Nswru coaching

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  • 1. 01.1 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 2. 01.1 Coaching: 5 common mistakes
  • 3. 01.1 Coaching: 5 common mistakes 1. Open v Closed Skill Environments Coaches often make the mistake of moving players into an open environment without covering off on the skill in a closed environment. A closed environment is a scenario where the options available are fairly few and largely constant, for example – a catch and passes drill or tracking drill. An open environment revolves around placing a player in a situation in which there are a number of variables, the scenario is constantly changing and the player is required to undertake a decision under pressure. Examples of this are 3 v 2 attack or live tackling drills. This is environment players are more likely to reinforce current poor techniques. How often do coaches set up a drill in an open environment and get frustrated with the result? For example putting the players in a 3 v 2 attack against defence drill when the players would struggle to complete a 2 v 1 and possibly even struggle to undertake a catch and pass drill without dropping the ball. Feedback in this environment is almost impossible as you could pull the team up on almost every aspect of the drill, so the coach lets the drill run poorly much to their frustration. A common phrase is “I couldn’t give feedback as I would have to pull the drill up and we would be constantly stopping and we would get nothing done”. In both an open and closed environment limit your coaching points (coaching points are the aspects which you want to see done well) to around 3 per drill. This will allow you to give feedback and monitor the improvement in the players. Let the players know what you are hoping to see from the drill. Ask them to repeat them to you (just to make sure they are listening). Once you believe that they have mastered them, change them. Then you won’t have to keep stopping the drill! Don’t start at the end and expect to get a good result, work your way up to that point and assess from there. Remember that if the open skill is not working go back to the closed skill to reinforce the basics! 2. Verbal Instructions How often do you give a verbal instruction to the players and get frustrated when you move them into the drill that they don’t do in correctly? Players learn through a variety mediums – listening, seeing and actually doing. The visual in conjunction with listening should prove the most effective method. How can the coach tell whether the players have understood? Simple - ask. “Who can tell me what the three points are?” “Why are we concentrating on these points?” “What does the next man into this scenario do?” These are all examples of open questions which help the coach to understand whether the players understand. ““ Don’t start at the end and expect to get a good result, work your way up to that point and assess from there 01.
  • 4. 01.1 Coaching: 5 common mistakes 3. Coaching the Drill not the Skill Ever feel that you spent the majority of your time trying to get the players to complete the drill properly rather than actually coaching them and giving them feedback? The feedback might sound something like “no Bill you have to run around there, not through the middle!” Before long Bill has not been coached at all on everything else that he is doing (ie the actual skill). This problem is often an indicator of the instructions that you have given (the players have not listened) and you have only given a verbal explanation and consequently you are trying to give a physical demonstration on the run. Take a little longer at the beginning with your demonstration and ask the players to show you what they are to do. This will indicate whether the players understand the drill and the allow you to give feedback on the drill. 4. Game Realistic Drills Do your drills actually replicate a scenario that happens in a game? How often do teams warm up with a 4 corner drill where they are popping the ball to a player running in the opposite direction? Is there any scenario in a game (forward pass maybe?) where I am going to execute this, with the exception of throwing an intercept pass to the opposition! Another example might be getting the backs to run moves which happen 10 metres over the advantage line. It would be nice if that happened in a game but it seems highly unlikely. If you look at your drills and the possibility of the action not happening in a game is zero, change the drills. A catch and pass drill will have the same effect with communication, group management and player movement as the old 4 corner drill. Put an advantage line in your drill to ensure that the depth that the switch happens at is realistic. 5. Too many players standing around during drills Too often drills are run that only incorporate 3 or 4 players moving and completing the drill. If you look at the other players during the drill and they are standing around for any longer than 30 seconds at a time, its time to have a close look at how you are running training. The longer the players are standing around the greater the chance that discipline will become an issue (again another drain on time which affects the amount of training you are able to complete). A simple solution could be to set up 2 grids incorporating the drill that you are doing. Split the team in 2 to ensure that all players are working. The coach should look to position themselves in the middle of the grids to allow them to police both groups and provide effective feedback to the players. “ “ Take a little longer at the beginning with your demonstration and ask the players to show you what they are to do 02.
  • 5. 01.1 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 6. 01.1 Scrum: Mechanics & Roles
  • 7. 01.1 Scrum: Mechanics & Roles Feeding side (attacking team) is looking to provide: Stable scrum to win ball Provide platform to launch attack Side up to attack from in order to take the opposition back row out of the game and increase attacking potential and options Non feeding side (defending team) is looking to: Pressure and destabilize the attacking team scrum Win ball back Tactically create movement in order to close down options of the attacking team Scrum Working Units LH - Pod (1,2,4,F) Ball Winning 7 1 4 8 2 Figure 1 5 3 6 TH - Pod (3, 5, F) Force Production / Ball quality Force production unit ➢ In attack this unit is responsible for the quality of the ball for their team. The quality of their work will dictate how stable the platform is for the next phase in attack. ➢ In defence the force unit is attempting to disrupt the ball winning unit of the feeding side. ➢ In general terms the tallest, heaviest or strongest second rower should be in this unit to provide optimal support to the tight head. 01.
  • 8. 01.1 Scrum: Mechanics & Roles Ball Winning Unit In attack the major responsibility is ensuring that their side wins the ball. ➢ In defence the ball winning unit is looking to blunt and/or dominate the attacking teams force production unit. If they succeed the quality of the ball available to the attacking team will suffer, possibly negating first phase options. 7 7 8 1 4 3 Figure 2 2 5 2 8 5 4 3 6 1 6 Figure 2 illustrates the two sides of the scrum working in conjunction and the angles in which they will be looking to achieve. Scrum Mechanics Force generation is determined by: Scrum culture and attitude Efficiency of the front row to generate force Capacity of the front row to generate force Capacity of the back row to generate force Capacity of the back 5 to generate force Height of the scrum 02.
  • 9. 01.1 Scrum: Mechanics & Roles Understanding the Roles / techniques of the front rowers in the scrum Feeding (attacking) team Non Feeding (defending) team Loose Head (feeding) Tight head (non feeding) • Provide hooker with adequate comfort • Win the hit, lead the scrum in and protection to win the ball • Look to split the opp. hooker and loose head by • Win the hit just beyond the mid line of the scrum attempting to get head through the gap between • Work with inside shoulder, hip and knee to under them using forehead as a rudder. This will also prevent and square to negate the opposition tight head boring opp. loose head getting into his sternum area. If in on his hooker (protect his hooker) successful go a long way to giving ascendancy to • Look to get long bind on tight head to provide his scrum stability and allow him to manipulate tight head into • Work his inside shoulder to attack the opp. hooker a vulnerable position • Pressure opp. hookers strike by obstructing his view • Draw binds (our hooker and opp. tight head) in order of the ball. Also pressure opp. hooker when foot lifts to engage tight head and relieve pressure on the off the ground to strike for ball hooker to allow strike • Pull opposition loose head to him and get underneath • By remaining square, winning the hit, pushing straight and getting under his opposition tight head he can give his team the best possible chance to win the ball and Loose head (non feeding) take pressure to win the ball and tale pressure off his teams tight head prop on the other side of the scrum • Win hit to take ascendancy away from opp. tight head • Pull binds on with hooker to negate opp. tight head/ force production side Tight Head (feeding) • Pack onto opp. tight head preferably with neck and right shoulder underneath sternum • Win the hit, lead in by engaging fractionally earlier • Disrupt opp. ball by generating a wheel, boring up • Looking to be strong and stable to create a solid making the hooker and tight head prop uncomfortable platform to provide his hooker with the best opportunity to win possession • Wants to push straight to give his team the best Hooker (non feeding) possible chance to win the ball • Look to get head through gap between opp. loose head • Pressure opp. hookers strike under their right shoulder. and hooker to avoid loose head packing onto his sternum On the strike the opposition shoulder may lift • Protect his hooker which may mean he has to push presenting an opportunity to apply pressure out on the opposition loose head • Look to pack low onto opp. tight head in conjunction with loose head. Hooker (feeding) Non Feeding pack • Hooker sets the height of the scrum • Drive forward on engagement to give best possible • Win hit past the mark by chasing feet or to disrupt hit body position • Disrupt the platform by a variety of measures • Anticipate engagement call to get the best possible pressure up/down, wheeling hit just beyond the mid line of the scrum and not allow • Give back row best opportunity to disrupt next phase opp. hooker and tight head to get under him • Negate options available to opp. by controlled wheeling • Work low in an effort to get onto opp. tight head and hooker with shoulder below and open chest up and drive through Feeding Pack • Win the hit and the ball through timing by hitting the opp. past the mid line • Chase feet and drive legs in order to maintain pressure • Control and set platform for the next phase 03.
  • 10. 01. 2 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 11. 01. 2 Coaching: Season Planning
  • 12. 01. 2 Coaching: Season Planning Synopsis Season planning is imperative for any rugby coach. Season plans assist to identify the team/clubs season, long-term and short-term goals. This paper assists with identifying how to develop a season plan, the kpi’s of a season plan and the ways to extend the season plan to cover the long and short-term goals of the team/club. Season planning is an important part of modern day coaching. It is imperative for a coach – no matter what level they are coaching – to identify their season goals, taking into account the physical, technical and tactical elements they wish to develop. On top of this, Club Coaches will need a season plan that takes into account all the teams within the club, the competition they are playing in and the expected outcomes from the season. The question most often asked by coaches is: Where do I get the time to plan? For most coaches, time will be spent during the season thinking about the next training session, what tactics to use against an opponent and evaluating training sessions and games; most of the time, it will be in the middle of night in a cold sweat!! A season plan (or periodisation plan) ensures the coach identifies and teaches key skills and strategies to their players. It also becomes a good resource for evaluating past seasons and developing an improved plan for the next. For the Waratahs, the season plan runs from November through to the end of the Super 14, with development and maintenance work scheduled for the period of June to October. In order to develop a season plan the coach will need to complete the following steps: Step One: Identify the Pre-Competition, Competition, Transition and Active Rest periods within the year. Step Two: Establish the coaching goals for the physical, technical and tactical aspects of the game. Step Three: Identify the ratio for the coaching goals over the season plan (i.e. within the pre-competition phase, 70-80% of time should be spent on physical preparation while the other 20-30% should be spent on the technical preparation). (Example – NSWRU Periodisation plan template) At this stage the coach now has a template that can be used to plan his monthly overviews (macro) and weekly sessions (micro). This will alleviate the common coaching trick of arriving with no idea of what to do and, therefore, putting the team through a rigorous fitness session! 01.
  • 13. 01. 2 Coaching: Season Planning So how is this done, you ask! The simplest way is to follow the preceding steps: Step One: Grab a calendar and identify the following: • The first training session • When your local council will allow you onto the oval (for your first session) • The first trial game • The first round of the competition • Each round and your opponent • Any Bye rounds / holiday weekends / etc • When the final series begins and ends • The end of season trip and Presentation Night When you’ve completed this, you can then draw a line between the first training session and final trial match and mark this area as Pre-Competition; next you can draw a line at the midway part of the competition as Competition 1; at the last game of the season as Competition 2; at the Grand Final as Competition 3; at the end of the Presentation Night (etc) as Transition; then the period between this and next season’s Pre- Competition becomes the Active Rest period. Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec AR Pre-Competition Comp 1 Comp 2 C3 Trans Active Rest Step Two: What will be your coaching goals for the season? It is important to have a clear idea of what you want your players to achieve by the end of the season and the way and means of them getting to this point. Your coaching goals should identify specific physical, technical and tactical aspects of the game. Physical aspects relate directly to the ‘Strength and Conditioning’ (S&C) of the players. Endurance, speed, and strength can be delivered to players in a variety of ways – coaches don’t always have to use 400m runs (etc) to develop these aspects in their players! Remember, rugby is a ‘ball in hand’ – ‘on you feet’ sport and, as such, players should be doing a lot of their physical conditioning whilst working on these aspects of the game. Technical aspects of rugby focus on the development of a player’s “core skills”. These skills may be viewed as: • Catch and Pass • Balance and stability (includes footspeed) • Tracking • Tackle • Post-tackle skills • Unit core skills It is important for the coach to have an idea of what they want their players to be able to do. For example, at an U15 level the coach may want the players to be able to catch and pass, both left to right and right to left, with minor defensive pressure, whereas at Premier Rugby the coach will expect the players to be able to catch and pass, both ways, with defensive pressure. 02.
  • 14. 01. 2 Coaching: Season Planning Tactical aspects are unit and team orientated. For this reason, players must have a sound physical and technical base for any positive development to be achieved. Forward set piece work and back starter plays must be planned prior to the season and implemented and developed throughout the season. This is also true for team attack and defence strategies. Therefore, having a fair idea of the standard of play within the competition and the ability to program for your players to achieve these standards will have a positive effect on what you, as a coach, can achieve with your team. This is also important if you are lucky enough to coach one of the higher skilled teams, for it will give you a gauge of how far you can realistically develop your players within the season. Physical Technical Tactical * Develop key physical * Development of core skills * Development of tactical components for individual, unit for individual, unit and team elements of play will focus on: and team performance. Areas of performance will focus on: Attack > Channels & field focus will be: ‘Agility, Balance, TRM > Tracking / Tackle / ‘The segments / Starter plays / Footspeed, & Stability’ / ‘Strength Gate’ / Post-Tackle options; Alignments; Training’ (inc. “core strength”) Attack > Catch and Pass / Defence > ‘Tracking, Hustle, Jam’ / ‘Cross-Training’ options / ‘ Running Lines / Positional kicking; options / ‘1,2,3’ ruck defence Endurance & Speed’. Defence > Block, Passive, options / ‘Hover’ & ‘Sting’ Dominant tackles; awareness; Unit Skills > Scrum (Building Scrum > Backrow moves / wheels blocks to fully contested); > (NSW); Lineout (Pods / Throw / Timing) Lineouts > Full / 5-man / 3-man / defensive; Restarts > Traditional / Pods / Split-locks / Match-up; Free-Kick/Penalty > Strike1,2,3 Step Three: Being able to identify the training load associated with physical, technical and tactical aspects of rugby is the final component of the season plan. As the physical aspect of rugby focuses on developing the S&C of your players, at times, a coach may spend a disproportionate amount of time on this part of the game; this occurs because the coach is normally unprepared and uses sprints and fitness as a means of masking poor planning. In the pre-competition phase the coach should be spending between 60-80% of the available time on S&C training, whereas this percentage will decrease through the competition phases so that by the third there will be no physical (S&C) needed. As rugby is a game that revolves a rugby ball, it is imperative that coaches utilize drills and activities that involve a rugby ball. This is quite easy when looking at the technical and tactical aspects of rugby, but it is also worthy when dealing with the physical aspects. As the technical aspects of rugby will revolve around core skill work and will increase from the pre- competition phase of between 10-40%, to the competition 2 phase of about 60% and then decrease to about 20-30% within the competition 3 phase. 03.
  • 15. 01. 2 Coaching: Season Planning In the pre-season, ‘balance and stability’, ‘catch and pass’ and ‘tracking’ activities will take up the most of the allocated time, whilst as the team develops their competence further technical aspects can be introduced. By the end of the season, the coach should be satisfied that the technical aspects that we’re identified at the beginning of the season have been achieved. The tactical aspects of rugby, as noted previously, revolve around unit and team skills. Within the pre- season, the coach must complete initial scrum, lineout and back starter play work. The time allocated to this area will range from between 10-20%, depending on the level of team being coached. Subsequently, as the season progresses, so will the percentage of time allocated to the tactical aspects of the team. So the difficult part has now been completed! It is now time for the coach to look at what needs to be achieved in the monthly and weekly segments. As the old adage goes, “you’ve got to build into the season” and with this in mind, the dynamic part of coaching begins – so don’t forget the scribbled on beer coasters and good luck with the season! 04.
  • 16. 01.2 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 17. 01.2 Scrum: Tactics, & Problem Solving
  • 18. 01.2 Scrum: Tactics & Problem Solving Hooking the ball (on own feed) The hooker is the player responsible for the hooking of the ball once it is put into the scrum. This is done by striking the ball with the right foot (while all weight is on the left) and guiding the ball back through the locks. If the props binds are correct, the hooker should have little problem striking and tilting the hips. Once the ball has been won, it is important for the hooker to re-assume the strong body position and assist in the transferring of forces into the opposition. The channels for ball distributions are clearly identified in figure 3. CHANNEL 1 – Travels down the inner left side of the scrum to the Figure 3 left of the number 8. It is a quick strike with the intention of clearing the ball quickly. CHANNEL 2 – Is a quick strike, which while controlling the ball is directed down the middle of the scrum. This is probably the most common channel. 3 CHANNEL 3 – Requires a longer sweeping action to bring the ball 2 back down the right side of the scrum. This channel gets the ball away from the opposing scrum half. Engagement 1 Zero tolerance on pulling out once both sides are crouched as it is dangerous. Hips and knees must be in front of feet on engagement – this is common problem. This equates to weight being on the balls of the feet ready for engagement. Front rows should avoid falling into the scrum as it requires the opposition to catch them and is a common cause of collapsed scrums. Front rows should push through the knees and hips to remain stable Tight Head Up 2 1 The tight head should pack slightly in front of the loose head 3 and hooker. This is to allow the tight head to lead into the scrum and take the initiative. This will also allow the tight head to counter the “natural wheel” of the scrum created by there being 2 loose heads. 3 1 2 Figure 4 03.
  • 19. 01.2 Scrum: Tactics & Problem Solving Off Set Packing When a defending team wishes to attack the attacking team’s ball they may choose to pack off centre in a way which places immense pressure on the opposition hooker and tight head. This method of packing allows the defending team to isolate the hooker and tight head on the attacking team. Defending Side 3 2 1 Note the movement to the left and the packing by the defending team isolates the attacking tight head and hooker leaving the loose head separate. 1 2 3 Figure 5 Attacking Side As shown above this places immense pressure on the stability side of the attacking scrum. The hookers strike is also under pressure from this type of packing. In order to counter this type of packing the attacking scrum attacking team should look to tighten the binds between the loose head and the hooker in order to engage the defending tight head. This should ensure that the pressure transfers to the loose head rather than the hooker. The defending team can also step to the right in order to negate the attacking sides attempt to isolate the hooker and the tight head Defending Side 3 2 1 Note the attacking loose head and hooker tightening their binds to engage the defending tight head and step to the right to negate the off set packing. 1 2 3 Figure 6 Attacking Side 04.
  • 20. 01.2 Scrum: Tactics & Problem Solving Scrum Wheeling A legal wheel involves all players remaining in a pushing position. This can be gauged through the hips of the players and whether they remain together throughout the duration of the scrum. A wheel can occur through the following means: Through the natural wheel of the scrum (caused by the loose heads) Through good scrummaging getting the loose or tight side up whilst remaining in a pushing position Through defending tight head backing away and not remaining in a strong pushing position creating an opposition or attacking team loose head wheel (illegal) Through defending loose head separating hips from hooker and moving the scrum around creating a loose head up style wheel (illegal) Through a “whip wheel”. All players from the wheeling side involved in the scrum stepping quickly to the side to create the required momentum to wheel the scrum (illegal) Countering the wheel Throughout the wheel at some point the opposition (defending team) is going to move out of a strong driving position in order create the wheel. At this point the attacking team should look to drive through the wheeling (defending) scrum countering the wheel by keeping their hips and shoulders facing down the field. The wheel may also be countered through stepping with the wheel. For example if team A is trying to create a loose head (getting its left hand side up) team B can counter this by stepping right (to the tight head side). This will move the entire scrum to the right negating the wheel. This can be very difficult to achieve as the wheel can happen (esp. the whip wheel) before this can be achieved. Scrum Collapse Scrum collapse can be caused by a number of incidents: Tight head diving in and the opposition front row failing to “catch them” Failure to bind either by the loose head or tight head Overextension of the legs Throwing of the bind by the tight head in order to avoid the pressure coming from the loose head and hooker Tight head pulling down on the loose heads arm due to binding too low 05.
  • 21. 01.2 Scrum: Tactics & Problem Solving Guiding Principles of the Scrummage Scrum as 8 Scrum Height Push/work for the duration (4-6 secs) Complete assembly before opposition Win engagement contest Right shoulder on every attacking scrum Lateral/ forward diagonal movement to disrupt oppositions ball Body height More efficient the scrum the more resources which can be allocated to other parts of the game Scrum management Referee and the scrum Engagement sequence CROUCH - TOUCH - PAUSE - ENGAGE Prior to each game respectfully ask the referee to outline his engagement protocol to your front row, then raise any issues which you may have After the match seek out the referee to discuss any issue or question you have which may have arisen during the match. 06.
  • 22. 01.3 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 23. 01.3 Defence: Identifying right from wrong!
  • 24. 01.3 Defence: Identifying right from wrong! The concept of defence can be broken into an individual or a group construct. From the individual perspective, players must have an awareness of pre-contact positioning and body shape, what they must do in contact, and the options available to them post-contact. When dealing with a defensive pattern, teams must be able to identify why they are defending the way they are and the options available to them. Individual Defence: Individual defence can be broken into three distinct segments: • Pre-Contact • Contact • Post-Contact Pre-Contact The most common mistake a player makes is to mark the attacker chest-to-chest. In doing this they provide the attacker with three distinct attacking options – left, right and over the top! Players must off-set themselves to the person they are defending, as this provides the attacker only one real option – away from the defender – and makes it easier for the defender to be in a safe position to make a tackle. INCORRECT CORRECT Face-to-Face Face-to-Face Example 1: Off-set positioning From the off-set position players should approach the ball carrier using the “A-B-C” philosophy: A = Approach B = Balance C = Close-out The Approach the defender takes is forward, not at an angle! This assists the defensive player denying “time and space” to the attacking player. Approach also relates to the line-speed of the defensive player – that is, do they come up hard or slow. The important point here is that all defensive players should come up together in one line. Balance refers to the defender shortening their running stride, dipping their body and preparing them for contact. The defensive player must also rotate their body so that they approach the attacker on a “J-curve”; with the centre of the defensive player’s chest pointing past the attacker’s shoulder; this assists with correct head placement on contact. 03.
