decision during the exercise or in its development:
a. A passing exercise requires at one pass to be either short or long, or beat a defender.
b. A tackling exercise requires a player to challenge for the ball, or decide what height to go in at, or who to cover.
c. A support exercise requires the support player to be ready to take an offload or clear away threats from the tackled player.
2. Reduce the time in which an exercise has to be completed. Say five passes and shuttles should be finished in 20 seconds, not 30.
3. Make an exercise a competition. How quickly can this be completed, or how many can be done in a certain time. Ensure that good technique triumphs over poor.
4. Play a game of high intensity touch rugby for three minutes straight after a gruelling fitness section.
5. Reduce the size of the exercise area OR make it much, much larger.

Better Rugby Coaching



Day eight of August pre season training tips: tackling by David Clarke

August 8

Tackling

You have got to start tackling at some stage in pre season, but when? Why not work on the elements of tackling, breaking it down into component parts. Then put it all together closer to the first proper match.

If you have six sessions before your first game then try this out:
Session 1: Footwork for tackling. Working on getting correctly aligned to make front on or side on tackles. You can use touch rugby or tag rugby where the player has two hand touch or tag the ball carrier on the hips.
Session 2: Shoulders in. In a very small area, players work on their shoulder contact with the ball carrier.
Session 3: Grip work. Grip and holding onto the ball carrier. A static ball carrier is gripped and then starts to move.
Session 4: Pairs. Working together to make tackles. Low impact, walking rugby, with one player focusing on ball.
Session 5: Rough and tumble. Five metre box, 3 v 3 full contact, with a turnover and restart at the end of the box if a ruck or maul forms.
Session 6: Full tackling session.

You can revise each session at the start of the next session to build into one full session.

Better Rugby Coaching