Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Tidy handling drills to get improve fast and soft hands by David Clarke

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.


Rugby Drills: Fast Hands by David Clarke

This week I was asked to come up with some fast hands rugby drills. As some of you know, I am not a great fan of the term “drill”, but it matters little in the end because it is what the players learn in training that counts.

Why fast hands

“Fast hands” means quick transference of the ball from one player to the next to the next. In other words, at least one quick pass in a series of two or more passes. Relating this to the game, it is unlikely that we need “fast hands” for more than three passes.

Game related reasons

“Fast hands” are meaningless unless there is a good reason to pass the ball in the first place. The reason in this case is that the receiver and giver is under pressure in front of him and there is someone better placed to take the ball forward. Two sets of “fast hands” means that two players are under this pressure and so on.

Ultimately, my drill/exercise needs to get to the high pressure stage.

Constructing a drill

In a quick audit of the stuff I have published I find I have over 300 “sessions” to choose from (not all handling of course), plus another 40 odd in the pipeline till Christmas. But why not use a fresh idea.

Here are the three things I think about when constructing a rugby drill

1. Paint a picture of the game and can I isolate the technique?

2. What is the fewest number of players I need?

3. Where can I add value?

Point 3 is the crucial one. For fast hands, my answer was “its in the catching”.

Look out for my “drills” coming up soon.