  • 25. 01.3 Defence: Identifying right from wrong! Close-Out is the termed used for defensive contact. The defensive player must get as close to the attacker as possible – foot in the hoop – and have their hands up ready to make contact. If players are too far away from the attacker going into contact, then the possibility of injury is increased. APPROACH BALANCE CLOSE-OUT Example 2: Running line for ABC Contact Contact occurs from the close-out position when the defensive player impacts with the ball carrier. Here the player be in an upright body position with their hands in front – as if taking a photo of where they are going to make impact; the defensive player dips their body late and keeping their head up and with their foot in the hoop, they get their head behind the attacking player (preferably on their buttock); the defender then makes contact with the shoulder (Hit), has both arms wrap and link (Stick), and pulls their body into the attacker (Squeeze). Post-Contact One of the most important parts of defence in the modern game is the ability of the tackler to regain their feet in order to attack the ball. This is a skill which takes time to perfect but if all the ingredients of pre-contact and contact have been addressed, then it is a simple matter of slight physical adjustments that will make the difference. Upon making contact the defensive player must drive their back leg through the contact zone. This does two things. Firstly, it assists with a successful tackle being made and, secondly, it helps the defender regain their feet. By maintaining the Stick on the ball carrier the defensive player ends up closer to the ball because if they let go of the ball carrier they would fall off the tackle and find themselves around the attacker’s feet. Also by driving the back leg through the contact they can use the ball carrier’s momentum to assist them with getting back to their feet. Finally, if the defender can maintain Stick plus use the ball carriers momentum to be in a dominant position on their feet over the ball, then they can follow the Law to appropriately win possession. This means they must: • Release the tackled player; then they can, • Play the ball from any direction. The important point to note here is that the defensive player went to ground with the ball carrier. By going to ground, determined by at least one knee touching the ground through the tackle, the defensive player is deemed to be a Tackler. By being a Tackler a defensive player may play the ball from any direction within the tackle area giving them a huge advantage over other defensive players; remembering that all other players entering the tackle area must do so via “The Gate”. 04.
  • 26. 01.3 Defence: Identifying right from wrong! Group Defence: Over the past few years the Waratah’s employed a number of defensive strategies. However, the basic principles, as detailed above, have been the cornerstone of the defence. This section details a simple three person defensive group and their roles/responsibilities in defending their zones. Tracking – Hustle – Jam Ball Defender The Ball Defender refers to the defender who is marking the ball carrier. Their job is to (1) deny time and space to the attacker, (2) get into a position to make a sound tackle, and (3) either complete the tackle or follow the pass into the next channel (Hustle). Hustle Defender The Hustle Defender is the person who was previously marking the ball carrier. However, when their player passes the ball their job is to get to the space between their player and the ball carrier. This does two things, (1) covers an inside pass to either the passer or an inside runner, and (2) puts them in a good position to support the Ball Defender. Jam Defender If all players are completing their roles correctly, the attacking team will get to a point where their outside player is marked closely by their opposite defender. This player is known as the Jam Defender. The Jam Defender’s role is to (a) stop the pass being made, or (b) be in a position to take the pass from the attacking team (Peter Hewitt, ex-Waratah being an exceptional exponent of Jam defence). HUSTLE BALL JAM DEFENDER DEFENDER DEFENDER Example 3: A simple Hustle and Jam Defence. This defensive pattern can be used in both Set and Phase play. It is primarily a man-on-man defence starting with an inside- shoulder alignment. 05.
  • 27. 01. 3 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 28. 01. 3 Selecting: How to be transparent & fair!
  • 29. 01. 3 Selection: How to be transparent & fair! Synopsis There are many variables associated with team selection and picking a team or a squad can be a difficult proposition for coaches. This paper assists by identifying the variables associated with selection, suggesting measures that can be taken to make the process more transparent and highlighting ways in which coaches can work towards a fair and equitable outcome for the players. Coaches live by their results, and to this end, selection is one of the most crucial elements – for a coach cannot deliver results without the right personnel! Selection must be a transparent process to all and sundry. With this in mind, it is critical that the coach has an understanding of the processes that are associated with this procedure. There are different types of selection processes that can be utilized by a coach – the majority are dependant on whether or not the coach is working with a selection panel. At its most simplest, a coach working on their own will use their judgment to decide whether a player is appropriate for their team; at its most intricate, the coach will work alongside others within a ‘Selection Panel’, using qualitative and quantitative data to determine the appropriateness of different players. What are the variables associated with selection? There are many variables associated with the selection of players. These variables will alter in ‘breadth and depth’ depending on the age and skill level of the team being coached. For example, picking players for the local U15 team will be different to selecting boys within an U15 representative program; this will be different again from selecting Grade players in a Premier rugby club to that of a Suburban or Country club. For the majority of coaches, the player’s ability will be of paramount importance. Being able to differentiate between players by assessing their core skills is a function of coaching that takes time to develop. In order to develop this skill, the coach must have an understanding of what a core skill is and the ways in which they can develop them in their players. Another variable associated with selection is that of training attendance. What does the coach do with players that are habitually late or are no-shows on a continual basis? This has got to be the bug-bear of every coach. Having clear boundaries (i.e. miss a training with no excuse will mean being dropped a grade or starting on the bench) that have been identified to the players and the ability to carry through with these boundaries is probably one of the hardest tasks in coaching. The biggest concern, however, to a coach occurs with a player’s injury. A coach should have a concise policy for players returning from injury. The dilemma occurs when the injured player is a key play-maker (i.e. Dan Vickerman – lineouts and leadership) compared to a “Joe average” (i.e. a fringe Waratah player) > does the coach follow the protocol they set or do they make an exception? This is the one variable that requires a here-and-now answer (i.e. you won’t know until it happens!). Other variables that may need to be considered and addressed could be: • School and/or University holidays; • Ski trips with family and/or friends; • Player representative commitments (especially for junior club coaches). There are sure to be others not identified in this paper and specific to the coach’s team and competition. 01.
  • 30. 01. 3 Selection: How to be transparent & fair! What are the common elements of a selection process? Some common elements of the selection process are as follows: • Having a clear understanding of how the process will work; • Being able to justify selections – why certain players are selected over others; • Showing consistency over the course of a season or representative program The coach must have a clear understanding as to how the process will work. To do this the coach will have to set out the mechanics of the program. Some of these will be as follows: • When will the team be selected? – For a Club side this may happen on the evening after the game (i.e. Sunday) or prior to the week’s first training session. For a representative program, it may be at the end of each game or round of games; • Who is involved with the selection process? – At a junior club level, the coach will usually be on their own, whilst a senior club the coach will normally work with the coaches of the other teams. At Premier club level, the Club Coach normally works with the coaching staff in the selection process, whilst at representative level there is normally a “Selection Panel’ organised to work through the process. • Is there a criterion for picking selectors? – Depending on the type of team, selectors more often than not will be persons who are suitably experienced. A “suitably qualified” person is normally one who has coached or been involved at that specific level of rugby for a specific amount of time. For example, a person who has coached at U15 representative level should have the experience to select at a junior representative level. At the Waratahs and Wallaby level, it is not uncommon to have a member of the “leadership group” or the Captain sit on the selection meetings. • Is a selection criteria appropriate? – The answer is definitely “YES”! One of the most important aspects of selection is to have a clear and transparent criteria set out for all those involved in the process – coaches, selection panel, players, committee members and, of course, parents, wives and girlfriends!! Some issues that the coach might consider are: What criteria can be used to assist with selection? Once the process has been determined, the coach’s task is to establish how the players are selected. This means determining whether qualitative or quantitative analysis will be used to identify the “best” player for each game per position. Qualitative analysis on its simplest form is the coach’s judgment whilst quantitative analysis relies on hard-data (i.e. tackle made; tackles missed; etc). Qualitative analysis revolves around the why and how of decision making. At its most academic level it is an in-depth understanding of human behaviour and the reasons that govern them. For the rugby coach, it is having an understanding as to why players react the way they do in certain situations and how, through training, their decision-making can be developed for the benefit of the team. Quantitative analysis refers to the what, where and why! At the academic level, quantitative analysis relies on having substantiated reasons behind the various aspects of behaviour (i.e. statistics). For the rugby coach, it is using statistics and the like to ascertain whether or not the player has or is performing to the required level. Subsequently, it is up to the coach to determine the criteria that will be used to assist with team selection. It is even more important that the players are aware of the process, so that they can work towards developing their game if they wish to progress and develop. The Position Specific Selection Criteria (attached) can be useful when used to assist players to identify certain aspects of their game which the coach wishes them to focus on; this in turn should lead to a focused outcome from the player. 02.
  • 31. 01. 3 Selection: How to be transparent & fair! How can the selection process be more transparent? The easiest and most transparent way to view a selection process is by: (1) Having a written policy (2) Advertising the policy (3) Using the policy As previously mentioned in this article, the coach should develop policies and procedures to assist with correct player selection. By having a definitive approach to selection the coach will be able justify why a player is selected over another. This is not only appropriate at senior level but also where junior selections become debatable; remember, a transparent selection process can save the coach the nightmare of dealing with disgruntled players! Once the coach has developed a selection policy that they are happy with, this policy should be placed in written form. At this point, the coach may make the policy available to the appropriate groups – the players, other coaches and/or the Committee. The importance of this should not be dismissed, as having a written policy that has been circulated lets everyone know where they stand in regards to selections. But what if I paint myself in a corner you cry!!! Any policy must provide the coach with the ability to be pliable within the set framework. This may mean that a “best player for the position available” framework be adopted, which may overcome the instance of a player returning from injury having to return via a lower grade. In order to achieve this, however, the coach must have a ranking system that is concise and easily maintained. At both a representative and grade level, it may be appropriate to achieve this outcome by using a ranking system. A ranking system can be developed using the coach’s identified criteria and ranking the available players in position against it; this is predominantly useful when dealing with large squads of players. The other positive of a ranking system is it gives players the opportunity to know where they lie in the pecking order of the team or squad, and with helpful instruction from the coach they can work towards maintaining or progressing higher in their rank. So the most difficult of tasks has now been completed. The coach should now be able to identify: (1) How to put together their own policy (2) How to have the policy distributed through the club (3) How to implement the policy effectively and fairly However, if the coach needs further assistance it may be applicable to attend a specific course that is dedicated to “selections” and/or further their education (i.e. ARU Level 2 Coach course). At NSWRU, a “Selectors Course” has been developed that focuses on assisting associations and clubs to formalize their selection process; such a course, has been delivered in the past to specific groups but if broad-base appeal is warranted, then the course may become a stable of the coach education unit. 03.
  • 32. Position Specific Selection Criteria Prop Forward Hooker Lock Forward • Scrum formation & engagement • Lineout throw • Quality & consistency of push in scrum • Body shape & height in scrum • Lineout work on own ball • Body shape in scrum • Problem solving in scrum • Lineout work on opposition ball • Drive in ruck & maul • Lineout support & sweeping • Scrum organisation • Lineout jumping including on own throw • Hooking, including ball channeling organisation of their area • Lineout pressure on opposition throw • Body height & angle at the ruck & maul • Reactiveness to opposition • Body height & angle at the ruck & maul • Running with ball ball in lineout • Drive/impact at the breakdown • Drive/impact at breakdown • Kickoffs & restarts – chase and • Mobility in attack & defence • Mobility in attack & defence receive roles • Kickoff support (for & against) • Kickoff sweeping (for & against) • Number of touches in general play • Work rate at breakdown • Involvement & effectiveness • Number & quality of tackles made • Effectiveness in tackling at the breakdown • Mobility in general play • Effectiveness in tackling • Impact with carrying ball Backrow Forwards Scrum Half Fly Half • Contribution to scrum • Service from scrum • Starting position • Contribution to lineout • Service from lineout • Running alignment & angle • Pressure on opposition in close • Service from general play • Quality & speed of ball transfer • Pressure on opposition out wide • Kicking • Support lines & effort • Running lines in attack • Handling of pressure • Ability to control game (support play & linking) and defence • Putting pressure on his opposition • Kicking quality – clearing kicks • Effectiveness in tackle • Blindside work in attack & defence • Kicking quality – kicks for territory • Effectiveness at breakdown: • Communication with forwards • Kicking quality – kicks for pressure securing or sealing off ball • Variety in ball usage • Organisation & bringing up defence • Speed of arrival at breakdown • Field vision • Kickoffs • Relative contribution in front & • Decision making • Drop outs behind the gain-line • Communication with forwards & backs • Defence – effectiveness of tackles • Relative contribution on open • Organisation skills • Composure under pressure side & blind side • General involvement in play • Effectiveness of back-row moves • Ball skills – running, handling, evasion • Impact on the game Centre Three Quarters Wing Three Quarters Fullback • Running alignment • Finishing • Catching & kicking • Running angle • Involvement on own side of field in • Organisation of back three • Agility & running skills attack & defence (defence, kicks, counter attack) • Quality & timing of ball transfers • Involvement on other side of field in • Positional play – defence & attack • Support play attack & defence • Defensive positioning & tackling • Creativity • Support of the fullback • Contribution to penetration • Midfield tackling • Communication with fullback & • Staying in the attack – • Chasing of kicks other wing support & chasing • Kicking • Chasing of kicks • Communication skills • Counter attack contribution • Penetration achieved • Evasion skills • Communication in defence • Positional play from scrum & lineout in attack & defence • Counter attack • Receiving kicks & returning or other options • Control of ball at contact • Defensive qualities – tackles made 04.
  • 33. 01.4 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 34. 01.4 Defence: Dynamics and Shape!
  • 35. 01.3 Defence: Dynamics and Shape! The concept of defence can be broken into an individual or a group construct. From the individual perspective, players must have an awareness of pre-contact positioning and body shape, what they must do in contact, and the options avail- able to them post-contact. When dealing with a defensive pattern, teams must be able to identify why they are defending the way they are and the options available to them. It is important to note that while there are a number of defensive structures many are theoretically the same structure just with a different name! Defence Structures: There are quite a few defensive structures that a team can employ from Set or Phase play. These range from Man-on-Man, Drift through to Isolation or Compressed. The determinant of what defensive structure a team employs is dictated by the age and ability of the players. Man-on-Man A simple defensive structure all teams should be able to execute is the Man-on-Man defence. The premise behind this defence is that each player has correct technique through Track to Tackle; this will ensure that all players have confidence in the defensive ability of the players around them. Another function of the Man-on-Man defence is that the player’s are aligned on their respective player but they defend the zone or channel they are in. This is an important aspect of Man-on- Man defence that many players and coaches find hard to comprehend. To ensure simplicity, players should be given clear instruction as to what their roles and responsibilities are. This ensures that there is no confusion through the execution of the defensive structure. For Man-of-Man this means: • Players align on the inside-shoulder of their attacking player; • Players maintain their shape through their line-speed; • Ball Defender maintains correct tracking shape; • The inside Hustle line taken after ball passed outside player’s channel; • Responsibility of the Hustle Defender to defend inside pass; • All players marking Lateral Supporters must maintain their shape; and, • All players must communicate with the players around them; A major question most often asked is: How do you cover the fullback coming in on man-on-man? There is no right answer but only a number of options that can be employed. Firstly, if you’re employing the defence only in your 22m zone, then it is as simple marking players; secondly, if outside the 22m, then players must work on their Tacking-Hustle-Jam lines and their communication; thirdly, the importance of the cover defence from 7, 8, 9 and the blind- side Winger cannot be over emphasised. 03.
  • 36. 01.3 Defence: Dynamics and Shape! Below is a diagram of a Man-on-Man defence against a simple attacking movement: Ball Defender Jam Defender Hustle Hustle Ball Defender Drift / Slide Drift and/or Slide defensive patterns are very similar but utilised through different scenarios on the field. Drift defence is normally used from set phase defensive structures, whilst Slide defence is normally used through phase play. The other aspect of Slide defence is that it can be used as part of a Blitz (fast forward-moving defence) or as a Hover/Jockey (slow to retreating-movement). In order to complete a Drift or Slide defence, the defensive unit must (1) communicate effectively with each other, and (2) execute the defensive movement after the attacking 5/8 has passed the rugby ball. Upon the 5/8’s pass all player move to the next player on their outside – thus drifting or sliding defensively. A major question most often asked is: How do you cover the lateral supporters if the 5/8 takes the ball to the line? There is no right answer but simply put, if the attack moves closer to the defensive line prior to passing then the players would remain in their Man-on-Man defensive mode. However, if the 5/8 passed early, then all players would move to the attacking player outside of them. Conjecture occurs with the discussion of the Winger and Fullback but there is no right or wrong on who takes the attacking extra player or winger – the players must, however, know who they are supposed to mark and track that player! 04.
  • 37. 01.3 Defence: Dynamics and Shape! Below is a diagram of a Drift defence against a simple attacking movement: Sting / Hover Sting and Hover defence are primarily used of phase play defence. A Sting defence is normally called when there are more defenders than attackers and a Hover defence is called when there are more attackers than defenders. As with any defensive structure it is important for all players to have an understanding to their roles and responsibilities. The most important aspect of the Sting / Hover defence is that the players outside the primary ruck defence are player watching and not ruck watching. These players are in the best position to view if (1) they have a defensive overload or the attackers have more numbers, and (2) communicate with the players inside them as to the defensive adjustments needed to be made. With regards to a Sting defence, players need to align on the outside shoulder of their attacking player. In this way they can force the attacking players back in towards the mass of defence, as if they are running in a ‘hockey stick’ shape. Further to this, a player can ascertain if there is a weak attacker in the attacking-line and target them by rushing them on their outside shoulder; if they follow through into contact, they are in a position to make a dominant tackle. With a Hover call, the outside player has identified that there are more attackers than defenders. By calling “Hover” the players on the inside know they must shift into the next channel after the pass is made (like a drift on each pass). The other aspect of the Hover defence is that players do not advance forward as they would in a normal defensive pattern by judge their movement on that of the attackers; this may mean they retreat in order to keep their shape until players have filled in and they are once again in a Man-on-Man pattern. 05.
  • 38. 01.3 Defence: Dynamics and Shape! Ruck Defence – 10 / 20 / 30 In relation to ruck defence most teams have employed a policy of placing three defensive players either side of the tackle contest. There are many names for which teams use as a calling system but the primary objective is to reinforce the roles and responsibilities of the players defending this area. The roles and responsibilities for the ruck area are: 1st Defender – called 1 / 10 / Pillar / etc. • Identifies that they are the first defender by both call and signal; • Takes a 3-point starting position – low and strong – in order to defend any forward ‘pick and go’ by the attacking team; • Is “non-negotiable”: they do not move out of their position until the attacking team have played the ball; • Their first movement is straight – they do not follow the ball initially across field – until they have gone past the opposi- tion’s off-side line; • Their job is to tackle outside-shoulder in, so that the attack is stopped at the initial tackle contest. 2nd Defender – called 2 / 20 / Post / 9 / etc. • Identifies that they are the second defender by both call and signal; • Watches the ball and has responsibility for calling the defensive line’s movement; • Can either stay (non-negotiable) or slide (negotiable); • They are defending a “running 9” or the inside ball from 9 to a runner; • Their first movement is straight – they do not follow the ball/9 across field – until they have gone past the opposition’s off-side line; • Their job is to tackle outside-shoulder in, so that the attack is stopped and pushed back toward the initial tackle contest. 3rd Defender – 3 / 30 / Key / Dart / etc. • Marks the first receiver (i.e. 10) – depending on defensive policy either inside or outside shoulder; • Watches the player not the ruck; • Players coming from the ruck area push this player out – therefore, vision and communication important; • When the “break” call is made they track the attack until they become the Ball Defender. 20 30 10 20 10 06.
  • 39. 01. 4 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 40. 01. 4 Utilising: Key terms for better coaching!
  • 41. 01. 4 Utilising: Key terms for better coaching! Synopsis: Throughout training sessions, before matches and at half-time, the coach must be able to deliver important feedback to players in a limited amount of time. The use of terms can assist the coach in delivering relevant information to the players in a concise manner. This paper assists with identifying the different types of terms, the ways they can be delivered, and gives examples from a NSWRU perspective. The use of key terms can assist a coach in delivering information to their players in a simple and concise manner. Whether it is on the training paddock or on game day, using terms to deliver information to players is an easy way of disseminating information. This information must also be available through the different learning styles – KRAV learning styles model! So how do key terms fit in? From the very beginning of a training session the coach can use key terms to identify what they want from their players. Key terms can be used to identify key points, assist with error correction and/or identify patterns of play. The following illustration should assist any coach to produce their own “key term library”. Examples of key terms Body Shape • Split stance – feet shoulder width, one in front of the other. • Abs on – having the abdominal muscles engaged. • Targets – having hands up and eyes forward (also assists with keeping heads up). • Irwin’s or Snipers – the collective “body shape” stance of split stance, abs on, and targets. Catch & Pass • Targets – having hands up and eyes forward (also assists with keeping heads up). • Swiss ball – moving your hands from catching the ball on the inside hip, moving through a small dip and passing on the upswing on the opposite side. • Tabletops - moving your hands from catching the ball on the inside hip, moving through straight across the body and passing on the opposite side. • Harry-Potter’s – having your hands and fingers pointing to the target after the pass. • Hips Square – maintaining a forward running line. Defence • Targets – having hands up and eyes forward (also assists with keeping heads up). • Inside shoulder – aligning against the attacking player from their inside shoulder. • Outside shoulder – aligning against the attacking player from their outside shoulder. • Line speed – the movement of the defensive line forward and the speed at which that task is completed. • Tracking – the player’s ability to follow their attacking player on either an inside or outside shoulder defensive pattern. • Foot in the Hoop – refers to the defender having a leg as close as possible to the attacking player; this not only brings them closer for contact but makes the tackle contest much safer. • Hit & Stick – the tackler’s contact with shoulder and arm wrap on the ball carrier. • Lazy Arm – the tackler’s non-contact arm being used for a correct stick. • Sting – where the defence denies “time & space” quickly by moving up on the attacking players; it may also refer to a dominant tackler on a ball-carrier. • Hover – where the defence push across with the ball (at times this may mean moving back towards their goal-line) so that the attack does not get on their outside. 01.
  • 42. 01. 4 Utilising: Key terms for better coaching! Attack • 3P’s – Position / Possession / Pace > be in position to receive the ball; look for possession when a support player; when you have the ball utilize it at pace. • Primary Support – The player who passed the ball to the ball carrier. • Secondary Support – the players coming from the inside of the ball carrier (i.e. players from the previous tackle contest) • Lateral Support – the players on the outside of the ball carrier. • Unders – running line back towards the ball carrier • Overs – running line away from the ball carrier In what ways could key terms be delivered to the players? All individuals learn in different ways. The key learning styles are: Kinesthetic – Having practical experience so that the player actually does the physical movement of the play/move. This is ‘hands-on’. Reading – Coach writes down, possibly with a diagram a play/move for the player to read. Aural – Verbal explanation of a play/move so that the player hears the explanation. Visual – Video representation of a play/move that a player watches. Graphs or tables with KPI’s etc… Therefore, it is important for the coach to utilize the different styles when presenting to players. For example, the coach wants the players to execute correct technique when going into contact. In order to do this, the coach must: • Introduce the players to the specific concept the coach diagrams the movement (R) and uses key terms to explain it (A); • Have the players go through the movement on the field (K); • Videos the game and at the next training session shows the way they performed the movement (V). All the time the coach could be using key terms to identify, correct and develop the player’s understanding and progression. Example Attacker Defender 02.
