Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Easy to set up rugby decision making drills by David Clarke

Taken from the R80 DVD from the Crusaders, here are two easy to set up handling and decision making drills.

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Day eleven of August pre season training tips: support play by David Clarke

August 11

Support play

Though support play is not a technical skill, it is still a core skill. The detail of support can easily be ignored in pre season training programmes, but you can integrate it into every session.

Any time there is a ball and two attackers in an exercise there is an element of support play. Focus your attention equally on the support player as the ball carrier.

Use these pre season “rules” to ensure your support players work as hard as the ball carrier.
1. No pass should go to a player standing still.
2. No pass should go to a player unless he is calling for it.
3. If a player goes into contact, then the nearest player has to support in the contact within two seconds, no matter who they are. (They can also be made to call out to the ball carrier what they want them to do, like “go to ground” or “stay on your feet”).

Play a game of touch rugby using one or more of these rules:
• The passer MUST follow his pass, otherwise the ball is turned over.
• The ball carrier has one second to offload the ball if they are touched (that is almost as they are touched). If they don’t they have to drop to the ground in a ball placement position.
• If the ball carrier has gone to ground, make it a contest for the ball between one opposition player and one attacker. Both have to come through the “gate” (that is from behind the back foot).

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Day seven of August pre season training tips: handling by David Clarke

August 7

Improve your handling in pre season. Easy question?

Er…do all you fitness training with a ball? Is that enough?


Here are five pre season tips to improve your handling:
1. Play touch rugby where the type of ball changes after every try. Rotate with a tennis ball, golf ball, basketball, soccer ball, flat rugby ball, wet rugby ball (bucket needed), over pumped rugby ball.
2. Play “hot potato” rugby netball where a player can only hold the ball for three seconds.
3. Drop balls punishment: juggling tennis balls. If a player drops a ball in the game, he has to go to the side and juggle three tennis balls for five rotations. If he cannot juggle then he has the bounce a ball two tennis balls on the ground at the same time and catch them, repeating that five times.
4. Wrap a sock around the palm of the dominant hand. Now go into passing exercises and games.
5. Pass blindfolded. Get the feel of the ball.

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Handling drill from New Zealand by David Clarke

A coaching clip featuring top skills coach from New Zealand Dave Ellis. The feature does suggest old school “drill”, but certain plenty of merit because it is easy to set up and involves lots of rugby related movement. Put in defenders (who could be running a similar pattern), to add to the pressure.

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Is it the drill, the players or the coach? by David Clarke
August 31, 2009, 8:31 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Skills, Rugby Training | Tags: , ,

Watch this drill. If it was shot for a commercial video, it would look slick and fast.

However, it is six minutes of pain!

Is it the drill? Well, it is a nice looking drill that is well executed when the right skills are used. But it breaks down easily if they are not executed well. It just takes one bad domino not to fall the right way for things to grind to halt.

Is it the players? The drill comes from Youtube and the comments make for interesting reading. A centre or 10 would be happy with this type of drill. A flanker less so. This set of players are patently not up to this skill at this stage of their development.

Is it the coach? I don’t know the coach, but he knows his technical stuff. In front of an audience, the heat is on. You have to give the coaches something a little different to what they see normally. Unfortunately things don’t work out. I have some sympathy for this. One of my own Level 3 sessions was filmed. One of the drills I used went completely wrong and it felt terrible. Mind you that was back in 1998!

What do you think?

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