  • 43. 01. 4 Utilising: Key terms for better coaching! In this way, key terms can be used to maximise the time available and increase player understanding of key technical and tactical components of the game. How do the Waratahs use key terms in their training regime? Like every coaching environment, the NSW Waratahs are constrained with the amount of time available to develop individual and team skills. While the main goal is to secure a S14 title, it is important that the players are developed to an appropriate level – this level (for the Waratahs) is Wallaby selection. In order to do this effectively, the NSW Waratahs use key terms to identify the aspects of their game that are important for player retention. Key terms are used within every aspect of individual, unit and team play environments. Key terms also signal the ways in which the team might play and execute their rugby skills on the field. In the past, the NSW Waratahs used the following key terms in defence to identify the roles and responsibilities of defenders: • Ball Defender > player tracking the ball carrier • Hustle Defender > primary support defender • Jam Defender > lateral support defender By using key terms, it was easy to identify defensive deficiencies and where appropriate correction needed to be made. Where does the coach go from here? In order to progress in your coaching, it is important to develop a key understanding of what the skills are your players are performing and the means by which you can error correct them. Key terms are the simplest way for the coach to disseminate information to the players in a form that is easy and simple to understand. Therefore, the coach must begin to build a bank of terms which they generically use and utilise them within both the training and game environments. In this way, the players they coach will develop their understanding of how the coach wants the game to be played and they can identify the corrections the coach makes with just a few key terms! 03.
  • 44. 01.5 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 45. 01.5 Defence: Block & Impact Tackles
  • 46. 01.5 Defence: Block & Impact Tackles Block Tackle “Most commonly executed front-on low tackle” This style of tackle should be the first taught to all young rugby players. It should result in the tackler landing in a position on top of the ball carrier and done correctly will allow the defending player to exert enough force to go forward in the tackle. The tackle should not be considered complete until the tackler is back on their feet and in a position to pick up the ball. In the early stages of teaching the block tackle, the focus on correct technique (to ensure safety and effectiveness) should be paramount while the more specific elements of the game (incl. pressure etc) can be introduced once players are comfortable and confident with the contact. (Figure 1) Some benefits include: • It halts the forward progress of the ball runner immediately, nullifying the opportunity for the ball carrier to continue leg drive after contact. • If performed correctly, enforces ruck ball for the attacking team, giving the defending team far greater opportunity to contest the ball. This will also bring an emphasis on the attacking team support to be there on time. • Requires less brute force than other methods of front-on-tackles, thereby allowing smaller tacklers to safely and effectively stop larger ball runners. (often you will notice your best leg tacklers are small players) The block tackle can be taught with the following sequence to ensure that correct technique is learnt before game related pressure is applied. Ball Carrier’s Progression Walking Jogging Running (straight line) Running (small grid) Running (large grid) Tackler’s Progression Two Knees One Knee Crouched Jogging (small grid) Running (large grid) Technique Technique + Pressure (tracking) Figure 1: Teaching tackle technique – suggested sequence 03.
  • 47. 01.5 Defence: Block & Impact Tackles When implementing the block tackle, it is important to take the following coaching points into consideration: Head placement – Eyes open, chin up and head to the side of the ball carrier. It is important to keep head in line with the spine and have head as close to target as possible. This will allow good shoulders contact on the thighs of ball car- rier. (Figure 2) Contact point on ball carrier – Players should be targeting the thighs or shorts of the ball carrier and implementing the squeeze to the thighs to prevent continued forward movement (Figure 3). Players might need to slide down the leg and squeeze when tackling bigger players. Strong Arm, Wrap & Squeeze – Initial contact will be made with one shoulder, chest and arm (broad contact area) and therefore it is important that the contact is dynamic and strong. This can be achieved by using a strong arm (wrist to shoulder). Wrap arms and lock (hand to elbow if possible). The squeeze component will allow the tackler to Stick to the ball carrier, hence decreasing the possibility of falling off the tackle. (Figure 4) Footwork in contact – After the lead foot is close to the ball carrier and contact is made, use small dynamic steps to aid in chasing the initial contact. This will provide leg drive in contact. While the ball carrier is going backwards (or sideways), they may not be in a position to provide a clean ball presentation / transfer. Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 When teaching young players the technique of the tackle sequence, it is important to explain when a tackle is complete (finished). The laws state that a tackle is deemed over when: 1. The ball has been released (placed, rolled or passed) and is more than a meter away from the tackled player. 2. Two (one from each team) or more players are in contact over the tackled player (and ball) a ruck is formed a hence the ruck laws apply. 3. A player on his feet plays the ball and lifts it off the ground. In completing the tackle sequence, players should be encourage to immediately getting to their feet and attempt to regain possession. While attempting to recapture the ball at the tackle, players should be instructed to assume and maintain a strong body shape (wide stance, low body height etc). Once this has been achieved and the tackler is attempting to steal possession from a strong position above the ball, the tackle has been completed. Figure 6 Figure 7 04.
  • 48. 01.5 Defence: Block & Impact Tackles Impact Tackle The impact tackle is designed to physically dominate the ball carrier at the point of contact. The tackler assumes a position of authority by generating a strong and powerful force through contact and positioning their arm(s) ‘inside’ the ball carrier. This style of tackle requires the defender to apply the correct foot work (short quick steps) to ensure that they ‘present to the tackle’ with the strongest body shape to dominate the impact. This includes: • Foot close to target • Sink at hips • Hands & arms up • Head up with chin of chest, & • Eyes open and looking forward. Advantages of the impact tackle 1. It physically dominates and quite often intimidates the ball carrier in contact. 2. It halts the progression of the ball carrier and if executed well, will result in the attacker being driven back past the point of contact. 3. It restricts the opportunity for ball transfer in contact, along with the opportunity to tie up the ball. This may result in a turnover through a scrum feed. 4. Can allow the tackler to dislodge the ball through the use of a strong-arm alone. This is in addition to the contact of the chest and shoulder. Disadvantages of the impact tackle 1. It provides the opportunity for the ball carrier to leg drive through contact. 2. It encourages the attacking team to use the maul, which done correctly can be an extremely successful tool to go forward. 3. Is difficult to obtain a clean ‘shot’ when the attacker comes at low body height or has room to move on either side of the tackler. When implementing the impact tackle, it is important to take the following coaching points into consideration: 1. Target area – the target area for the impact tackle is the lower end of the sternum. Most jerseys have a logo or sponsor printed on them, which serves as an ideal target. 2. Spreading the impact - To avoid injury and increase the possibility of performing a successful, strong impacting tackle, players should spread the contact area across the chest, front of shoulder and arms. It is important to encour- age players to get a strong-arm wrap on their target. This will allow players to ‘stick’ to the ball carrier and chase the hit. (Figure 9) 3. Getting on the inside the ball carrier through contact – Getting the tacklers arm (strong arm) in under the arm pit of the attacker. This will bring the attacked closer for greater impact and provide an opportunity to dislodge the ball. (Figure 9) 4. Body Position – Good body position will ensure that the momentum and force generated by the leg drive and ap- proach is conducted through the body and exits at the contact point i.e. tacklers shoulder. Head up and chest through and ensure that the hips and torso is straight and in line while the abdominal muscles are on (flexed). (Figure 10) 5. Foot positioning into and through contact – It is paramount that the tackler get their lead foot ‘to or through’ contact (which ever foot) to assist in the balance and stability as well as the power generated. Imagine there is a ‘hula- hoop’ around the feet of the ball carrier; the lead foot must be inside the hoop for the tackler to be in a position to generate enough force to effectively execute the tackle. 05.
  • 49. 01.5 Defence: Block & Impact Tackles Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 Figure 11 Summary When performing a tackle, players must be thinking about the end result, that being the regaining of possession. The tackle is not over until the tackler is back on their feet and attacking the ball from a position above the tackled player. 06.
  • 50. 01. 5 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  • 51. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming
  • 52. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming If a team is to be successful, then its players must have a solid core skill base. Coaches need to be able to identify the core skill level of their team and plan to rectify any deficiencies. High performance teams are continually identifying where skill deficiencies lie in their playing ranks and act accordingly. For the Club or School coach, this is one of the most important things they can do to improve player development. Core skills are the basis of any rugby union game. Players that are competent through both technical and tactical skills have a better opportunity of progressing through the playing pathway and being successful on the field. The ARU has identified ‘Technical Non-Negotiable Core Skills’ and ‘Individual Non-Negotiable Core Skills’ that are appropriate for any U19 / Senior law group. A summary of these skills is as follows: ‘Technical Non-Negotiable Core Skills’ • Catching • Passing • Contact • Ball Carries • Tackle Contest • Tackling • Ball Presentation • Mauling ‘Individual Non-Negotiable Core Skills’ • Kicking • Throwing • Jumping • Supporting • Scrum • Catching • Agility • Handling • Running Lines / Angles • Ruck • Maul The coach’s ability to produce a season plan is a definite way in assisting with core skill player development. Through a season plan the coach can identify the core skills that need to be worked on and place time slots on their implementation. In this way, training sessions will have a definite focus; with coach and players benefiting from the experience! A daunting task you all think! Well not really – not if you have an understanding of the ‘coaching points’ associated with the skills. Being able to give correct feedback to the players is paramount to developing their core skills. Preparing and selecting appropriate drills that identify the skills is also of importance. However, one major problem coaches have when running drills is “running the drill for the drills sake” and not for error correction purposes! The following table overviews the key coaching points for each of the skills listed above and it should be the coach’s responsibility to know and identify the skill deficiencies of their players, and correct them accordingly. 01.
  • 53. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming ‘Technical Non-Negotiable Core Skills’ ‘Core Skill technical Coaching Points’ Skill Coaching Points Catching • Fingers spread • Hands facing the ball / bent elbows • Elbows in and up for a high ball • Fingers spread after the ball is caught for quick transfer. Passing Clearing pass • Back foot in tight to the ball • Bent knees and backside down with weight transferred from the back leg through to front leg upon sweeping the pass (Ball to be passed off the deck) • Fingers to point at the target. • After the pass the support line is to follow the line of the ball. Short Pass • Elbows bent • Fingers spread around the ball for control • Hands follow the ball after the pass • Not a spiral? • Sequence is look at the ball, catch the ball, turn head and look at target / pass Pop Pass • Elbows bent • Fingers spread across the ball • Ball is placed up into a space as opposed to directed in front of a player. • Fingers will dictate the trajectory / positioning of the ball Long Pass • Elbows bent and move to full extension • Outside leg back when passing in order to avoid passing across the body • Fingers spread around the ball to ensure control • Sequence as above for catch and pass • Spiral pass is the fastest ball – bottom hand provides direction and top hand gives the power. • Upper body over the ball Contact Controlling Contact • When contact is unavoidable or desired • Leg speed into and upon contact – dominant • Pick a point on the target / a shoulder / space • Body height low • Ball carry away from the defender • Lead arm in a position to fend / bridge with the forearm • Get the body through the hole and decide whether to maul the ball or to go to ground and place the ball for a ruck. • Aggressive with shoulder rolls and use of elbows on contact 02.
  • 54. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming Contact Avoiding Contact • Instigate the fixing of the defender • Using footwork / hitting a hole, attacker should aim for the space yet minimize big lateral movements. • Leg drive into the space • Body height low, depending on size of hole and width of defenders • Ball in outside arm to avoid defender and also present inside ball pop pass opportunities • Inside arm free to fend / balance Ball Carries • Hitting the ball at speed • Being able to make subtle changes in direction at speed • Body height • Maintaining speed into contact • Aiming for “small bits” or space. Tackle Defence Contest • Enter from the back with head up. • Be aggressive in hitting the tackle contest or contesting the ball • If contesting the ball, stay in a low body position on the feet and lock chin up and NOT on the chest • 2 schools of thought with stealing the ball, either 1 leg over and grab the ball OR reaching over in a low position behind the tackled player • Match body height with attacking players / get in low • If attacking support player comes at speed there is the possibility of pull them through and stepping to the side. • Once contact is made with an opposition player the defender should used leg drive and hit the player the same as in defense – low to high, pick a point and stick. Attack • 1st player secures the ball • On the clean out players enter from the back in a low body position and use leg drive to win the tackle contest – the decision whether to hold or continue the drive is a team philosophy • If a defender has hands on the ball, the attacker matches body height and hits with the shoulder whilst getting the arm under the defenders arm to lift it off the ball • On the clean out, players must hit and stick in order to be effective. • Steady (control feet) before entering in order to get balance and then hit the tackle contest with leg drive and aggression. • The ball is where the game is – this is the zone to focus on when cleaning out- Tackling Front On • The size of the tackler and the size of the attacker dictate how offensive the player can be. • Tackler should use footwork to take the space and force the attacker onto one side / into a zone • The defender should pick a target area to hit and aim to drive 1m through that target • Shoulder contact is essential • Footwork in chasing the feet up under the body will ensure that the defender doesn’t overextend on the tackle • Once contact is made there should be leg drive • Hit and stick (Aggressive in contact) • Finish in dominant position – team philosophy whether to put the player on the ground or try and hold them up and then drive. 03.
  • 55. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming Tackling Side On • Get in tight to the attacker • Pick target area and aim to drive through it • Shoulder contact is essential • Footwork in getting in a position to make the tackle is essential. Continue cutting off the angle rather than diving early. • Leg drive if possible once contact is made • Hit and Stick (Aggressive in contact) • Finish in dominant position if possible – defender on top. Ball • Decision making in placing short or long relates to how effective contact was – option Presentations for presentation is team philosophy Long Place • Hit the ground while controlling the ball in TWO hands • Dynamically move body (shoulders & upper torso) into a good position to present the ball. • Two handed PUSH at a full arms length (also move torso) towards own team • Maintain control of ball until cleanout of ball distribution Squeeze ball – used when buying time. • Hit the ground and flatten out. • Chin up at all stages (look forward – NEVER look back under body at ball. • Ball sits at the back of the pelvis • Use 1 arm to push the ball into this position. Mauling Traditional • Initial set up should have a blocker on each side supporting the platform • Ball carrier bends to lower center of gravity and offers a large target area – the chest / sternum. • Ripper links in on ball carrier. If ball carried has back to opposition and the ball is in the left arm, ripper seals with left shoulder. • Blockers bind in tight so there is no gap between ball carrier and blockers and slightly forward so they are bound across the front. • Option for ball movement after the 1st player is a team philosophy. • Leg drive is essential to get the maul moving / keep it moving. Hammer • Attack space to the fringe of defender (attack arms – not chest) • Transfer ball away from contact • Lower body height • Maintain square hips and leg drive through contact • Support player to ‘latch / hammer’ onto ball carrier (side of ball) • Support player to assume the same body shape as the ball carrier and continue leg drive. (Source: ARU HPU) 04.
  • 56. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming ‘Individual Non-Negotiable Core Skills’ ‘Individual Skill Technical Coaching Points’ Skill Coaching Points Kicking Box Kick • Step Back at the base of the ruck / maul • Opposite arm to leg will aim at the desired trajectory • Contact with the ball can be on the end or in the bottom 1/3 for height or slightly above the middle for low running kicks. • Finishing position should be kicking leg nearly touching the opposite hand. • Chest slightly over the ball until contact is made. • Hard foot – it should be locked out Drop Punt • Kicking leg over and then through the ball • Upper body over the ball – just prior to contact opening the hips and straightening the upper body • Both hands on the ball • Contact point is the base of the ball • Kicking foot is locked out Torpedo Punt • Upper body should be over the ball – foot locked out • The drop of the ball is vital – it must be consistent and should fall the same way each time. • Holding the ball – It doesn’t matter how the ball is gripped as long as the ball drop is consistent. • In order to minimize the error margin between the ball drop and contact, lean slightly forward. This will narrow the gap between the ball and the foot as well as getting the upper body weight over the ball. • Why do we tilt the ball sideways – the reason for this is to open up the “sweet spot”. This runs down the spine of the ball and across the centre of the ball. • J shape Vs U shape. We use the term J shape to describe the kicking leg and the path that it has ackrow . In order to get power the leg and pelvis twist slightly yet on contact they straighten through the ball. The finishing position is where the kicking leg doesn’t come across the path of the non-kicking arm. Kicking in a U shape means that the player is kicking across the ball and the power is therefore dispersed. Kicking J Shape trajectory U Shape trajectory Cont... as seen from above as seen from above 05.
  • 57. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming Kicking Cont... Place Kick • Body weight must be forward at the start and during the kick. • The approach should be the same on all kicks. • The place foot should be no more than 30cm away from the ball (a foot length). • The place foot ankle should be aligned with the ball – If it is too far in front the ball is sliced as the leg hasn’t reached full extension – too far behind and it is hooked as a result of already going through the kick too early – these factors are also influenced by the plant foot being too wide as this can promote a slice. Too close can promote a hook. • The kicker should pick a point on the ball to focus on before they kick (a particular lace). This is now the focus. • Shoulders and chest should remain closed during the kick – opening the shoulders and chest promotes rotation, which promotes kicking across the ball. • Flexibility in the hamstrings, ankle joint, hip flexors and abdominals is important. • Kicking leg should not cross over the opposite arm. The pelvis should not drop during the kick as this takes away the power and control of the kick. • Tilt of the ball either forward or external is a personal choice in order to open up the “sweet spot”. • Contact should be made with a locked foot High Ball (Bomb) • Kicking position can either be front on or side on • Opposite arm to leg will aim at the desired trajectory • Contact with the ball can be on the end or in the bottom 1/3. • Finishing position should be kicking leg nearly touching the opposite hand. • Chest and head over the ball until contact is made to ensure weight transfer is through the ball. • Flexibility in the hips and abdominal strength are needed to execute this type of kick. • Foot should be locked out High Ball (Torpedo Bomb) • Starting position is body weight over the ball • Ball is held in 2 hands and the angle of the ball is the same as the torpedo kick except the nose of the ball is facing up. • Contact is through the middle of the ball. • The ball is held at or above waist height to ensure the desired trajectory • Flexibility in the hips and abdominal strength are needed to execute this type of kick. • Foot should be locked out Grubber • Ball to be kicked on the end 1/3 for end on end effect or as per torpedo punt for the uneven bounce. • If distance is desired the kick should be executed with the player starting over the ball and then fully extending so the finishing position is leaning back • Opposite arm will counter balance the kicking leg • Foot should be locked out Drop Kick • The plant foot should be in line or slightly behind the ball • Ball drop should be consistent – if body weight is forward it means that weight is transferred through the ball as well as cutting the risk of the ball drop not being consistent • Foot should be locked out. • Kicking leg should touch the opposite hand post kick • Contact on the ball is the bottom 1/3 06.
  • 58. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming Restart (drop kick) • Plant foot should be slightly behind the ball • Ball drop should be consistent – if body weight is forward it means that weight is transferred through the ball as well as cutting the risk of the ball drop not being consistent – as contact is made the head still faces down yet the leg comes up under and through the ball • Ball drop should be the same as drop kick yet allow the ball to bounce rather than making contact just after it has hit the ground • Foot should be locked out. • Kicking leg should touch the opposite hand post kick • Contact on the ball is the bottom 1/3 or the base of the ball. Throwing • Stance should allow thrower to be balanced / stable yet there should be no lower body movement as this will provide a cue for the opposition • Thrower should be able to throw 5-18m from this starting position • Elbows should be at shoulder width in order to minimize the margin of error as opposed to splayed elbows • Elbows should be locked out post throw. • Fingers out post throw • Thumbs down post throw to ensure full extension / follow through. • Grip on the ball should have the fingers spread and slightly on the back side of the balls centre. Jumping • Ability to react from a static jump / dynamic jump • Start with outside leg up in a split position – the outside leg should face in towards the lineout • Arms bent at chest level with the hands open. • Knees slightly bent • Weight forward on the toes and balls of the feet. Lifting • Start in a split position on the balls of the feet in order to react / get in tight quickly (supporting) • Hands open and up – fingers spread • Knees slightly bent and the upper body leaning forward • Lifter gets in as tight as possible on the jumper and gets to full extension • Legs are at shoulder width and slightly split to ensure balance during and after the lift • Lifter picks the target area on the jumper and focuses on getting a grip and then lifting in the same way as doing a squat. Scrum • The front row is the 1st group to set up with the hooker and loose head binding 1st. • Locks then bind up and enter under the buttocks of the front rowers. • There should be as little a gap as possible in the hips of the front rowers where the locks join in – it should be tight. • Loose head prop binds onto the hookers far side jersey around the lats area. Tight head prop binds on the hookers waist at the top of the shorts. Hooker binds over the top on the waist of both props and pops the shoulders out so that they can move after engagement. • Tight Head prop leads the scrum in. • Binds to oppositions are negotiable – short / long / up / down. • Locks and ackrow follow the hit in and don’t bounce. 07.
  • 59. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming Catching High Ball • Arrive when the ball is reaching the mark to ensure momentum if a leap is required or to hit the ball at speed • Elbows and hands up so they are in the peripheral vision. • Elbows in • If under pressure side on so that if a tackle is made the defender hits all the hard bits – hip, elbow, shoulder. • Eyes on the ball at all times • Fingers spread to ensure maximum grip on the ball and for a pass to be executed quickly. Re-Starts • Catcher begins in a split position on their toes in order to react quickly • Hands up at chest level and open – thumbs pointing at each other. • The choice of getting to the zone is a provincial one – either greet the ball as it r eaches the zone with momentum or get there early, set and then jump • Catcher should have arms at full extension and watch the ball all the way to the hands through the hole between the hands. • After the ball is caught, bring it down and place in tight to the body in order to ensure ball security. Agility • Running / defending on the balls of the feet • Ability to turn the foot when changing direction • Lowering body height slightly when changing direction • Acceleration / not losing speed with directional changes Handling • Catching the ball with hands out and fingers spread. • Ability to reach for the ball at speed • Keeping the hands up running for a ball that is thrown low • Hands up with palms facing the ball for a ball that is high with focus on the ball into the hands. • Staying on the balls of the feet for a bouncing ball so that if it bounces up they can attack it and if it moves laterally they can react. Running • Aim for holes and to a shoulder rather than hitting the defender Lines • Maintain FULL speed into the hole / angle / running line / Angles • Leg drive through the contact if there is any. • Lower body height slightly as defenders approach – ball in outside arm. • Ability to catch and pass at top speed • Accelerate out of angle changes at speed. • To run every line like they are receiving the ball in order to fix defenders. • Ability to pick the ball up under pressure and in contact • Basic ground skills – control ball on the ground, pick ball up and fall with the clean out once ball is stolen. • Ability to clean an opposition player out – pick a target, make contact the same as in defense and stick • Ability to move a player who is in a low position and on the ball – match the body height and hit the player with the shoulder and throw the arm under the players arm to twist them. 08.
  • 60. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming Maul • Correct locking procedure – if the ball carrier has the ball in the left arm then the next player binds on them with their left shoulder. • In contact keep the feet with a lower base of support and continue leg drive if possible. • Ball presentation – ½ turn to offer a target on the chest and also to keep the leg drive. • Support players shoulder is tight on the ball carrier in order to provide greater leverage on the rip. (Source: ARU HPU) Subsequently, if a coach can plan each training session appropriately, then it will be beneficial to the players if the coach can correct their technique throughout the session. It is through coaching the skill, and not the drill, that coaches become successful and this is the essence of developing a core skill program for any club or team.
  • 61. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Catch & Pass BALL HANDLING ‘Improving the element of catch and pass’ Ball handling refers to the ability to control the ball with the fingertips (catch) and distribute (pass) with control and the correct amount of force / power to the desired distance. This can be done with either one hand or two. The following is a list of individual ball handling activities that can be implemented in your training to: Improve hand-eye speed and co-ordination Isolate and Improve hand speed and finger-tip control Identify the correct force to apply when passing Improve footwork patterns and movement Improve peripheral vision and reaction time Fingertip Control / Ball Familiarisation Pressure from the fingertips applied through receiving / controlling the ball. ALL activities should be done without noise on the ball e.g. slapping sounds ACTIVITY DISCRIPTION VARIATION COACHING POINTS DURATION Finger patting Controlling ball in Continue patting in Soft hands – Fingers Set targets for: fingertips while patting front of face, above spread. Look forward 3 x 30sec from left to right. No head and below at a point, not at the 3 x 45sec Sound knees. Increase the ball. 3 x 60 sec distance between hands. Look forward the entire time. Around Body Transfer ball around Transfer ball in both Soft hands –Fingers 10 x Left + 10 x Right waist while maintaining directions. Change Spread 15 x Left + 15 x Right control with fingertips. direction on whistle. 20 x Left + 20 x Right No Sound. Figure of eights Transfer ball around Go both directions Soft hands –Look Set targets for: and through your legs and again change forward & control ball 3 x 30 sec forming a figure of eight. direction on the in fingertips. Fingers 3 x 45 sec No Sound whistle. Look forward Spread. 3 x 60 sec not at the ball. Front to Back Start with ball between Swap hands in the Soft hands –Fingers Set targets for: (Through legs) legs and one hand starting position, look Spread. Look forward 3 x 30 sec holding from front and forward not at the at a point, not at the 3 x 45 sec the other from the back. ball, sing while doing. ball. 3 x 60 sec Quickly change hands Start with both hands and catch ball before it at the front and now hits the ground. No both hands have to Sound. catch it behind legs. Single arm In pairs, sitting opposite Throw diagonal (right Soft hands –Fingers 10 x Left + 10 x Right throws with the soles of the hand to right hand). Spread. 15 x Left + 15 x Right feet touching. Throw Perform kneeling and 20 x Left + 20 x Right ball to and from each throw to each other’s or other. Must control and extremes. 3 x 30 sec catch with one hand 3 x 45 sec (fingertips) and return to 3 x 60 sec partner using only one hand.
  • 62. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Catch & Pass Passing Speed Passing speed refers to the time in which the ball takes to reach the desired target from the point of leaving the hands. Players should be encouraged to strongly grip the ball (with two hands) and swing their arms towards the target. Upon releasing the ball, players should point to the desired target to ensure ball travels straight. Players need to understand the difference between a hard and soft pass and when to apply each in game situations. ACTIVITY DISCRIPTION VARIATION COACHING POINTS DURATION Wall Throws Standing 3m from a Change the distance Use a firm throw and Set targets for: wall, throw tennis ball between player and react to catch the 3 x 30sec against the wall and wall. Use two hands. rebound. 3 x 45sec catch using only one Stand side onto the 3 x 60 sec hand. Face the wall. wall (left / right). Change ball to use football. Shazzams Standing opposite your Use two balls at once Toes, knees, hips & Set targets for: partner, using only one and mix up which shoulder all square hand pass the ball to hand you are using – and facing partner, 10 x left + 10 x right each other. Ball must left and right. no step. Push ball to 20 x left + 20 x right start from a stationary target and finish with 30 x left + 30 x right position on the hip and passing (push) hand be pushed (using one pointing at the target. hand) towards the target (partner) Circle passing Groups of 6-8 in a circle Add in an extra ball Soft hands –Soft Set targets for: begin passing 2-3 (i.e. 5 balls – 4 passing, no spinning 3 x 30sec footballs around. Once players) and and hands up. 3 x 45sec players are confident decrease the size of 3 x 60 sec with this add in another the circle. (smaller is ball. harder) Blind Passing In pairs, standing One-handed Feel how much Set targets for: opposite each other ‘shazzams’ and two power you are using 3 x 30sec (vary distance), pass handed passing. Jog when passing the 3 x 45sec the ball with eyes up and down field, ball. Pass ball and 3 x 60 sec closed and react to closing eyes (to point at target. support player’s pass) once you have instruction on passing caught the ball. distance.
  • 63. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Catch & Pass Reaction Time (catch & pass) This refers to the ability to quickly react to a moving ball and catch it successfully while maintaining fingertip control and in some cases continuing by quickly passing to a desired target using the correct force and accuracy. ACTIVITY DISCRIPTION VARIATION COACHING POINTS DURATION Over Shoulder In pairs, standing back Start with players Hands up, eyes open 10 x left + 10 x right lobs. to back with one ball. communicating to and react to catch 15 x left + 15 x right Take turns to lob the partner where ball is two handed. Soft 20 x left + 20 x right ball over shoulders (left coming from (i.e. hands – NO NOISE / & right) for their partner left). Then no NO SLAPPING. Then mix it up. to catch and return. communication. Give constant Shorten the height of feedback. lob (i.e. making it harder) Clap passing In groups of 6, start by Increase to two balls Hands up and Set targets for: standing in a circle and / or two claps. watching the ball. 3 x 30sec facing each other with Fingers spread and 3 x 45sec one ball. Pass ball to forward of body. 3 x 60 sec anyone. Player receiving must clap once before catching the ball. Wall throw In pairs and one behind Vary the distance Hands up, fingers 10 x left + 10 x right reactions the other facing a wall. between players and spread, eyes open 15 x left + 15 x right Player at the back the wall, vary the and watching the 20 x left + 20 x right throws ball (any) type ball thrown. wall. Catch two against the wall and the handed and move Then mix it up. front partner must feet quickly if attempt to react to the required. ball coming off the wall and catch it. Marco / Polo Player ‘A’ starts with a Perform activity while Hand up, fingers Time trials (how many ball and support players walking / running spread. Look at can you do in 30 sec (B & C) stand on each forward. Only use targets then only look etc) side (2m away) also peripheral vision forward. with one ball between (look forward only). them. Activity begins with player ‘A’ throwing their ball in the air; at the same time Player ‘B’ passes the ball to Player ‘A’ who must pass it to player ‘C’ before catching their own ball again. Repeat from other side
  • 64. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Catch & Pass CATCH & PASS ‘Appling the elements of ball handling to decision-making’ Once the skills of ‘Ball Handling’ have been introduced and our players are confident and comfortable with controlling a ball through a number of situations, we can introduce the elements of Catch & Pass. These include the following: Pre-catch: Hands Up & Fingers Spread (thumbs pointed in towards each other) Hands facing ball and elbows bent Head Up (chin off chest), eyes open and looking towards the ball. Elongated stance (one foot forward) Catch: Reach for the ball while maintaining slightly bent elbows Watch the ball into the hands and ensure fingers are spread around ball for control Soft hands (no slapping), control ball with finger tips Pass: Turn head quickly to view target Transfer ball (comfortably) across body without: o Dropping hands o Changing running line o Bringing ball into chest Maintain bent elbows Release ball & Finish by point both hands towards the desired target Figure 1 – Pre- Catch Figure 2 – Catch Figure 3 – Pre-Pass Figure 4 – Pass Styles of Passing The game of rugby union requires the use of a number of different ‘styles of passing’ to effectively advance the ball forward. These styles include: Clearing Pass Pop Passing Short Pass (0m – 4m) Long Pass (4m – 15m) Clearing pass The clearing pass is commonly used by the scrum-half to get the ball from the tackle contest (tackle, ruck or maul), scrum or lineout to a first receiver, who’s role is to continue advancing the ball forward by running, passing or kicking (midi, U19 & seniors only). The clearing pass should be a direct pass that has an element
  • 65. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Catch & Pass of speed and distance, as to effectively provide the first receiver with time, space and a low level of pressure. Some coaching points to consider include: Back foot (furtherest foot from target) in tight to the ball. Bent knees and backside down with weight transferred from the back leg through to front leg upon sweeping the ball off the ground. Ball to be pass directly from deck Fingers to point at target immediately after releasing ball After the pass, the support line is the follow the line of the ball. Short Pass The ‘short pass’ is the most common passing style used in the game of rugby union and can be used in all areas of the game from simple back play activities to forward phase play structures. The short pass is characterized by the ability to quickly transfer under pressure, and lack of spin that is required. All players (of all ages) should be encouraged to master the skill of the short pass in the early stages of learning the game. Some coaching points to consider include: Elbows bent Fingers spread around ball to for control Hands follow the ball after pass and immediately point at desired target NO NEED TO SPIRAL (no spin) Long Pass The ‘long pass’ is an effective way to spread the point of attack quickly and is generally isolated to back play/ general play and counter attack (unstructured possession). Naturally the modern game requires all players to have the ability to make accurate long passes. The ability to do this with a high degree of accuracy is a skill that requires regular practice. Due to the amount of force that is required to pass the ball great distances, the hand positions on the ball is of high importance. Some coaching points to consider: Elbows bent (receiving pass) and move to full extension while passing the ball Out side leg back (leg closet to target) when passing in order to avoid passing across the body Fingers spread around the ball to ensure control Bottom hand (front) provides direction while top hand (back) provides pass power Spiral pass is the fastest Immediately after releasing the ball (arms at full extension) point both hands towards the desired target. Upper body over ball Pop Pass The ‘pop pass’ is the most effective pass to perform that will allow players to maintain high speeds while effectively catching the ball. The length of a pop pass can vary; however will generally be no longer than a couple of meters or perhaps even straight up in the air. It is ideal for switches & circle passes. Some coaching points to consider: Elbows bent and use fingers and wrist to propel ball to space. Fingers spread around the ball to ensure control Ball is passed (gently) up vertically into a ‘space’ to allow support players to run onto it, as opposed to passing directly at a player. Fingers will dictate the trajectory / positioning of the ball.
  • 66. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Open Scrimmage Game Sense Approach- Open Scrimmage ‘Situational Attack v Defence’ Game Sense activities, which are commonly referred to as Open Skill drills, are regularly used for training and implementing the tactical & technical elements of rugby. Essentially they are decision making ‘Mini- games’ .The Waratahs are no exception when it comes to practicing in this manner. ‘Open Scrimmage’ a term commonly referred to by the Waratahs is an Open Drill that can be performed over a number of phases or until the coach says otherwise. The elements of phase attack- including ruck, & maul, defence, and general play are combined to capture a typical game sense situation. The purpose of a drill-based environment is to allow the coach to have control over numbers of attackers and defenders; reaction time and speed of drill; the recovery time and the possible attacking options available to the players. A coach would be encouraging the players to practice possible plays and technical skills they are trying implement within the team, whether it be for a particular game or a regular theme. Open Scrimmage drills will also allow the coach to give constructive feedback to either individual players or select groups, such as the defenders, attackers, ball distributors, & primary supporters. Training Activities explained No 1. Is a typical Open scrimmage situation that may involve a number phases at the coaches discretion. 1. D3 D4 D5 D1 D2 HB D DD D D S3 S4 HB 1R S1 S2 S3 S1 1R BR S2 BR S4 Figure 1a: Break down scenario with a two-pass Figure 1b: Following on from 1a players then play to a ball runner. play next phase and react accordingly. Figure 1a- Activity begins with a clearing pass from a halfback to a 1st receiver who passes to a designated ball runner. In this case the coach has a break down / tackle zone set up with markers where D2 makes the tackle. The emphasis is then placed on both the defenders D3, D4, & D5 as well as supporters S1, S3 & S4 to make the correct decision and act on it. The coach therefore must decifer and gives feedback on decisions made. Key coaching points will be focused on reaction time to break down & effectiveness at the tackle. Figure 1b- Carrying on from 1a the coach may decide to progress to another phase of play. Both defending and attacking players are then forced to react to the next situation. The emphasis at this point may differ from the previous situation. Key coaching points would include; depth and alignment of attacking players (1R & BR); quality of pass; timing of run and angle of run; defensive positioning & alignment and decision making of support players. In this case 3 defenders were required to secure possession and S4 is supporting the ball runner in a standard pocket position.
  • 67. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Open Scrimmage No 2. Is an extended version of the above involving more players, possibly an entire team or squad. 2. pole C1 HB A5/8 A4 A5 A6 A7 A A A1 A2 Ruck D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D D pole C2 Figure 2a- Shows the set up using a typical whole team scenario, involving a defensive and attacking coach. A7 A6 A5 A2 A A4 A A4 A5/8 A1 D1 D2 HB HB A1A2 D1D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D3 D D Figure 2b- Shows the second phase in progress. Figure 2c- Shows the third phase set up, including the defensive structure, prior to the HB clearing pass. Figure 2a- The activity begins with the cue of the coach. Prior to this both the attacking coach (C1) and defensive coach (C2) will nominate how many attackers and defenders are to be involved. Any left over players are to run around the poles before entering the play. A1, A2, D1 & D2 contest the ball of which the attackers must win. The halfback follows ready to make the clearing pass to A5/8. Figure 2b- The nominated attackers and defenders then come into play. In this case there are four from both attack and defence. Key coaching points would be alignment of attacking players; possible team phase plays being utilized and the defensive alignment of the defenders. Figure 2c- The focus of the third phase would be dependant on the decision making ability of all players as well as intense communication. It is important to note that left over players would now be re-entering the play as well. At this stage of the drill players would be typically out of position. A scrimmage activity such as the above, forces players to think and react on the run. Attackers are forced to possibly play out of position. If phase plays are thrown into the equation, they will also be required to pick the best option available depending on positioning of the defence. Coaches need to be confident that players are capable of performing the required technical and tactical aspects of training activity No1, before progressing to a multi phase scenario such as No2. Technical and Tactical aspects would include: Go forward in attack, taking the space in defence, tracking inside shoulder, covering all defensive roles at the break down; i.e. pillar, post & ball and completing phase plays under pressure; including picking the best option. Scrimmage activities are simply a combination of other related topics in this resource; Warm-Up (catch & pass); Phase Play Attack; General Play Attack and defence. Players need to be competent in each of these topics in order to perform Scrimmage effectively.
  • 68. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Phase Play Attack PHASE PLAY ATTACK “Continuing the go-forward through phase play attack” Phase play attack can be described as the continuous movement of ‘advancing the ball’ forward through catch and pass or contact elements (tackle, ruck or maul). While phase play attack is less structured than that of set piece, it is still important to nominate roles and responsibilities for all players. For example, who are the ball runners, primary supporters and ball distributors? When attacking a phase defence it is important to nominate a primary supporter to assist in ensuring the ball is taken forward and regained at the tackle, ruck or maul. This section will cover a number of options available for the attacking team. Players should have identified roles. Every player should be able to perform all phase play attacking options at any given time in a match. Rehearsed Attack (game snaps) ‘Appling the elements of ball handling and decision-making to go-forward’ A large percentage of a teams attack comes through phase play, therefore it is important to ensure all players are confident with their phase play attacking options. The waratahs’ refer to these as ‘Game Snaps’. These are the running structures that all players are required to know & understand. These should be able to be performed at any stage in the game with any player in any position. It is also important to understand that in back play, set piece plays are generally made up of a number of game snaps (phase play attacking options) combined. For example a dummy switch, cut pass could very easily be a set piece. There are a number of ‘game snaps’ that should be rehearsed for phase play attack. Some of these include: Cut Passes Switch Passes Circle Passes Inside Pass Unders Overs Blockers Sliders Cut Pass A ‘cut pass’ is a pass that is given in front of one (or many) player(s) to an attacker standing wide. The receiving player has the option of changing direction (before receiving) either on an ‘IN’ or ‘OUT’ line (figure 1 & 2 below). Players are required to align slightly deeper to allow reaction time and space (able to apply more speed). The speed of the pass will need to be increased (possible spiral) so it is not in the air for long periods of time. This will in turn deny defenders time and space. The cut pass is effective in moving the ball quickly to a wider point on the field to attack. D1 D2 D3 D1 D2 D3 9 9 A1 A1 A2 A2 A3 A3 Figure 1: Cut Pass – 13 in line Figure 2: Cut Pass – 13 out line
  • 69. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Phase Play Attack Circle Pass A ‘circle pass’ is a pass given back to the primary supporter. The ball carrier should attack the inside shoulder of the closest defender while popping the ball into space for the inside support player who crosses behind and angles out. The player receiving will need to straighten up hard to expose the space created. The circle pass can be used effectively to combat a slide or drift defence as the ball carrier is angling back at an inside shoulder. The style of pass is a simple pop pass, requiring limited force or spin and should be directed vertically in front of the nominated support player (ball receiver). D1 D2 D3 9 A1 A2 A3 Figure 3: Circle Pass Switch Passing A ‘switch pass’ is a pass that is thrown by a ball carrier that is angling out (away from the mass) and towards an outside shoulder of a defender. The ball is popped to an outside support player who crosses behind and angles in (towards the mass) and attacks the inside shoulder of the same defender. The style of pass is much the same as that of the circle pass, a simple pop pass thrown vertically into the space in front of the desired receiver. The switch pass is designed to move defenders around (break strong defensive structures) or create hesitation by putting defenders in two minds. If done correctly defenders will be forced to close shoulders, hence creating space to attack. The penetration is not between defenders, but through the space where the defender was originally standing. While the core principals of the switch pass remain the same, there are a number of variations to this attacking phase option. These include 1. Standard Switch, 2. Skinny Switch (options) & 3. Early Switch (dummy). The ‘Standard Switch’ is performed by the ball carrier running an ‘S’ line towards their opponents outside shoulder while the closest outside support player switches in behind and IMMEDIATELY straightens to attack the space where the defender was originally standing (figure 4 below). The standard switch is aligned to the traditional mindset of moving a defender. The ‘Skinny Switch’ is performed by the ball carrier running straight to the outside shoulder of the next defender (D2) where he has a number of options. The ball carrier has the option of either switching with the closest outside supporter; if this does occur the outside supporter must then straighten up or give a short ball to the outside supporter who then must straighten up. Therefore A2 must make a decision on whether to run the skinny switch line or stay on the outside line. The ‘Early Switch’ has a purpose in creating a number of options after the switch or dummy switch occurs. If the switch occurs A2 has the option of straightening and running into space with an attempt to make the advantage line. Alternatively the initial switch occurs well before the tackle line; therefore A2 has time to give the pass back to A1 or behind A1 to A3 running a change of angle.
  • 70. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Phase Play Attack If the ‘Dummy Switch’ occurs well before the tackle line, A1 will have time to pass back inside to A2 or outside to A3 on a change of angle. Alternatively A1 has the opportunity to straighten and take on the defence attacking D2’s inside shoulder. Simultaneously A2 should be running the ‘S’ line, which will impede D1’s defensive running line. D1 D2 D1 D2 D3 D1 D2 D3 9 9 9 A1 A1 A2 A2 A1 A3 A3 A2 A3 Figure 4 – Standard Switch Figure 5 – Skinny Switch (options) Figure 6 – Early Switch (dummy) Unders & Overs Unders and Overs are extremely simple to perform and are created by the ball carrier running either an inside (unders) or outside (overs) line on their opponent (Figure 7 & 8 below). It is important to note that the support players run the same line as the ball carrier. The passing styles are a little different, with the unders line being short, the pass will need to be soft and slightly passed back into space, while the overs line will require a flatter, more direct pass to the support player. Both players need a definite change of angle, attacker to draw the defence away and supporter to penetrate the gap. D1 D2 D3 D1 D2 D3 9 9 A1 A1 A2 A2 A3 A3 Figure 7: Unders (IN Line) Figure 8: Overs (OUT Line) Blocker & Slider Again the ‘Blocker’ and ‘Slider’ phase options are to disrupt the defence and create space by putting defenders in two minds and / or turning shoulders to provide a weak spot in a defence line. Both are running structures and not designated targets, hence the ball carrier (A1) should be able to pass the either player at the time of distribution. The ‘Blocker’ is the wider of the two plays, and focuses around the movements of the third defending player (Figure 9 below). The third attacker (A3) cuts sharply (after running straight) across in front of the second attacker (A2) and attacks the inside shoulder of D3 and the outside shoulder of D2. This is to create space on the outside of D3 due the closed shoulders. The second Attacker (A2) fades in behind A3 and straightens to attack the space provided by D3 who attempts the follow A3. The ball distributor is to pass the ball to either A2 or A3 depending on what the third defender does.
  • 71. 2004 Coach Education Series © - Phase Play Attack The ‘Slider’ is a similar running structure to that of the blocker in that the two attacking players involved crosses, confusing and creating doubt in the defence. The slider is focused around attacking the second defender (D2) as seen in figure 10 below. The Second Attacker (A2) fades / slides across in front of the third attacker and runs to the outside shoulder of the second defender (D2). At the same time the third attacker cuts in behind the A2 and attacks the inside shoulder of the second defender (D2). Again the ball carrier passes the ball to who ever the second defender has not followed and is running into space. D1 D2 D3 D1 D2 D3 9 9 A1 A1 A2 A2 A3 A3 Figure 9: Blocker Figure 10: Slider
  • 72. ACTIVITY NAME: COMMITTING DEFENDER/PASSING NUMBERS: 7 + players 1 Footballs Markers 3 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • Attackers (A1-A4) begin in single file as do defenders (D1-D3) • Progression is let the defence run their own pattern with the holding shields ( ) in opposite direction. The coach (C) attackers having to adjust. stands in between facing the attackers with ball. • Play on from contact to react to next phase and/or maintaining • The first defender is approximately 3m from the coach with 2m possession. between each defender. • Players may be added to both attack and defence for larger • The attackers begin with approximately 1m between each groups. Start the activity with more attackers than defenders. attacker. • The coach throws ball to left or right. Attackers react and all fan to that direction. Defenders fan out to take first 3 attackers. Last attacker should receive pass with no one in front. The first three attackers aim to commit the first three defenders. Coaching Points Diagram • The first aim of the activity is to have the players throw the appropriate pass to get the ball to the outside support player whilst committing the defenders. • Running straight (or to the inside shoulder of the defender) and with speed will enable the ball carrier to commit the defender and set up space on the outside. D3 D2 D1 C A1 A2 A3 A4 • The first two passes may need to be angled slightly back in order to give the lateral support player enough time and space. • The defence is structured so that the players can practice these The coach has thrown the ball to their left facing the attackers. skills whilst still having to make decisions in relation to timing of the pass and angle of run. Once the players can perform these skills under certain pressure then they should progress (see progressions). G:COACHINGCOACHING RESOURCESCOACH EDUCATION - ACTIVITIESAttacking-Tracking activitiesCOMITTING DEFENDER-PASSING.doc P-12+
  • 73. ACTIVITY NAME: Body Shape in Contact – Ball Carrier Leg Drive NUMBERS: 4+ 4 Footballs 10 Markers 4 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • The first Group of Attackers (A1, A2, A3, A4) start facing forward already in contact with the defender holding the hit • Take away the second attacker until every one can maintain shield (D1, D2, D3, D4) body shape and present a good long place • On the coaches call the first group of Attackers drive the pad • Second group of attackers latch (hammer) and help drive shield holder back to marker holder • When they reach the marker the Attacker goes to ground and long places the ball • The second group of attackers then clean out the defenders Coaching Points Diagram • Start with the Attackers in a strong body position already contacting the pad, ready to drive • Small powerful steps • Head should be in a fully extended position (chin off chest) with no rotation. Looking forward, not down • The back (spine) should be straight while toes, knees, hips and shoulders remain square D1 D2 D3 D4 • Shield holder to make the attacker work hard A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8
  • 74. ACTIVITY NAME: CONTINUOUS TRACKING/DEFENCE DRILL NUMBERS: 2 - 10 1 Footballs 4 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions Defender D1 starts with the ball. On the coach’s cue A1 and D1 Progression is to build up the attacking players so it becomes a 2 on 1 run towards each other, D1 pops the ball to A1 on the way past. situation (as seen in diagram B). Both players round the opposite markers ( ). A1 then attempts Build on the number of defenders as well as attackers. So there is a 3 to score at the original starting end. At the same time D1 on 2 situation. Size of the grid may need to be altered. attempts to move up and put a two handed tag on A1. Another progression is to introduce the tackle in place of the two-hand A1 passes the ball to A2 and then becomes a defender. grab. Encourage players to attack inside as well as outside defenders, using D1 lines up with the attackers. angles such as switches. Once players have had a turn at defending or attacking they For the activity to be more attack orientated use three attackers continually rotate. against one defender. The defender starts with the ball and on the run past the attackers they choose to pass to any of the attackers who then turn and attack. Coaching Points Diagram Players should perform attack and defence roles at pace. D1 D1 Attackers initial movement should be forward to commit defenders (three quick steps). Defenders should be encouraged to move up quickly to deny time and space of the attacker. The defender should also defend on the inside shoulder of the attacker, pushing them out. In 1 v 1 situation, attackers should attempt to bet the defender with running angles and footwork. While in the 2 v 1, attackers should also attempt to commit (move) the defenders, creating A1 A1 space for support. A2 A2 Defenders should never be beaten on the inside. A3 A3 A B
  • 75. ACTIVITY NAME: CONTINUOUS LATERAL PASSING – 3 sides of the grid NUMBERS: 9-18 1 Footballs 4 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 4 Agility poles Other: Markers or tackle bags can be used for agility poles. Description Variations/Progressions • Simple lateral passing drill using three groups (in the diagram • Poles, markers or players maybe staggered to mimic defenders example there are three groups of three), the ball is laterally within the grid. passed from 1 through to 3. While passing each group must • Use different passes such as cuts, loops and switches. cross from one side of the grid to the other, then turn, ready to • Increase foot speed. go again. • Change group numbers and or increase size of grid. • Grid should be approximately 10x10 meters. Grid size will vary depending on skill level, age and numbers. • Group A begins with the ball running to the opposite side passing from A1 to A3. A3 passes laterally to B1 who then continues the process. • B3 then pops the ball to C1, C3 completes the cycle by passing laterally to A3. • The coach chooses how many cycles are run. Coaching Points Diagram • Pass ball out in front of the player. • Player receiving pass should have hands up ready and facing passer. • No spiral passes. C3 B1 • Verbal communication important. • Keep running straight. Beginning with outside foot forward will C2 B2 assist with running straight. C1 B3 A1 A2 A3 P – 12+
  • 76. ACTIVITY NAME: Continuous Primary Support NUMBERS: 9+ 1 Footballs 8 Markers 4 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • Attacker in the centre (A) passes to A1, A then becomes primary supporter Defenders wearing suits • A1 takes the ball into contact can run or pass • A attempts to latch / hammer / cleanout Bring a third attacker into each grid • HB calls A1 and A to ground then passes to next Attacker in the centre • A passes to A2 and the activity continues • Defenders use pads Coaching Points Diagram D2 D4 • Defenders must work constantly to align in the grid not D1 D3 behind it • Attackers change angle of run to move into defenders weak point • Defenders must move forward into contact • Line speed for defenders and attackers • Attackers attempt to stay on feet until called to ground A1 A2 A A HB A A A
  • 77. ACTIVITY NAME: CODE: DM1 NUMBERS: 4 - 20 Dynamic Mauling – Including Foot Speed 4 Footballs 16 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: 4 Contact suits 4 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions 1. Players (A) and (D) begin activity lying on their stomach 1. Player (S) joins in as a supporter of player (D). Starting on facing the poles waiting for coach to say go. the ground also and comes forward on the ‘go’ call. 2. On the go call, both players jump up, (A) spins and runs at 2. Defenders can also start at (C1) and / or (C2) and make a (D), Using the correct foot work, avoids full contact and tackle on player (A) after they avoid player (D). drives through weak point of defender (D) who is running 3. Attacking support players can start at (B1) and / or (B2) and straight at the poles (does not change line). after running around one of the poles can track player (A) 3. Once player (A) has avoided contact with (D), they must into a contact situation and position them selves to assist in drive through weak point of (S). Players from (B1) & (B2) act the dynamic maul. as the latcher and anchor. 4. Players at (B) and (c) can swap roles (which will give them 4. Players from (C1) & (C2) provide assistance to (S). further to run to assist) and after running around opposite markers can enter the maul as the plugs. Coaching Points Diagram 1. Speed - off the ground with ball security. (S) 2. ‘Foot Work in a contact situation’ - to avoid the strong tackle (BP) (T1) and push through the weaker area (T2). (C2) (D) (C1) 3. Correct body shape in contact - keeping in mind the correct techniques involved. 4. Speed of support players to latch and anchor onto ball carrier and correct techniques involved 5. Ball transfer from ball carrier to anchor (B1) (A) (B2)
  • 78. Foot Speed for Rugby Union ‘Ladder Activities’ Foot Speed – Running Activity 1. Name: Fast feet – One in. Activity: Using the speed ladders have your players start with one (1) foot in each frame. Coaching Points: 1. Concentrate on a fast leg action with a dynamic and powerful foot strike on the ground. 2. Players should keep their heads up looking forward and not at their feet. 3. Encourage arm action or include a football. Feet Placement 4. Accelerate out of ladders for a short Left – Black / Right - Figure 1 – One foot in each distance. White ladder. Activity 2. Name: Fast feet – Two in. Activity: Using the speed ladders have your players put two (2) feet in each frame. Coaching Points: 1. Concentrate on a fast leg action with a dynamic and powerful foot strike on the ground. 2. Players should keep their heads up looking ahead and not at the ground. 3. Encourage arm action or include a football. 4. Accelerate out of ladders for a short Feet Placement Left – Black / Right - Figure 2 – two feet in each distance. ladder White
  • 79. Ladder Activities continued……….. Activity 3. Name: Fast feet – two in, one out. Activity: Using the speed ladders have your players put two feet in each frame with a small lateral step outside each frame. You could progress this to ever second frame. Coaching Points: 1. Concentrate on a fast leg action with a dynamic and powerful foot strike on the ground. 2. Players should keep their heads up looking forward and not at their feet. Feet Placement 3. Encourage arm action or include a Left – Black / Right - Figure 3 – Two feet in each football. White ladder and one foot out side 5. Accelerate out of ladders the ladder. Activity 4. Name: Fast feet into contact. Activity: Using the speed ladders have your players put one (1) foot in each frame. Once at the defender (D), D implement a small lateral (about 45°) and then continue through next ladder. Coaching Points: 1. Concentrate on a fast leg action with a dynamic lateral & inside foot strike on the ground to maintain balance and power through contact. 2. Players should keep their heads up Feet Placement looking ahead while lowering their Left – Black / Right - bodies slightly. White 3. Encourage ball transfer away from contact. Figure 4 – Foot speed in 4. Accelerate out of ladders for a short contact. Lateral step followed distance. by an inside power step. 5. Practice both sides
  • 80. Ladder Activities continued……….. Activity 1. Name: Foot speed lateral – Two in. Activity: Using the speed ladders have your players face side on to the ladders and proceed through the ladder laterally putting two feet in each frame, l Coaching Points: 1. Concentrate on a fast leg action with dynamic and powerful foot strikes on the ground 2. Keep hips square, and move lateral. 3. Players should keep heads up looking forward and not at the Figure 5 – Lateral movement ground. Feet Placement through ladders. Two feet in each 4. Encourage arm action or introduce a Left – Black / Right - ladder while moving lateral. ball. White 5. Accelerate out of the ladders the way you are facing.
  • 81. Foot Speed for Rugby In recent history, foot speed has only been associated with athletics and track running with an emphasis being placed on training of foot speed. Foot speed also plays an integral part in rugby. In the modern game foot speed is classified as a highly important skill, which needs to be tought and practised when coaching teams and rugby players. Foot Speed is a requirement in rugby union in all areas of our game, these include: i. Attacking ii. Defending iii. Tackling (leg drive) iv. Scrummaging v. Lineout (movement / feet placement) vi. Ruck / Maul. Foot Speed for rugby can be broken down into three (3) main focus areas when coaching: 1. Foot Speed in Running 2. Foot Speed into / through Contact, and 3. Foot Speed to avoid Contact. Foot speed in running (Acceleration / Deceleration) This focus of foot speed mainly deals with the ability to accelerate and decelerate, and looks at the dynamic contact of the foot with the ground to generate power and speed. The body shape of leaning forward will assist with the acceleration process while the shape of standing up will assist with the deceleration of a player. It is important to note that the speed of foot (strike frequency) should not change. Stride length and Frequency (rate of leg turn over) is used to measure the productivity of acceleration and deceleration. An increase in the amount of foot strikes allows you to contact the ground more often to generate power and more importantly, decrease the length of time your feet are in the air. Which results in less power, les stability and slower reaction time. Large strides early in acceleration require the feet to be off the ground longer than shorter strides. The result is less force production, which will have a direct effect on the acceleration process. Through the acceleration and deceleration process, it is clear that the foot contact with the ground is of prime importance. When looking at this we must take three (3) things into account; 1. What part of the foot makes contact with the ground? 2. How high should the foot / knee go in this action? And 3. What body shape should you apply? To generate the most amount of power and speed while accelerating the ball of foot, not just toes, must make a dynamic contact with the ground while in a position directly underneath the body. The feet should be shoulder width apart while accelerating to give effective balance and stability. It is important to manage the foot / leg height of the stride while acceleration and decelerating as so once again, the power generator – the foot / leg, is not off the ground for long periods of time. While accelerating the body should be leaning forward to assist in generating power while in deceleration the body should be up in a Figure 1. Leg height & foot contact taller stance. Foot strike frequency should remain the same
  • 82. The ability to lower the center of gravity (abdominals) will assist in the accelerating process by allowing a greater horizontal force to be applied to the ground. Foot speed into / through contact This section deals with foot speed and foot placement of a player coming into & through a contact situation. The ability of an attacker to change the direction of the attack slightly and still be in a strong position when contact is made. It can be said that defenders have two tackle target areas on their bodies (shown in Fig 1.2), Target Area 1(T-1) and Target Area 2 (T-2). T- 2 T-1 Figure 2. – Tackle target areas The strong offensive tackle will be made through T-1, while the less aggressive and weaker tackle (if any) will be made through T-2. It is T-2 area the attacker should target, so that one of the key principles of rugby is applied-Go Forward. Foot speed into contact is the ability to change direction slightly and go from attacking T-1 to attacking T-2. This must happen within a meter so the defender has little time to react. The feet placement can be seen below with the attacker approaching the defender’s T-1 area and at the last second changes direction slightly to attack and make contact with the defender’s T-2 area. The foot placement, speed and stride length of the attacker prior C to and in contact is of high importance. This will allow the (P) D attacking player to remain strong and balanced. A – Approaching defender, attack player (T-1). B (L) B – Foot placement off normal line (outside foot), almost lateral (L) A C – Inside foot down quickly (close to defender) and power through contact (P). Figure 3 - Feet Placement in Contact How effective you are will depend on how quick the action of the lateral (L) step and the Inside power leg (P) occurs. Shorter stride length is required in approaching contact so that the time a player is on one leg (off balanced and generating little power) in contact is minimized. Along with this footwork in contact, things such as ball transfer (away from contact) and body height (lowering the center of gravity) must also be coaches as part of this unit.
  • 83. Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Foot speed to avoid contact This section deals with the ability to avoid contact through the effective use of foot speed. Foot speed to avoid contact uses principals from both foot speed in running (acceleration and deceleration) and foot speed in contact (changing direction). Foot speed to avoid contact can also be referred to as Agility or Evasion. It is the ability to change direction with: 1. Vision 2. Speed 3. Balance This skill of changing direction will need to be done at a distance from the defender. This will increase the chance of contact being avoided or at leased is minimized; Speed allows little time for the defender to react and get in a strong position to make a tackle; Vision provides the attacker with an opportunity to make a correct decision; and Balance allows the Figure 4 attacker to accelerate with power after a change of direction has been made. Foot speed is an extremely important part of modem rugby and once broken into the three focus areas can be easily applied to coaching rugby. Coaches need to identify the 3 types of foot speed and apply them to the correct situation within a game structure.
  • 84. ACTIVITY NAME: Foot Speed – Agility (Colour Reaction) NUMBERS: 1 - 10 Footballs 14 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions Players start between the pink markers. Complete the activity with a ball in hand and transfer the ball The coach will call a colour, either red, green yellow or green. when stepping, score the try over the line. The player must follow that colour stepping off each the three Work in pairs one behind the other, the chaser has to attempt markers and accelerating to the line to complete the drill. to get a tag on the runner at each marker. Player to run with a ball in hand. Use evasion belts if available Place poles in the markers if available, players to transfer ball away from the poles (simulating contact). While in pairs, only let the first player know the colour to make the second must work harder. Second player to face the other way at start. Coaching Points Diagram To be completed at 100% intensity, athletes must be warmed up prior. Players must step off the outside foot and attempt to accelerate between markers. Players need to accelerate immediately after a change in direction Reaction time to the calling of a colour – head up to assist with vision. G:COACHINGCOACHING RESOURCESCOACH EDUCATION - ACTIVITIESFOOT SPEEDFoot Speed - Agility (Colour Reaction).doc
  • 85. ACTIVITY NAME: Footwork - Change of Direction Races NUMBERS: 2+ 2 Footballs 6 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 4 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • A1 and A2 sprint forward between the agility poles • Move the first two poles closer together to make it big enough • They then turn and sprint around the next pole (the long for one player, so the players must jostle for front position way) • Players should transfer the ball to the outside arm and lightly palm the pole ie. A1 goes through the first poles and palms with left hand, transfers the ball and goes around the next pole palming with the right hand, A2 is opposite • While A1 and A2 are rounding the second pole the coach calls ‘red’ or ‘blue’ the players must react and sprint to the cones Coaching Points Diagram • Attackers start in a split stance • Ball in two hands, transferring ball to outside arm and palm agility pole • Players should lower their body height and shorten their stride length as they change direction A1 A2
  • 86. ACTIVITY NAME: Footspeed In Contact NUMBERS: 2+ 2 Footballs 8 Markers 2 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 4 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • A1 carries the ball in two hands towards the hit shield (D1) • Increase speed of activity. • The hit shield is being held between 2 agility poles (1.5 meters • Decrease running time (space between catching pass and apart) stepping through contact) • A1 must step and drive through the weak point of the D1 (thus • Running onto pop pass. changing the point of attack from the chest (strong area) of the defender to the arms (weak area) of defender. • A1 then passes to A2 who repeats the process. D1 spins around and faces A2. • The agility poles are close enough that the attackers must make some contact with the hit shield to get through the gate without knocking the pole over Coaching Points Diagram • The attackers should change their point of attack by 6 - 10 A2 A3 inches and drive through the weak point of the defender / pad (arms) • Short, quick (dynamic) steps are required as so the attacker is not on one foot for long periods of time. • The ball should be transferred away from contact to the outside D1 arm • Attackers should lower their body height as they go into contact D2 to remain strong and balanced while in contact. • Attackers should aim to drive through contact with their inside leg forward A1 A4
  • 87. ACTIVITY NAME: Footspeed In Contact NUMBERS: 2+ 2 Footballs 8 Markers 2 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 4 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • A1 carries the ball in two hands towards the hit shield (D1) • Increase speed of activity. • The hit shield is being held between 2 agility poles (1.5 meters • Decrease running time (space between catching pass and apart) stepping through contact) • A1 must step and drive through the weak point of the D1 (thus • Once player has gone through contact, they dive on the ground changing the point of attack from the chest (strong area) of the and pop pass up to a support player who has followed the ball defender to the arms (weak area) of defender. carrier through contact. The support player then pass a flat • A1 then passes (flat lateral pass) to A2 who catches pass under lateral pass to next player at A2. pressure (close to defender D2) and applies the correct footwork to push through D2. • A2 then passes (flat lateral pass) to next player at A1 who repeats the process. Coaching Points Diagram • The attackers should change their point of attack by 6 - 10 A2 inches and drive through the weak point of the defender / pad (arms) • Short, quick (dynamic) steps are required as so the attacker is not on one foot for long periods of time. • The ball should be transferred away from contact to the outside D1 arm • Attackers should lower their body height as they go into contact D2 to remain strong and balanced while in contact. • Attackers should aim to drive through contact with their inside leg forward A1
  • 88. ACTIVITY NAME: GAIN LINE – ATTACK V DEFENCE NUMBERS: 12+ 6 Footballs Markers 3 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: √ Contact suits Agility poles Other: Anything can be used as breakdown areas Description Variations/Progressions • Six defenders ( ) play nine attackers ( ). • Vary numbers of attack and defence as skill improves. • Three breakdown areas are marked and numbered ( ) and • Change the position of the breakdowns incorporating short two balls are placed at each. sides of the field. • If possible it is best to run this activity using the width of a rugby • Vary/increase the number of breakdowns called by the field. coach in each set to incorporate conditioning. • The coach calls a breakdown area from where the attacking team will play the ball ie. 1, 2 or 3. The half back or acting half back will • Incorporate contact and play a number of phases. get themselves in a position to clear the ball or run. • Design attacking plays or options to exploit defensive • The defenders must defend the edges of the breakdown, having weaknesses. at least two defenders either side of the breakdown. • The coach will count down the delivery of the ball to the attacking team who attempts to beat the defence. • Once attack is over the coach will call another breakdown for the next attack to begin. Coaching Points attack • The defending team must have a player either side of the breakdown defending the immediate zone 1m off the breakdown (commonly referred to as ‘pillar’). • The second defender out will mark the channel between halfback and first receiver. 9 • The third defender will mark the first receiver. • Communication is vital. The defending players, particularly the pillar, must communicate verbally and physically (ie. raise an arm). The three defenders move forward together as a “wall”. 2 • The attacking team must align early and explore all options available. 1 defence • Defence should ensure they never get beaten on the inside and 3 make the attacking team work hard to only break through on the outside. Defending players must not leave zone until the ball has moved two passes wide. D 16+
  • 89. ACTIVITY NAME: GRID TARGET PASSING NUMBERS: 8 + players 1 Footballs 12 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • Set up a grid 5m x 5m and line up players as indicated in the • Organisation of grid can be modified to suit player numbers. diagram below. • Grid size can be altered (larger or smaller) • While working in one grid, players are split into two even groups • Change ball (football, tennis ball etc) who work together i.e. A’s with A’s and B’s with B’s. • A1 & B1 start activity by running forward with a ball, when they get to a marker they must pass the ball across the grid to their partner i.e. A1 passes to A1 and B1 passes to B1. • The grid continues with A1 then running forward and passing across grid to A2, and B1 doing the same but passes to B2. • Continue Coaching Points Diagram • All lateral passes need to be put into space for the support A3 A2 player to run onto (attack) the ball. A1 B3, b2, b1 • Players should have hands up ready for the ball and should begin with outside foot forward to initiate straight running. • Players work to have all lateral passes consistent whilst attacking with speed and running straight. Passing speed needs to be maintained. • Players need to communicate by calling for the ball when they are in a position to receive it. • Groups need to work hard to realign, ready for the next run B1, b2, b3 through. A1 • The grid can be used as a warm up activity gradually increasing A2 A3 the intensity as the body warms up. • Quality of pass (speed and direction)
  • 90. ACTIVITY NAME: Hammer / Latch Maul – Static Start NUMBERS: 10+ 1 Footballs 5 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: 5 Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • A1 starts in contact with D1 – Not running into contact • The other attackers and defenders are all 2 metres behind their • Add more players and have options to run the ball after initial man maul goes to ground • On the Coaches call A1 attempts to drive forward and D1 resists. All the attackers and defenders join in • The attackers attempt to maul the ball to score a try • If they are brought to ground the attackers should attempt to rebuild or pick and go with a support player (hammer / latch) Coaching Points Diagram • Ensure A1 is in Strong body position, facing forward ready to Tryline drive • A1 to start with the ball away from contact • Attackers trying to remain facing forward and driving and transfer the ball to the back D2 D3 D4 D5 D1 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5
  • 91. ACTIVITY NAME: Attack v Defence (HPU “S” Drill) NUMBERS: 5+ 1 Footballs 7 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions The coach calls a colour either blue or red. The colour called The coach to pass to any attacker. immediately runs to the other end of the grid & turn becoming The coach to stand on the try line and roll the ball in. defenders. Introduce contact and two phases with emphasis on leg drive The remainder become attackers, attempting to score a try through contact and being effective at the break down. between the black markers. The coach passes to first receiver who must run an ‘S’ line. The second receiver is encouraged to run a skinny switch as an option. 5 should be accelerating into the space. Coaching Points Diagram The onus is placed on the first receiver to react to the situation and make correct decision. Options for the first receiver are switch with 2, hold and run through possible space or draw and pass to 5 wide. All attackers must commit a defender by attacking the correct shoulder. Outside support must concentrate on depth of support and c timing of run. Quality of pass is crucial. Players pre- planning should be discouraged. 1 2 3 4 5
  • 92. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 1. BALL HANDLING All drills can be performed with rugby balls (RB), tennis balls (TB) or netballs (NB). Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Finger Tip Drill a) arms out in front moving ball from side to side 3 sets x 20 reps b) arms to side moving ball from side to side over head 3 sets x 20 reps c) complete drill 1a with pitter patter feet 3 sets x 20 reps Drill 2: Quick Hands a) legs spread shoulder width apart release ball between legs and regather with 3 sets x 20 reps hands behind legs b) same as 2a with eyes closed 3 sets x 10 reps c) legs spread shoulder width apart one hand in front of legs holding ball other 3 sets x 20 reps behind release and regather ball whilst swapping hands. ie. Left hand from front to back Right hand from back to front Drill 3: Over Shoulder a) pass ball over shoulder and catch behind back 3 sets x 5 reps b) as above whilst running 3 sets x 5 reps Drill 4: Front and Back a) with a partner stand back to back. Throw ball over head for partner to react 3 sets x 10 reps and catch Drill 5: Overs and Unders a) pairs stand facing each other with ball, one passes high the other low. Start 3 sets x 30 reps approx 3 metres apart and move closer to decrease reaction time For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 93. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 2. PASSING Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: 3 in a Row a) Throw a spiral pass in the air as high as possible whilst catching without 3 sets x 10 reps-left moving feet from shoulder width apart 3 sets x 10 reps-right Drill 2: Partner Passing a) pairs stand facing each other with a ball 3m apart. Ball starts in players 3 sets x 1 min right hand - on given cue both pass to each other using right hand only. Pass can be caught with two hands but passed only with right hand. b) as above but with left hand c) as above - right hand with jogging on spot 3 sets x 1 min d) as above - left hand with jogging on sport 3 sets x 30 sec e) as above with 2 handed passes whilst jogging 3 sets x 30 sec 4 sets x 30 sec (2 L handed: 2 R handed) Drill 3: 5m, 10m, 15m Passing Drill a) Players stand 5m apart pass to each other whilst walking 2 sets x 100m b) as above but jogging 2 sets x 100m c) as above but running 90% 2 sets x 100m d) Players stand 10m apart pass to each other walking 2 sets x 100m e) as above but jogging 2 sets x 100m f) as above but running 90% 2 sets x 100m g) Players stand 15m apart pass to each other walking 2 sets x 100m h) as above but jogging 2 sets x 100m i) as above but running 90% 2 sets x 100m For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 94. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 3. AGILITY / EVASION Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Pitter Patters Start 5m ------ x x x ------ 5m Finish x x Cones are set out as above. Approx 2m in length and 2m in width apart. Start line should be approx 5m from cone 1 and finish line approx 5m from cone 5. a) players start on line and do 5 stationary pitter-patters before exploding 3 sets to cone 1, when reaching cone 1 complete 5 pitter-patters and then (1 min walk back recovery between sets) explode to cone 2. Continued until reach finish line. 3 sets b) as above with ball in both hands. (1 min walk back recovery between sets). c) as above with ball transferring. ie. move to the left ball to right arm. 3 sets move to the right ball to left arm. (1 min walk back recovery between sets). Drill 2: Reaction Cones Blue White Green Orange Yellow Line 2 x x x x x White Blue Green Yellow Orange Line 1 x x x x x __________________________________ Start Line Start Line Ten cones (x) are set out as shown above (2 cones of each colour). Cones should be approx 5m apart. a) Player moves laterally along start line facing cones, on the call of a colour accelerate out to that colour cone in line 1 changes direction at 5 sets (30 sec walk back recovery) cone and accelerate to same colour cone on line 2. b) As above but scoops ball up from colour cone called on line 1 and 5 sets accelerates to same colour cone on line 2. (30 sec walk back recovery) c) Player double foot bounds into start line at time of fourth contact on start line a colour is called. Same as (a). 5 sets (30 sec walk back recovery) For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 95. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 4. BALL HANDLING ABOVE HEAD Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Seated Drills a) pairs sit facing one another with balls of feet against each other using 3 sets x 20 reps one ball throws to partners right hand from your left. b) as above in (a) except throw to partners left hand from your right. c) use 2 balls at same time. 3 sets x 20 reps 3 sets x 20 reps Drill 2: Finger Tip Drill a) Arms held above head moving ball from side to side 3 sets x 20 reps b) Volleyball sets with finger tip control push ball into air from above head. 3 sets x 20 reps Keeping hands up in front of face. Drill 3: Wall Drill a) Using netball stand arm length from the wall, throw ball at shoulder 4 sets x 20 reps height against wall and regather (stressing finger tip control) (2 L handed: 2 R handed) b) Using 2 netballs as above in (a) keeping the balls going. c) As in (b) hands must touch thighs in between each throw and catch 4 sets x 20 reps (may need to throw ball higher on wall to increase reaction time). 3 sets x 10 reps Drill 4: Soccer Throws a) Facing partner throw soccer throw in style to partner who catches and 3 sets x 30 reps throws immediately back. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 96. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 5. KICK RECEIPTS Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Chest Marks a) Have kicks put up to you. Catch ball at face level & bring quickly to 3 sets x 5 successful chest catches (key points: hands above eyes, turn side on at point of catch). 3 sets x 5 successful b) As above (a) but leave ground to catch ball. catches Drill 2: Overhead Marks a) Have kicks put up to you; catch ball in two hands above face and bring 3 sets x 5 successful quickly to chest. catches 3 sets x 5 successful b) As above (a) but leave ground to catch ball. catches Drill 3: Low Ball Reception a) Have kicks grubbered along ground to you; trap with feet and pick up. 2 sets x 5 successful pick ups b) As above but pick up with hands at 50% speed. 2 sets x 5 successful pick ups c) As above but attack and pick up with hands at 100%. 2 sets x 5 successful pick ups Drill 4: Random Ball Reception a) Have random kicks put to you with call on style of catch or pick up made 3 sets x 5 success to you by kicker on approach. receipts For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 97. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 6. LINEOUT THROW NB: Measure out 2, 4 and 6 throw distances from target, clearly mark target. Key Points: a) Power from abs b) Arms point at target after throw c) Get off line after throw Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Flat 2 Ball a) throw in sets of 5 a flat 2 ball at target 3 sets x 5 throws b) as in (a) but with eyes closed (learn to feel what ball is doing out of your 1 set x 5 throws hand, open eyes once ball has left hands). Drill 2: Lob 2 Ball a) as in (1a). 3 sets x 5 throws b) As (1b) with eyes closed. 1 set x 5 throws Drill 3: Flat 4 Ball a) as in (1a). 3 sets x 5 throws b) as in (1b) with eyes closed. 1 set x 5 throws Drill 4: Lob 4 Ball a) as in (1a). 3 sets x 5 throws b) as in (1b) with eyes closed. 1 set x 5 throws Drill 5: Lob 6 Ball a) as in (1a). 3 sets x 5 throws b) as in (1b) with eyes closed. 1 set x 5 throws Drill 6: Random Calls a) Move around at random between lines 2, 4 and 6 and throw a mixture of 3 sets x 5 throws lob ball and flat ball in your own time. Drill 7: Throw from Knees a) Players gets on knees on ground / mat and throws to partner standing 3 sets x 5 throws on chair. concentrating on abdominal control and use. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 98. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 7. THE CLEARING PASS Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: 3 in a Row a) Throw a spiral pass in the air as high as possible whilst catching without 3 sets x 10 reps-left moving feet from shoulder width apart 3 sets x 10 reps-right Drill 2: Partner Passing a) pairs stand facing each other with a ball 3m apart. Ball starts in players 3 sets x 1 min right hand - on given cue both pass to each other using right hand only. Pass can be caught with two hands but passed only with right hand. b) as above but with left hand c) as above - right hand with jogging on spot 3 sets x 1 min d) as above - left hand with jogging on sport 3 sets x 30 sec e) as above with 2 handed passes whilst jogging 3 sets x 30 sec 4 sets x 30 sec (2 L handed: 2 R handed) Drill 3: 4 Corner Grid A B x x C set up 10 x 10m square with x centre cone (c) D E x x a) Halfback to start on cone A, pass to partner on B, who catches and puts 8 sets x 1 lap,4 passes)(4 ball down; once passed from ground halfback runs around cone C and L to R : 4 R to L)(15 sec pass from cone B to partner on E; who catches and puts ball down; recovery between sets once pass from ground run around cone C and run to E continue drill around square. Drill 4: Reaction and Lineout Clearance Pass Drill o o target target a) Partner holds two balls above with out stretched arms. Athlete in crouch position faces partner : once a ball has been dropped athlete reacts to catch and quickly passes at target (ie. ball dropped to left 2 sets x 5 passes throw at left target). b) as above but athlete on toes doing pitter-patter in preparation for ball drop. 3 sets x 5 passes For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 99. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 8. JUMPING SKILLS NB: Ensure athlete has supportive footwear and is completing drills on pliable surface thoroughly warmed up. Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Double Foot Hops a) Lateral double foot hops - ie. side to side over cone aiming 3 sets x 8 jumps at maximum jump height and minimum ground contact (30 sec recovery between time. sets) b) Front to back double foot hops - ie. front to back over cone 3 sets x 8 jumps as above in (a). (30 sec recovery between sets) Drill 2: Tuck Jumps a) Tuck jumps aiming at max. jump height and minimum 3 sets x 6 jumps ground contact time. (45 sec recovery between sets) Drill 3: Unassisted Lineout Jumps a) Using exact pre-jump movement patterns for 2 jump, or 4 3 sets x 5 jumps jump, or walk back 2 and 4 jump complete 5 maximal effort (1min recovery between replications with 10 sec recovery between jumps. Mixing sets) up type of jump randomly. Drill 4: Basketball Rebounds a) Using a wall and round ball. Jump and release ball high 3 sets x 4 jumps onto wall once you hit ground re-jump and 2 handed tap (1min recovery between ball back up to wall whilst at peak of jump. Repeat 4 sets) times. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 100. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 9. PELVIC STABILITY NB: For all of the exercises listed below, unless stated otherwise, start by placing your hands under the small of your back. The initial movement for each of the exercises is to push your back down into your hands. You must attempt to keep the same pressure on your hands at all times through the exercise while breathing normally. As soon as you feel the pressure ease, stop the exercise and start again. The idea is to be able to maintain a strong abdominal contraction for about 60 seconds while being able to breathe normally. Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: In lying with thighs vertical and knees bent to 90 degrees, push you back into your hands, maintaining the same pressure while you breathe normally. Try 2-3 sets x up to 1 min and hold for 30 seconds to start. As this becomes easy, keep the contraction going for up to a minute. Breathing must remain in normal rhythm throughout the exercise. Drill 2: In lying with thighs vertical and knees bent to 90 degrees, push you back into your hands, maintaining the same pressure while you breathe normally. 1 set x 10 each leg while maintaining your contraction, lower 1 leg towards the floor and then back up again. Still with the contraction on repeat the movement with the other leg. As soon as the pressure through your hands diminishes, readjust your position and start again. Repeat 10 times each leg. Breathing must remain in normal rhythm throughout the exercise. Drill 3: In lying with thighs vertical and knees bent to 90 degrees, place your hands on the front of your thighs. While pushing your back into the ground, press 3 sets x 30 sec your knees towards your chest and stop the movement from happening with your hands. Hold the contraction on for 30 seconds. Drill 4: In lying with thighs vertical and knees straight, push your back into your hands, maintaining the same pressure while you breathe normally. Try and 3 sets x up to 1 min hold for 30 seconds to start. As this becomes easy keep the contraction going for up to a minute. Breathing must remain in normal rhythm throughout the exercise. Drill 5: Assume a push up position weightbearing through your hands and feet, making sure that your body maintains a good straight position. Hold the 3 sets x 30 sec position for 30 seconds. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 101. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 10. BALANCE / PROPRIOCEPTIVE AWARENESS Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Line Run a) Player to carry ball in two hands and run at 50-70% along sideline for 4 sets x 22m 22m. Feet must land on the sideline (not beside it). (15 sec recovery) b) As above except feet are not allowed to touch sideline and requires ‘fast foot speed’. 4 sets x 22m (15 sec running) c) As above in (a) feet touching on the line however a randomly called ‘stop’ is made (approx. 2-3 each length) and athlete must stop on foot they have landed on when call is made a pause and compose balance 4 sets x 22m for 5 seconds. (15 sec running) Drill 2: Spinner a) With feet shoulder width apart a series of (5) calls are made (ie. 90, 4 sets x 5 spinners 180, 270, 360 degrees). Athlete jumps and spins appropriate degree, (30 sec recovery) lands and quickly regains balance. b) As above but call is made while athlete is jogging forwards or backwards. 2 sets x 5 spinner (30 sec recovery) Drill 3: Knee Slap a) Partners are crouched position. Keeping a wide base and low centre of 3 sets x 30 seconds gravity must attempt to slap partner behind knee. (1min recovery) For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 102. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 11. THE PUNT KICK Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Leg Swings Whilst keeping body upright, and abdominals contracted; a) front to back swings gradually increasing range of motion. 2 sets x 10 swings each leg b) side to side swings gradually increasing range of motion. 2 sets x 10 swings each leg Drill 2: Hip Raises a) Standing upright with knee bent to 90 degrees and thigh raised to 2 sets x 30 raisers parallel. Hold then raise slightly before returning to parallel repeat each leg aiming to strengthen hip flexors to increase strength/power of kicking muscles. Drill 3: Ball Drops (a) Complete ball drop phase of kick attempting to replicate every 5 ball drops right hand balldrop identical. 5 ball drops left hand Drill 4: Partner Kicking a) Begin 15m apart from partner and aim to kick 10 successful spiral punts 2 sets x 10 kicks consecutively (left and right footed alternately) onto partners chest. b) Move to 25m apart from partner - as above. 2 sets x 10 kicks c) Move to 35m apart from partner - as above. 2 sets x 10 kicks Drill 5: Catch and Kick a) Receive pass from partner and quickly kick ball into 5m channel aiming 3 sets x 10 kicks at distance, correct technique and timing the ball (left and right footed alternately). For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 103. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 12. GOAL KICKING AND RESTARTS Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Leg Swings Whilst keeping body upright, and abdominals contracted; a) front to back swings gradually increasing range of motion. 2 sets x 10 swings each leg b) side to side swings gradually increasing range of motion. 2 sets x 10 swings each leg Drill 2: Hip Raises a) Standing upright with knee bent to 90 degrees and thigh raised to 2 sets x 30 raisers each parallel. Hold then raise slightly before returning to parallel repeat leg aiming to strengthen hip flexors to increase strength/power of kicking muscles. Drill 3: Goal Kicks a) 10 kicks from directly in front - 20m out. 1 set x 10 kicks b) 10 kicks from 10m to side - 20m out (5 to the left - 5 to the right) 1 set x 10 kicks c) 10 kicks from 15m to side - 25 m out (5 to the left - 5 to the right) 1 set x 10 kicks Drill 4: Drop Kick - Restarts a) 10 restarts to area 1 - aiming for maximum hang time and accuracy. 1 set x 10 kicks b) 10 restarts to area 2 - aiming for maximum hang time and accuracy. 1 set x 10 kicks c) 5 restarts to area 3 - aiming for maximum hang time and accuracy. 1 set x 5 kicks d) 5 restarts to area 4 - aiming for maximum hang time and accuracy. 1 set x 5 kicks For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 104. INDIVIDUAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 13. BODY SHAPE - SCRUMMAGING Drill Explanation Workload Drill 1: Individual Body Position Feet shoulder width apart, bend knees to 90°, lift hips up and open chest, look 10 x sets of 10sec forward leading with your chin (chin off chest) holds NB: Hooker’s have feet slightly elongated with strike foot (right foot) half a step in front and feet close together. Drill 2: Knee slaps Start by facing your partner and placing you right hand on each others shoulder. a) While maintaining strong body shape, attempt to slap the back of your partners right knee. 5 x 15 sec. (30 sec. Recovery) b) Change slapping arm 5 x 15 sec. (30 sec. recovery) Drill 3: 1 v 1 Scrummaging With a partner starting on you knees, offset and engage before rising to feet. a) Both turn right then left – Important to go wide before narrow with your steps 6 x 15 sec. (30 sec. recovery) b) Crab walks sideways (one person goes left, the other Right) 6 x 15 sec. (30 sec. recovery) c) Forward and Back (take the pressure and then apply the pressure) 6 x 15 sec. (30 sec. recovery) Drill 4: 2 v 1 Scrummaging Ease into engagement, assume strong body position and bind onto opposition player/s a) Draw the binds (squeeze and draw the opposition players in towards yourself. 5 x 15 sec. (30 sec. recovery) b) Involve movement, sideways, forward & back as above 10 x 5 sec. (30 sec. recovery) For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 105. ACTIVITY NAME: LATERAL PASSING AND SUPPORT CHANNEL NUMBERS: 8+ 2 Footballs 8 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: 4 footballs can be used (one at B1, B2, B3, B4) Description Variations/Progressions • A passing channel is created using eight markers ( ). The size of the • The attacking players can place the ball at random. The channel needs to be suitable for the skill level/age of the group. supporting player from the outside (B1-B4) must support on the • The attacking players (A1-A4) face up the channel. inside so that once the ball is placed there is no time wasted by • B1 and B2 begin with a football. the supporting player to pick up the ball and continue to the • The attacking players run up the channel and upon reaching B1 at the other side of the channel. first marker A1 receives a lateral pass. The ball is passed along the • Numbers can vary to accommodate the size of the group/team. attackers. • • Decreasing the space between receiving passes from the Once B1 has passed the ball they support inside the ball so they receive a pass outside of A4. B1 passes the ball to B3 ready for when outside will increase the pressure of the lateral passes thrown by the attackers run back through the channel. the attackers and the support play of B1-B4. • The sequence is continued at B2 with a lateral pass to A1. • Once B1 and B2 have passed and supported, the attacking players turn and run back through the channel receiving lateral passes from B4 and B3. Coaching Points Diagram • Pass ball out in front of the player. 7-10m • Player receiving pass should have hands up ready and facing B1 B2 passer. • No spiral passes. A1 • Verbal communication important. A2 • Keep running straight. Beginning with outside foot forward will assist with running straight. A3 • Support players need to support on the inside of the ball and should attempt to go forward at all times and not run an arc A4 backwards in order to get to the outside of A4. This is made B3 B4 easier when the attacking players take the ball straight and at pace. 25-30m P-12+
  • 106. ACTIVITY NAME: HPU - Open Srimmage Drill NUMBERS: 15 1 Footballs 8 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: 7 Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions 1st receiver (1R) throws second pass from ½ back to ball carrier (BC) Increase the amount of attackers & defenders involved – play two pass game. Increase the number of phases required BC challenges defender (D1) in full contact within 5m x 5m grid. Focus on team based phase options Depending on the outcome of the tackle contest the next attackers and defenders to the contest will need to make a decision. Initially the first support player (S1) will clean out 1st defender (D1) so that a situation is set up for the next support players (S2 – S5) to make a decision as to their role at the tackle contest The coach © will dictate the actions of the defenders that are lying down in front of him Coaching Points Diagram  Look for quality D3 D4 D5 Decision making under pressure Tackle contest roles & techniques (footwork, contact, hammer, D1 D2 cleanout etc) Go forward in both attack and defence A1/2 Support roles and responsibilities. 1R S4 S3 S2 BR S1
  • 107. ACTIVITY NAME: Pass Get Back Pass Grid NUMBERS: 5+ 2 Footballs 4 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • (A) starts with the ball and passes to (B) who immediately • Change direction of the grid to ensure players are passing from passes ball back to (A) who is running towards (B). (A) then cuts both sides the corner of the grid and passes the ball to (C). • Increase / decrease the size of work area (grid). • (B) then runs to (C) and receives a pass back from (C) and then • Increase the number of players and balls involved. passes to (D). • Increase speed – set targets for number of passes in a • (C) runs to D etc designated time period Coaching Points Diagram C D • Players should have hands up (fingers spread) ready for the ball. • Communication – call for pass • Soft hands and correct passing style (i.e. Pop pass or lateral pass) • Pass ball across the body and point fingers to target after passing. B A Start
  • 108. Module 2 – Preparation for Contact PREPARATION FOR CONTACT WRESTLING TECHNIQUES APPLICABLE TO RUGBY UNION • ATTACKING THE INSIDE - Dominating the Space. • PREVENTING THE BALL CARRIER FROM GOING TO GROUND • TACKLE TECHNIQUE - Spreading the Impact. • CHANGING BODY POSITION UNDER FORCE - Ball Presentation Under Force. • BALANCE & STABILITY - Strong body position prior to contact. Level 2 1
  • 109. Module 2 – Preparation for Contact ATTACKING THE INSIDE For the defender to be in the most dominating position it is important that they are as close to the ball carrier as possible while in contact. If a defender can get an arm ‘through’ the ball carrier by ‘attacking’ the inside (under the arm), this will allow the defender to control the situation and take the space. This will prevent the ball carrier for either going to ground or effectively presenting the ball post tackle. ACTIVITY 1 – GETTING ON THE INSIDE. Coaching Points: - Players should practice this movement of ‘Attacking the Inside’ while standing very close to each other - The movement should be very dynamic and continnous - Single arm first, then double arm action. - 30 sec intervals with a 30 sec rest period. ACTIVITY 2 – DOUBLE LOCK. A double lock is achieved when one player successfully gets on the inside of their opponent and locks them in to a position that prevents them from breaking out. This represents the tackle situation in a game where the ball carrier is dominated and the ball transfer is disrupted or non-existent. Coaching Points: - Stance should be the same as above, wide base close to opponent. - In 30 sec intervals, both players must attempt to complete a double lock on their opponent. - Players will need to be extremely dynamic and in a strong / balanced position to achieve this. Level 2 2
  • 110. Module 2 – Preparation for Contact PREVENTING THE BALL CARRIER FROM GOING TO GROUND If a defending player can lock up a ball carrier and prevent them from going to ground then they stand a high chance of preventing the ball transfer or at worst disrupting and slowing the process down. This can be achieved by simply ‘attacking and getting the inside’ of the ball carrier while being in a strong body position and dynamic. ACTIVITY 1 – HOLDING PLAYER UP V GETTING TO GROUND Coaching Points: - Starting position, one player starts with a single arm lock (getting on the inside) - On cue, that player must prevent his opponent from getting to ground. - This can be achieved by performing a double lock while in a strong body position. - The other player must attempt to break the lock and get to ground as quickly as possible. 1. Starting Position 2. Attacking the Inside 3. Holding Player up off the ground 4. Player breaks lock and gets to ground Level 2 3
  • 111. Module 2 – Preparation for Contact TACKLE TECHNIQUE – SPREADING THE IMPACT To avoid injury and increase the possibility of performing a successful, strong impacting tackle, players should spread the contact area across the chest, front of shoulder and arms. It is important to encourage players to ‘Attack’ the inside (under arm) with a strong arm and then squeeze in on the target. This will allow players to ‘stick’ to close to the ball carrier and chase the hit. ACTIVITY 1 – SKIP AND HIT Coaching Points: - Defenders head is up and looking forward - Step lead foot ‘to or through’ your opponent and make chest, front of shoulder and arm contact. - Opposite foot – Opposite shoulder - Attack inside of opponent by punching strong arm through under arm around opponents back. ACTIVITY 2 – ATTACK INSIDE OF BALL CARRIER Coaching Points: - Using a ball, have defenders attack inside of ball carrier (under ball carrying arm) - This will expose ball and at worst disrupts the ball presentation at post tackle - As above, attacking the inside needs to be extremely dynamic (fast, strong & powerful) to achieve the desired outcomes of dominating the tackle contest. - The next player in simply latches onto ball and continues to drive ball carrier backwards. Player 2 locks onto ball and provides Player 1 attacks the inside of ball carrier to assistance by way of leg drive. disrupt the ball. Level 2 4
  • 112. Module 2 – Preparation for Contact CHANGING BODY POSITION UNDER FORCE For a ball carrier to successfully present the ball on the ground post tackle, they will need to work under force. This activity is extremely specific for this skill. Once a player is tackled, they must be dynamic in their movements, to get themselves in the best position possible to present the ball. ACTIVITY 1 – WORKING UNDER FORCE Coaching Points: - In pairs, 1 player on knees and forearms while the other player is draped over their back (dead weight). - On coaches cue the player on the ground must assume the position call by the coach (e.g. left, right, back etc) and then return to starting position as quickly and dynamically as possible - Introduce a ball and have the player control and present the ball under force. - The aim of the player on the ground is the move dynamically and powerfully while under force (player lying on top) Starting Position Level 2 5
  • 113. Module 2 – Preparation for Contact BALANCE & STABILITY It is important that players in contact remain balanced and stable to avoid injury and provide the best possible platform for their team. To become balanced and stable players need to establish and maintain a solid wide base (feet shoulder width apart), lower their center of gravity by bending the knees (keeping shoulders above hips) and move with short, quick steps as to ensure both feet are on the ground for the majority of the time in contact. ACTIVITY 1 – FACE SLAPS Coaching Points: - In pairs, each player holds their partners right wrist - At the coaches cue, players are to attempt to slap others face. - This activity is more about feet movement and balance / stability and not the face slap. - Each player must ensure they remain stable and balanced - At no time should the feet come together or cross over. Feet should remain shoulder width apart or wider. - Step away, then towards. ACTIVITY 1 – PERIPHERAL VISION 90° Coaching Points: - Grids 5m x 5m - 3 players, one in the middle. - Outside players shuffle up and down the line. - Middle player must remain stable and in line with them. - Feet must go wider as a first reaction, then crab - Use pointing arm to keep 90° between left an right arm Variation - Introduce a ball, players on the sides to pass the ball to player in the middle while moving back and forth. Level 2 6
  • 114. ACTIVITY NAME: Quick Passing / Defending NUMBERS: 15 4 Footballs 9 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 4 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions 1. Attackers ( ) at (A) start the activity by running forward to the 1. Increase the number of defenders. pole and around it facing forward the entire time, and then return back to marker. 2. Decrease the distance between poles and markers as so 2. Once the first player returns back to marker, player (B) then attackers have less time and space with the ball, which would passes ball into activity. All players must return to marker before increase the intensity and pressure. they are able to join in. 3. Once the ball is thrown to first player at (A), Defenders( ) from 3. Once player (B) passes ball into activity, they become active (D) are put onside and must try to prevent attackers from scoring and also become attackers trying to score passed the poles. a try over the try line, which is marker by the poles. This would increase the work load of the defenders marking it 4. Once the attackers have been tagged or the try is scored, then harder to defend against. the process begins again. Coaching Points Diagram 1. Catching and Passing – hands up and reaching for the ball, 10m (D) then transfer straight across the body and release. Quick Passes TRY 2. Footspeed – Accelerate from marker and hit the pass at speed. 10m 3. Creating Space – Running straight or Angles to create space (B) for outside and inside support runners. 4. Communication – defenders must communicate there roles as so they can attempt to defend successfully. Attackers must also (A) communicate to effectively score the try.
  • 115. ACTIVITY NAME: Scrum Body Shape – Moving Under Force NUMBERS: 2+ Footballs 4 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • S1 and S2 begin One vs One Scrummaging • The coach then calls the colour of a marker and S1 & S2 • Can progress to 2 vs 1 must push each other to that mark in a controlled manner • Coach ensures correct body position is maintained Coaching Points Diagram • Small controlled steps • Head should be in a fully extended position (chin off chest) with no rotation. Looking forward, not down • The back (spine) should be straight while toes, knees, hips and shoulders remain square S1 • Chest should be open with shoulders back S2 • Feet should be shoulder width apart and knees bent • High hips, but not below shoulders
  • 116. ACTIVITY NAME: Scrum Engagement – Timing and Positioning NUMBERS: 6+ 4 Footballs 6 Markers 6 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • Players (P) begin in the middle of the grid and run around passing the ball between each other running at pace • Players form groups of 3 and one holds the pad, one engages • The Coach blows the whistle and the players sprint to a hit the pad as a hooker and the last player feeds the ball in shield (halfback) • One player holds the hit shield while the other lines up on it • Ensure the hooker strikes for the ball with the right foot in a • The coach then calls ‘Crouch, Touch, Hold, Engage’ sweeping motion (‘Slowly’ for Mini and Walla) • Ensure the halfback feeds the ball in from the left • The players then engage the pad and drive it back one step • The coach blows the whistle and the activity begins again Coaching Points Diagram Hit shields • The coach should walk around ensuring the players are in good body position and are listening to the engagement sequence • Heads should always go to the left of the pad • Head should be in a fully extended position (chin off chest) with no rotation. Looking forward, not down PPPP • The back (spine) should be straight while toes, knees, hips and PPPP shoulders remain square PPPP • Chest should be open with shoulders back • Feet should be shoulder width apart and knees bent • High hips, but not below shoulders
  • 117. Coach Education Series © - Scrum Effective Scrummaging The purpose of the scrum is to restart play quickly, safely and fairly, after a small infringement or a stoppage. In doing this, sixteen players are strategically positioned into a confined area. The scrum is both a physical and technical contest for possession of the ball. It is one of the few situations when players exert a physical force on their opponents who are not in possession of the ball. The following will look closely into the technical components of building a scrum, including feet placements, bindings, assembly sequence, engagement, roles and responsibilities, and most importantly the SAFETY aspects to be considered when coaching the scrum. The scrum has a number of LAW variations between Senior Rugby (20yrs and older), the Under 19’s Rugby (U13’s – U19’s) and Pathway Rugby (U7’s – U12’s). Walla Mini Midi U19 Opens Contested No No Yes Yes Yes Numbers 3 players 5 players 6 players 8 players 8 players Push Non-push Non-push 1 meter 1.5 meters Unlimited Offside line 5m from last feet 5m from last feet Last feet Last feet Last feet All the up to date laws of Rugby Union can be found at the NSW Rugby Union Website at www.nswrugby.com.au. The laws are enforced to assure the safety of all players involved in the contest. Body Shape The scrum is a technical component of rugby union where forces are generated and transferred through your body into other player’s bodies. All participants need to understand the correct techniques involved in generating and resisting these forces. The starting point for coaching the scrum is to understand the individual body shape required to achieve this. Body Shape is the absolute essence of good scrummaging. It allows you to use your force and the force of the rest of the scrum, more efficiently. It is believed that almost 99% of all scrimmaging problems can be related directly to the body shape of the participant(s). It is therefore in the interest of all concerned and especially those players looking to improve their scrummaging, that attention be focused on this key element. Body shape should remain consistent for all participants involved in the scrum; no matter what position they hold, from front row through to number 8. A number of coaching points to consider when instructing the correct body shape include: A strong, balanced and stable base, which can be achieved by placing the feet approximately shoulder-width apart and toes level (this only differs for the Hooker). This will ensure stability if the scrum moves sideways while also allowing an excellent platform to generate power. If the feet placement greatly exceeds shoulder-width, there would be a substantial reduction to the capacity to generate and resist force, increasing the risk of injury. Toes, knees, hips and shoulders should be square and ALL facing forward. Knee bend (100 – 110° approx) directly beneath hips will assist in generating and transferring weight. Knees should remain directly in line with toes and hips. High, steady hips will allow those players behind to apply force through a near vertical surface. The hips should NOT at anytime be higher than the shoulders.
  • 118. Coach Education Series © - Scrum Straight back (parallel to the ground) will allow the transfer of forces generated by the lower body directly ahead through to the opposition scrum. Pull the shoulders back drawing the shoulder blades together and push out the chest, this will ensure you do not have a humped back. Keep the head up and thrust the chin forward (off chest) so that the spine is in a straight line from the head. “Look where you are going, not where you have been” Activate the Abdominal muscles and breathe at a slow even pace. DO NOT hold your breath. All players will need to be able to adopt the correct body shape and maintain it for the duration of the scrum activity (including the assembly and engagement) involving generating force, resisting force, movement sideways, forward and backwards. Drawing the binds Now that we have a solid body position it is imperative that we ‘draw our binds on’. This simply means that where we are bound to someone, we need to draw him or her closer. In the assembly, and post engagement players are encouraged to draw on the binds (including those bound to opposition players). This could be seen as assisting the opponent, when in fact you are actually asserting more push and dominance. Not only does ‘drawing the binds’ apply force through the whole scrum it also assists in maintaining your own strong body shape. If all participants draw on their binds the scrum will become more stabilized, controlled and therefore SAFER and harder to wheel. This increased force can be seen when packing on a scrum machine. If the entire pack draws on their binds together the machine will move without utilizing extra force from the legs. Front Row Body Shape In the front row, drawing your binds on correctly will allow you to transfer your force and the force from behind, more efficiently. It will also enable you to transfer the weight onto your opponent whilst the scrum is still stationary. This is referred to as ‘Tapping the Weight’ and allows the front row to use extra push from behind only when needed. Obviously this is ideal when after the initial engagement, the front row can tap the weight off in preparation for the feed. Then, as the ball comes in, they can dynamically add more force and have an explosive shove. This ‘Body Shape’ is fundamental to all aspects of contact and is essential for the success in the tackle, ruck, maul and scrum. It is recommended that considerable time be devoted to mastering the adoption and the use of this technique. Exercises involving 1 v 1’s or preferably 2 v 1’s will give much better long-term results than practicing a full scrum with players who have not yet mastered individual body shape.
  • 119. Coach Education Series © - Scrum Scrum Assembly A team should have a set procedure for assembling the front row and scrum. The following order is recommended and the coaching points are clearly listed below. Once the mark is established, the hooker should be the first in position, followed by the loose head prop, tight head prop, locks, flankers and finally the number 8. Mark (of infringement) Hooker Loose head Tight head Locks Flankers Number 8 Engagement Building the Front Row Front row players should not assemble directly opposite their opponent, but opposite the slot that they will move into on the engagement. This is referred to as ‘Offsetting’ and will ensure that the majority of force generated will be absorbed through the shoulders rather than the head or neck. Hooker (No2) The Hooker is the center of the scrum and consequently the organiser (captain) who through action and instruction builds the scrum around him or herself. They are the first to the ‘mark of infringement’ and should take ownership by placing the strike foot just back from the mark. Listed below are a number of coaching checkpoints to consider: 1. Hooker assumes the leadership role of the scrum activity. 2. Takes ownership of mark – strike foot on mark and do not move. 3. Adopt a narrow stance (feet close together) with strike foot slightly (10cm) in front of rear foot. This narrow stance will not only allow the props to anchor but will also leave enough room for the locks to secure their heads between the hooker and props. 4. Place hands on head, chin off chest and looking forward. 5. It is recommend that this age group build the scrum standing up and allow the referee to call the crouch.
  • 120. Coach Education Series © - Scrum Hookers’ call for scrum formation: “Props In” - Props bind in. “Seconds In” - Second row binds on. “Back row on” - Back row binds on. (only in MIDI) NB: The hooker should be vocal and positive with his scrum assembly instructions Loose Head Prop (No1) The loose head prop is the first to join the hooker in assembling the scrum. This props is referred to as ‘Loose’ because their head placement is outside that of the opposition prop opposing them and consequently impact is only on their right shoulder. Listed below are a number of coaching points to consider: 1. Approach from behind the hooker. 2. Plant right (inside) foot adjacent to the hookers back foot. This foot does not move and all adjusting should be done with the left foot. 3. Feet pointing directly forward, square up hips and outside foot. 4. Feet shoulder width apart and adjacent to each other. 5. Take a chest high bind on hooker and close off all space between loose head and hooker. 6. DO NOT hide shoulder, remain square with toes, knees, hips and shoulder all facing forward. NB: Hooker to bind over the shoulders and under the armpit of the Loose Head Prop Tight Head Prop (No3) The Tight Head Prop is the next player in the scrum assembly process and binds onto the other side (right) of the hooker. This props is referred to as ‘Tight’ as their head placement on engagement is between the opposing prop and hooker. It is the Tight Head Prop that receives the most amount of force from the opposition scrum. Listed below are a number of coaching points to consider: 1. Approach from behind the hooker. 2. Plant left (inside) foot adjacent to the hookers front foot. This allows the angle for the tight head to lead the scrum into engagement and gain a good body position to provide a stronger anchor for the scrum (This ‘off set’ angle also ensures that each front row player will have a slot to put their head). The inside foot should not move once planted and all adjusting should be done with the right foot. 3. Toes pointing directly forward, square up hips and outside foot. 4. Feet shoulder width apart and adjacent to each other. 5. Take a low bind (waist / shorts) on hooker and close off all space between tight head and hooker. 6. DO NOT extend further than is comfortable. Remain Square with toes, knees, hips and shoulders all facing forward. NB: Hooker to bind over the shoulders and under the armpit of both the Tight Head Prop and the Loose Head Prop. Figure 1.
  • 121. Coach Education Series © - Scrum Building the Second Row (locks) It is the primary focus for the locks to obtain a solid contact on the backside of the prop directly in front of them, and a secondary objective to get a tight grip on the adjacent lock partner. This can be achieved by binding onto the prop prior to the lock partner. Listed below are a number of coaching checkpoints to consider: Locks (4 & 5) 1. Locks to approach from the outside of the prop in front of them. 2. The lock must first take a grip on the top and the front of the props shorts then rotate around to the shoulder support, allowing the grip to slide if need be. This should eliminate the locks applying pressure and movement onto the prop by reaching forward in an attempt to close the gap. 3. It is important that there is no gap between the shoulders, arm, head of the lock and the prop. 4. Once the locks have bound onto the prop in front and the shoulder position is achieved, they bind onto one another and place their head between the hips of the hooker and prop. 5. Toes should be pointing directly forward and inside knee on the ground. 6. Look forward at all times and DO NOT lean on front row until engagement. Under 19’s Variation 7. Locks to approach from the outside of the prop in front of them. 8. The lock must first take a grip on the top and the front of the props shorts then rotate around to the shoulder support, allowing the grip to slide if need be. This should eliminate the locks applying pressure and movement onto the prop by reaching forward in an attempt to close the gap. 9. If the locks roll their wrist up (little finger to the sky) it will raise the elbow enough to enable the flankers to get a solid shoulder contact onto the props in front. NB: Locks might want to go to one knee in the assembly process, but should attempt regain feet prior to engagement. Building the Back Row The back row consists of two breakaways (flankers) who bind onto the sides of the scrum parallel to the locks, and a number 8 who binds onto and provides support behind the locks. It is crucial that players in the back row understand the importance of actively assisting in the generating and resisting of forces within the scrum activity as opposed to merely binding on and providing no or little resistance. Essentially the scrum consists of two strong units (prop, lock and flanker), bound together at the front by the Hooker and at the back by the Number 8. Listed below are a number of coaching points to consider when building the backrow on the scrum.
  • 122. Coach Education Series © - Scrum Flankers (No’s 6 & 7) 1. The flankers primary focus is to provide a solid shoulder support to the backside of the prop similar to that of the locks main objectives. 2. The body shape of the flankers should be identical to that of the locks adjacent to them. Hence, toes, knees, hips and shoulders all square and facing forward. 3. The flankers bind over the back of the adjacent lock and on the outside hip of the corresponding prop in front. 4. Ensure that flankers are not pushing, twisting or angling in or out throughout the assembly and engagement phases of the scrum activity. Number 8 It is important that the number 8 provides a solid shoulder contact to support the locks and assist in driving forward after engagement. Once the locks and flankers have assembled ready for engagement, it is the responsibility of the Number 8 to correct any deficiencies in the scrums shape and to ensure all body shapes are correct and in a strong position ready for engagement. The Number 8 should assume the same body position as that of the locks and flankers with a strong base and flat back. Listed below are a number of coaching points to consider. 1. The Number 8’s primary focus is to provide a solid shoulder support to the backside of the locks similar to that of the locks main objectives. 2. The body shape of the number 8 should be identical to that of the locks in front of them. Hence, toes, knees, hips and shoulders all square and facing forward. 3. The number 8 binds around the waist of the locks. 4. The Number 8 must ensure that all players in the scrum are in the correct position and have assumed the correct body shape prior to engagement. This may mean that they have to physically move players (lift hips, square up hips etc) prior to engagement. All positions should be bound at the same height, pulling each other back on to the supporting shoulder and going forward together. Engagement Sequence The Engagement is the most important feature in the scrum when dealing with safety and injury prevention. It is for this reason that all players MUST follow the referee’s calls and apply all the correct techniques. When engaging, the head should be looking forward for the spot to engage and should be ‘off set’ (head in line with shoulder) and not directly in line with the opposition players. The chest should be pushed through, and the shoulders square. The engagement sequence includes: Senior Law: CROUCH HOLD ENGAGE Under 19 Variations: CROUCH TOUCH HOLD ENGAGE
  • 123. Coach Education Series © - Scrum Crouch - The assembled scrum prepares for engagement by crouching (lowering the height of the scrum). It is important to note that shoulders should NEVER become lower than hips. All members involved tighten their grips (drawing the binds) and weight is on the balls of their feet. Touch – (under 19 law only) The props must touch their opponents upper arm to judge the distance before lowering their arm and prepare for engagement. Heads are up and looking forward, concentrating on their target for engagement. Hold – This refers to holding the crouch position still, thus ensuring that the scrum is stable prior to engagement. The front row concentrate on their targets and head and chin is up. Engage – The back 5 in the scrum drive the front row firmly into the opposition maintaining good shoulder contact. Props take an outside bind on the opposite player and draw them in towards themselves. A scrum should adopt a ‘hit and stick’ approach with abdominal muscles on, to ensure no (or little) foot movement after engagement. Unless the scrum is securely bound prior to contact, the engagement will have a concertina effect. That is, the Front Row will engage, and then the second row followed by the back row. This can be quite dangerous in that the scrum becomes totally unstable with participants relying on each other The number 8 in ‘Midi Rugby’ binds onto and provides support behind the locks. It is crucial that those playing number 8 understand the importance of actively assisting in the generating and resisting of forces within the scrum activity as apposed to merely binding on and providing no or little resistance. Figure 1: CROUCH Figure 2: TOUCH Figure 3: HOLD Figure 4: ENGAGE Unless the scrum is securely bound prior to contact, the engagement will have a concertina effect. That is, the front row will engage, and then the second row followed by the back row. This can be quite dangerous in that the scrum becomes totally unstable with participants relying on each other to remain on their feet. Hooking the ball (on own feed) The hooker is the player responsible for the hooking of the ball once it is put into the scrum. This is done by striking the ball with the right foot (while all weight is on the left) and guiding the ball back through the locks. If the props binds are correct, the hooker should have little problem striking and tilting the hips. Once the ball has been won, it is important for the hooker to re-assume the strong body position and assist in the transferring of forces into the opposition.
  • 124. Coach Education Series © - Scrum The channels for ball distributions are clearly identified in figure 1. Channel 1 – Travels down the inner left side of the scrum to the left of the number 8. It is a quick strike with the intention of clearing the ball quickly. Channel 2 – Is a quick strike, which while controlling the ball is directed down the middle of the scrum. This is probably the most common channel. Channel 3 – Requires a longer sweeping action to bring the ball back down the right side of the scrum. This channel gets the ball away from the opposing scrum half. Mayday Scrum The "MAYDAY" call is a safety technique put into operation when a scrum is considered by a player to be collapsing, or has collapsed, or when a player believes that he/she is in a potentially dangerous position. It was considered necessary to have a recognised call Australia wide which would allow people to have an understanding of what actions they should take when one of the above mentioned situations occurs in a scrum. The following is a description of the process to be followed by players, when the "Mayday" call is heard. Referees should be acutely aware of the process, as they may well be the person who can talk the players through the correct disengagement sequence. Before each game you should check that the referee is aware of the mayday scrum procedures. The injured player should not be moved after the "Mayday" call. All other players should follow the sequence below.
  • 125. Coach Education Series © - Scrum MAYDAY SCRUM PROCEDURE • The player makes a loud call, "MAYDAY". The referee should immediately blow the whistle. • The back 5 (locks, flankers and No. 8) should immediately stop pushing to release pressure on the front row. • All players should then lower to their knees in a controlled manner. This takes the majority of the weight off. • There is then a pause. • The second movement is to lower the top half of their body. • The front row then softly land on their face, which is termed a "face plant". • Having collapsed into this position and taken the weight off, none of the parties should look sideways. Rotation and flexion is the cause of many injuries. • For example if the hooker is injured, neither front rower should look sideways to see how the hooker is, because that will also expose them to the same or similar injuries. • Don't look sideways, just collapse straight to the ground. • The call is then made by the referee, "DOES ANYONE HAVE A PROBLEM?" • Certainly do not try and move the player. Leave them exactly where they are. • If there is no reply the referee asks the players to number off; 1, 2, 3, 4, etc • The props should release their bind on the opposition • On the referees instruction:- 1. The number 8 then moves back and away. 2. The flankers then release their binds and move outwards and away. 3. The locks then release their binds and move outwards and away. 4. The prop forwards then release their bind on the hooker and move outwards and away. • As the hooker is in the centre of the scrum, this will leave the two hookers on the ground. • This leaves everyone released and free. • If everybody moves free of another player, then there will be no further injury to any player in trouble. • The player left on the ground is then left in that stable and still position, until medical assistance arrives. • Certainly do not try and move the player. Leave them exactly where they are.
  • 126. Coach Education Series © - Scrum PROBLEM SOLVING FOR SCRUMMAGING POSITION PROBLEM COMMENTS SUGGESTIONS HOOKER 1. Striking with Left (closet) foot The perceived reasoning behind striking with the closest Left foot back in line with loose head prop. Have Hooker foot is that it supposedly gives the striker a closer and slightly twist left foot so toes are facing the ball. This will therefore quicker shot at the ball. allow hooker to easily strike with the right foot. Whilst this could be used occasionally on an opposition feed it is more productive to strike with a sweeping motion to gain more control of the ball. As they progress to higher levels the movement of the ball into the different channels is all-important and demands a good deal of skill. PROPS 2. Binding to tight with hooker Both Props should not turn or twist the Hooker into a tight Ensure all shoulders are out (exposed). Have all props (Tight + Loose) bind. This not only limits the hookers’ ability to strike but square on and slightly loosen grips. Grips will naturally has the added effect of illegally 'burying' or 'hiding' the tighten once wrists are rolled on engagement. Props shoulder. LOCKS 3. Locks unable to place head If the Hooker is to tight with the prop, then the locks might Have the Hooker twist his pelvis without moving the feet between prop and hooker have some difficulty in positioning their heads between and then back once the Locks have joined, OR have prop and hooker. locks position head between prop and hooker at knee height and then move head up to hip height. 4. Props not receiving sufficient Check that the grips are tight and the arm is taking up the Have locks assemble by inserting a thumb into the top / support from locks. full spread of the Props backside. The smaller the gap front of the props shorts and assume their position. This between the Locks arm and Prop the better the support will allow the thumb to slide if it is to far around. Once in Check that the Lock is not binding on the Props thigh area. position the lock should grip the shorts and twist wrist up. BACK ROW 5. Number 8 not binding onto Emphasise the need for the 8 to not only bind the Locks Remember, he is practically the only one who can locks together but to also provide more support by pulling them visualise the body height of any of the participants. He back onto his shoulders. The No 8 should adjust the Locks therefore holds the responsibility of correcting any if need be, to create an even flatness. deficiencies prior to engagement.
  • 127. Coach Education Series © - Scrum Scrum Related Injuries (risk factors) Probably the most important single factor in preventing scrummage injuries is to ensure that players involved in the front row have the appropriate body-type for the position. Front row players must have short squat necks and strong solid bodies. Although mini rugby (uncontested) allows for a variety of players to be in the front row, by the time players are playing midi rugby they should have the specialized body type. Other factors in preventing injuries include: 1. Front row trained (technically prepared) 2. Experienced (live scrum experience including 1 v 1 & 2 v 1) 3. Size and power (physically developed) 4. Mentally prepared (comfortable in scrummage position) Acute Spinal Injuries (Mechanisms of scrum injuries) In rugby generally, and in particularly within scrums, the most commonly reported injury mechanism is ‘Hyperflexion’ of the cervical spine, with or without rotation. See figure 1 Figure 1 – Hyper flexion of the cervical spine resulting in fracture dislocation
  • 128. 2004 Coach Education Series - Scrum Scrum Training Activities ‘Training Body Shape’ For players to effectively scrummage in a game, they will need to train under the same conditions. These include live scrums where there are external forces that need to be absorbed and power that needs to be applied. While scrum machines are efficient in training the early stage of body shape, it does not give a realistic measure as to how the player will perform under external pressure (opposition force). The following activities are designed to allow players involved in the scrum to practice individual & unit (loose head + hooker, tight head + Lock etc) body shapes under game conditions. There is a progression in the activities that should be followed to ensure all players are confident, comfortable and competent before progressing to harder activities. One vs One Scrummaging 1 3 Figure 2 – Activity Formation Figure 1 – 1 v 1 Working individual body shape Two vs One Scrummaging Figure 3 2 v 1 - Entire front row at work. (End shot) Figure 4 2 v 1 - Entire front row at work (Side Shot) 1 2 3 Figure 5 – 2 v 1 behind hooker / loose Figure 6 – Activity Formation Figure 7 – 2 v 1 After tight head has head prop. ‘Drawn the binds.
  • 129. 2004 Coach Education Series - Scrum Two vs Two Scrummaging 1 2 3 4 Figure 8 – 2 v 2 (Hooker & Loose Head + Tight Head & Lock) Figure 9 – Activity Formation Three vs Three Scrummaging 5 1 2 3 7 4 Figure 10 – 3 v 3 Units body shape (end view) Figure 11 – Activity Formation Figure 12 – 3 v 3 Units Body Shape (side view) It is important to note that for all the above activities the coaching points should be directly related to improving the individuals & units body shape. There are other core principals to consider including, binds (and drawing the binds), foot placement and movement, head positioning and communication. As in all live scrum training, the coach needs to verbally control the engagement to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the players involved is upheld.
  • 130. STATIC NECK STRETCHES These Spinal Exercises will strengthen you and Your Game All rugby training programs should always include the most vulnerable part - the neck. Remember that a broken arm or leg can put you out for the season, a neck injury could put you in a wheel chair for life. The following simple exercises, which will take a matter of minutes, will develop the neck muscles and help against the chance of doing irreparable damage during a game or training. 1. Static stretch, press head firmly forward. 2. Static stretch, pull head back into hands. Hold for 15 seconds and change. Hold for 15 seconds. 3. Static stretch, use both hands for added 4. Static stretch, pushing chin into firm hands. resistance. Complete both sides holding each Hold for 15 seconds. stretch for 15 seconds. The following stretches are strengthening neck exercises continued. These involve a static stretch with slow and controlled movement For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 131. 1. Apply pressure to the forehead with both hands. Continue applying pressure while simultaneously moving the head forward and back in a nodding action. Ensure the movement is slow and controlled. 2. Apply pressure to the back of the head with both hands. Continue applying pressure while simultaneously moving the head forward and back in a nodding action. Ensure the movement is slow and controlled. Complete 5 repetitions 3. Using one hand, apply pressure to the side of the head. Continue applying pressure while simultaneously moving the head toward and away from the shoulder. Complete 5 repetitions on both sides. On both sides. 4. Using both hands, apply pressure under the chin. Continue applying pressure while Simultaneously moving the head up and down in a nodding action. Complete 5 repetitions. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 132. STATIC STRETCHING PROGRAM Static stretching should be completed at the end of all physical activity (training sessions and competition) and should not be rushed. It is important to hold (not bounce) each stretch for 15 – 20 seconds with the correct technique as listed below. Thoracic spine and shoulder mobility exercise. Cross the arms and clasp hands in front of the body at shoulder height. Breathe in and as you exhale stretch the hands above your head. Breathe in again this time bending the elbows and bringing the hands down behind the neck. Release the hands so that just the fingers are clasping behind the neck. Stretch the arms up again, then repeat. This is an excellent exercise for reducing stiffness in the shoulders and thoracic spine. Latissimus dorsi stretch. Wrist, shoulder and neck stretch. Sitting with one leg straight and one leg bent, lead Place arm on a wall or door. Side tilt the head away forward at the hips and place oppisite arm as far down from the outstretched arm. Pull the fingers back over straight leg while other arm holds bent knee in close. the wrist. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 133. Tricep Tricep Stretch, & Lattisimus Dorsi. Reach with one arm over the middle of thoracic region. Perform the tricep stretch then gradually bend away Pull down on the elbow to create the stretch. Point from the bent arm. A stretch will be felt in the tricep and bent elbow towards the sky. lattisimus Dorsi of the same side. Posterior shoulder and thoracic spine stretch. Pectoral stretch. Sitting. Tuck the hands or cross the arms under one On all fours place the hands with extended wrists out in knee. Tuck the chin in. Pull up in the shoulder blades front, pull the shoulder blades together and let the as you try to straighten the knee. Not recommended if middle back drop inwards. Keep the hips directly over you have back pain the knees. Knees should not be touching. Knee hug stretch Upper hamstring stretch For the hip, backside and lower back. Hug one knee Cross one ankle in front of a bent knee. Put both hands up to the chest. Bring the forehead to the knee. through and around the bent leg. Hug this knee up onto Advance to keeping the outstretched leg off the the chest. Counter resist the ankle against the knee to ground. This will strengthen the abs as you stretch the increase the stretch. hips. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 134. Spinal rotation stretch: sitting Adductor stretch Pull bent leg across with opposite arm, feeling the Holding ankles, push down with elbows. To increase stretch down bent leg through gluteus and lower back. the stretch pull up with knees. Quadriceps stretch Hip flexor stretch for quads and lower back Keep knees together, push through with hips while Kneeling with one foot behind, top of the foot against pushing bent leg towards the ground. the wall. Flatten the back and shift the top of the thigh forward. Pull the abs up and inwards Advanced Hip abductor stretch Calf Stretch Holding a fence or solid object, bring the outside leg Leaning against a wall. Lift the arch of the foot behind inside leg towards the fence. Stretch will be felt slightly. Keep the hip and knee in a straight line on hip facing away from the fence (Abductor). and lean forward. Do not let the arch collapse to a flat foot position as this may cause over-stretch. Stretch each leg separately. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 135. Achilles Stretch Leaning against a wall. Slightly bend back leg, heel may raise off the ground. Feet, hips and knees should be facing straight. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 136. ACTIVITY NAME: Straight Running - Realignment NUMBERS: 4+ 2 Footballs 5 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 16 Agility poles Other: markers rather than poles Description Variations/Progressions • A1 sprints through the agility poles / markers and passes to A2 • Vary the distance between the gates (agility poles) • A2 catches the ball before the agility poles, runs through them • Change the skill in between the cones ie. Inside support then passes to A3 after the poles • Have a halfback pass the ball in to A1 • After A4 runs through the poles A4 runs around the first cone • Replace gates with single poles that act as defenders, players and places the ball will need to change their running angle either in or out • All the attackers continue to pick up then place the ball until the second cone • On the second cone the Attackers re-align, calling which gate they have ie. 1, 2, 3 or 4 • Person on gate 1 holds until all are set and then begins again Coaching Points Diagram • Treat the poles as gaps in a defensive line, players must be able to get through these cleanly • Hands up • Run straight the players shouldn’t have to change direction to get through the poles • Players should aim to build up to sprinting pace while catching and passing • If there are too many dropped balls slow the pace down • A1 shouldn’t loop around in support until A3 has received the ball etc. • Players need to look where they are passing and communicate where they are when receiving A1 A2 A3 A4
  • 137. ACTIVITY NAME: Tackle Contest - Effective Cleanout (incl. 2nd Phase) NUMBERS: 6+ 2 Footballs 12 Markers 1 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: 6 Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions On coaches command, A1 – A3 run back onside (enter through Have R as a live tackle contest (ball carrier & defender) and A1 the gates) and perform a successful cleanout on pads R (bobcat – A3 to effectively regain possession for A4 – A7 to use. – dig pad off ball) Vary the style of cleanout required – bobcat (dig), lead arm, At the same time A4 – A7 re-align and get ready for 2nd phase traditional etc attack. Introduce attacking phase options to be performed against 9 passes ball from last pad R to A4 who attacks D4 – D7 who defence D4 – D7. have re-aligned to defend 2nd phase. Once ball has been cleared A1- A3 support for a 3rd phase attack. While the 3 players on pads re-align to defend 3rd phase attack. Coaching Points Diagram Cleanout – enter tackle contest R through gates and parallel to D4, D5 D6, D7 sideline (as per laws). Steady, dip (squat) and cleanout using D4 D5 D6 D7 top of chest, front of shoulders and arms. Running lines of Supporters A4 – A7 in attacking activity. A1 A2 A3 Defenders – tracking (inside shoulder) push forward while keeping shape and applying the correct footwork and body shape. R R R A4 A5 9 A6 A7 A4, A5 A6, A7
  • 138. Tackle Contest - Ruck ‘The Effective Cleanout’ The game of rugby union provides many opportunities to recycle the ball through the ruck. This tactical element is used to maintain possession and gain territory, two things, which are extremely important in our game. Now with the emphasis on going forward, and forward with speed, the importance of quick and effective continuity to the success of a team is paramount. Definition: A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground. Open play has ended. The Ruck – ‘The Effective Cleanout’ The Ruck can easily be broken down into three (3) coachable components including: 1. The ‘Ball Presentation’ – Long Place, Short Place, Tunnel Ball etc. 2. The ‘Effective Cleanout’ – Clearing opposition players away from the ball to successfully recycle possession. 3. The ‘Ball Distribution’ – Varity / Usage of ruck ball. Short Place Long Place When instructing the cleanout, it is important to simulate the activities of the game as much as possible. This includes the height, position and actions of the defending players at the breakdown, i.e. defenders should be encouraged to position themselves as low to the ground as possible and over the ball in a position to attack possession. Some coaching points to consider when instructing the ‘Ruck Cleanout’ include the following: Body Height – For a player to successfully perform a cleanout, they will need to assume a low body (lower than that of the opposition players involved). Body Shape – Players in contact need to adapt a strong body shape to assist in providing stability and strength through the contact situation. Hips must be square (facing forward) and below shoulder height while the head is up and looking forward. Lead (Punch) Arm – If an opposing player is over the ball and attacking possession, players are encouraged to enter the cleanout with a lead arm ‘punch arm’. The punch arm is to be extended forward under (attack inside) the opposition player, which will lower the shoulder / body height and contact will be made under defending player. The lead arm will also separate the ball from the body of the opposition player who is attacking possession. For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 139. Hit, Stick & Chase – The cleanout should be coached with the same elements as the tackle in relation to the hit, stick and chase. Once the hit has been made, players should stick (and draw player in towards themselves) and then chase the hit by applying short, quick steps. Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 *************************************************************************** For more information on Coach Education visit www.nswrugby.com.au
  • 140. Waratah Hammer ‘Advancing the ball through maul style contact’ Traditionally the general play maul has rarely been used to go forward great distances as it has always been coached as a slow moving element with a strong technical structure. Accentuate the go forward principal of rugby through mauling and you have the essence of effective modern day ‘Waratah Hammer’. While this new style of mauling has a less technical approach in the building and the structure, the roles and responsibilities certainly are just as important. Players’ roles focus around driving forward as a primary role with ball transfer / security as a secondary concern, however still extremely important. Definition: A maul occurs when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents, and one or more of the ball carrier’s teammates bind on the ball carrier. All the players involved are on their feet and moving towards a goal-line. Open play has ended. Using the concepts already identified in ‘foot speed into contact’, it is imperative that the ball carrier attacks the weak point of the defender to effectively create the correct platform for the structure and creation of the ‘Waratah Hammer’. The formation of the maul is done at speed while advancing forward and remaining square the entire time, which differs from traditional general play maul, that are established with a hit ‘n’ turn action. Some coaching points to consider when instructing the Waratah Hammer include the following: Foot Speed into Contact – Players need to attack defenders weak point as to assist in go forward process. Into and through contact it is required that all players who are actively involved, continue to provide leg drive through small powerful and dynamic steps, which will also assist in the balance and stability of the ball carrier and supporters through contact. Body Shape in Contact – Players in contact need to adapt a strong body shape to assist in providing stability and strength through the contact situation. Hips must be square (facing forward) and below shoulder height while the ball must be away from the primary defender. See Figure 1 Hammer – The second player in Hammers (latches) onto the ball carrier and keeps the momentum and drive going forward. It is important to assume the same strong body shape and get a solid contact onto the ball carrier with chest, shoulder and arms. The hammer binds onto the ball carrier on the side away from the defender and secures the ball with the outside arm / hand. See Figure 2 Figure 1 – Ball Carrier Figure 2 – Ball Carrier + Hammer In most cases this style of mauling will breakdown after the hammer has driving the ball carrier into and through contact resulting in ruck ball going forward. If the ball carrier and hammer manage to hold their feet through contact, additional players (anchors & plugs) may join in and provide leg drive to assist in maintaining go forward. Some coaching points to consider include: Anchor –The third attacking player into the maul binds on between the ball carrier and the hammer and provides further leg drive to keep the structure moving forward. While the maul is moving, the anchor performs a ball transfer by reaching through and securing the ball. At no time does the process stop moving forward. See Figures 3 / 4
  • 141. Plugs – The next players into the maul also have a primary focus on leg drive and go forward and join by using the same body shape and contact as the hammer and anchor. It is important to ensure that the plugs bind onto the anchor and provide support behind the ball carrier and the hammer. The plugs position their heads on the inside of the structure. The plugs need to draw the binds and square everything up. See Figure 5 Figure 3 – Anchor (leg drive) Figure 4 - Anchor (ball transfer) Figure 5 - Plugs
  • 142. 2004 Coach Education Series © – Warm Up Warm-Up & Cool Down ‘Adam Leech (AIS Coach)’ The warm-up and cool down are fundamental elements required for the effective preparation of a team / individual before training or playing and for the recovery process post exercise. The major physiological benefits include: To increase blood flow to the muscle groups to be used in the activity. This increases the supply of oxygen to the muscles and enhances the removal of carbon dioxide. To increase muscle temperature. Increasing muscle temperature to 39 – 40 degrees increases flexibility, increase metabolism and increase neural fixing rate, i.e. optimal states for muscles to move quickly and efficiently. To prepare the main muscle groups and muscle specific for the coming activity, i.e. stretching and moving muscles / joints and rehearsing movement patterns to be used shortly in activity / game. To distribute hormones such as adrenalin which help prepare the body for exercise. This involves the re-directing of blood flow away from the unnecessary areas to the areas that require it such as muscles. To assist the athletes arousal level so that their mind is familiar with the relevant motor programs for the activity / game. The warm-up and cool down are both performed in the interest of injury prevention and to enhance performance. A poor warm-up will result in poor performance and an increased risk of injury. Types of warm-up General Warm-up o This is used at the beginning of any warm-up where all athletes go through the same routine of jogging, stretching, passing etc…. Drills Warm-up o This can be used for pre-competition or for pre-training and concentrates on an element of skill repartition mixed in with an appropriate stretching program. Games Warm-up o Again this can be used for pre-competition or for pre-training and concentrates on the elements of decision-making and reaction as while it physically warms the athlete up, it also puts them into a game related situation which is excellent for mental preparation prior to training or playing. Specific Warm-up o After the general warm-up the team may break into backs and forwards and perform warm-up drills that are specific to their positions. The specific warm-up normally concentrates on those body parts vulnerable to injury and those, which will be dominant in the subsequent exercise.
  • 143. 2004 Coach Education Series © – Warm Up When should we warm-up? On cold days the warm-up should not end more than ten minutes before the kick-off or activity, and on extremely cold days (freezing temperatures) the warm-up could be performed in the change room. Alternatively, in warm climates, the warm-up could be either shortened or finish up to twenty minutes before kick-off or activity. Most important, at all times athletes should avoid significant deceases in muscle temperature as the game / activity approaches. A good indicator of optimal muscle temperature is when the athlete begins to sweat. When and why cool down? The cool down should occur immediately after activity (as part of the recovery process), while the athletes are still warm. Recovery time is very important as it helps: Maintain joint mobility Enhance the removal of lactic acid Prevents then severity of blood pooling (corks, bruising etc) Transfer excess heat from muscles to the environment in relatively cool conditions, and Returns the body to a normal functioning state Cool downs are especially important when teams are expected to play several games during a short period of time. Intensity and duration of warm-up The warm-up should progress with a gradual increase in exercise intensity. Jogging and stretching should ideally progress through to sprinting and explosive exercise. This is to ensure the recruitment of all muscle fibre types (first slow twitch, then fast twitch). Most importantly the warm-up should not significantly erode the energy store in the muscle (i.e. glycogen) or produce large amounts of lactic acids, as this may produce early fatigue during the game The coach should allow enough time for general, drill and/or game and specific warm-up, which should include an appropriate stretching component. If the warm-up is too long it will decrease the time the team has for the final preparation in the change room, or if it is too short the athletes may loose their focus and concentration. The focus of the warm-up may change depending on the circumstance. If the warm-up is before a game the focus may be to arouse the athletes so that their mind is on the game they are about to play. However, if the warm-up is before training, the focus may be to re-enforce a skill. In either situation the aim of the warm-up will be to prepare the body for the ensuring activity.
  • 144. 2004 Coach Education Series © – Warm Up Stretching as part of the warm-up and cool down By first increasing the muscle temperature to 39°, flexibility will improve by up to 20%. This can be done in the general warm-up with some jogging and skill work. Stretching exercises as part of the warm-up and cool down will increase the immediate flexibility of the muscles and joints (i.e. a short term adaptation), prepare muscle fibres for the coming activity, and will contribute to improved athletic performance. For muscles to attain full power they must be ‘optimally’ stretched. Similarly, ligaments and tendons must have a certain length to allow a joint to move through its full range of motion and function efficiently. There are two (2) main styles of stretching, which can be used as part of a warm-up and cool down. These include: Static Stretching Dynamic (Active) Stretching Static stretches should be held for approximately fifteen to twenty seconds, Followed by a short rest period (as the muscle relaxes), the player can move further into the stretch. There should be no pain, bouncing or jerking movements during the session. Static stretches while somewhat effective to the warm-up process should only be used in the cool down while the muscles are warm and able to be lengthened. Stretches held for more than 30seconds focus on connective tissue, which is appropriate for increasing flexibility and range on movement, however defiantly should not be used in the warm-up. Dynamic or Active stretches are more suitable for pre-activity / game as it warms the muscle up through rehearsing movement patterns which will be used shortly in the activity / game. More information can be found later in this module. There are a number of theories on how to use stretching as part of the warm-up and cool down. As a general rule, from pre-activity, dynamic stretching can be performed in conjunction with a minimal amount (if any) static stretches. This will prepare the body for the dynamic and explosive movements to be preformed during the game or training. While for post-activity / game, static stretches is recommended to relieve muscles of soreness and cool down to normal functioning state while assisting in muscle flexibility. Benefits of stretching Athletes should stretch regularly to: Maintain a certain level of flexibility Ensure full range of movement Decrease the incidence of muscle tendinous injury Contribute to improved athletic performance Promote the development of body awareness Optimise the learning, practice and performance of many skilled movements Aid relaxation Reduce muscular tension
  • 145. 2004 Coach Education Series © – Warm Up Types of stretching Static Stretching o Involves stretching to the furthest endurable position of the muscle length with no pain, then holding the position for 10 seconds to 3 minutes. It: Is a safe method of stretching Requires little energy expenditure Involves only the individual. Passive Stretching o Involves an external force being applied to a relaxed muscle. It: Utilizes the use of a ‘buddy’ Must be used cautiously, bearing in mind not to over stretch and tear the muscle Is suitable for improving flexibility. Active Stretching o Uses the muscle itself to create the movement. It: Develops active flexibility and control of the available movement. Warms muscles / joints up through the same range of movement that will be used during the activity or game. More information can be found later in the module. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Stretching o Taking a muscle to its end of range the contracting the muscle against resistance and then moving into a newly acquired range and then repeating the action. It: Is an effective way of increasing flexibility Is the hardest to perform Requires a partner for some stretches, and May cause injury if it is done incorrectly. Ballistic Stretching o Involves explosive movements to stretch, i.e. kicking, bouncing etc. It: Is not as safe as static stretching Involves the rehearsal of motor patterns Is not useful for developing or improving flexibility, but may important in some sports, which require explosive movements at the end of a comprehensive warm- up prior to activity or game. (Professional advise should be sought before using ballistic exercises)
  • 146. 2004 Coach Education Series © – Warm Up Example of a warm-up structure WARM-UP (PRE-GAME) 0 min – 2 min Light activity GENERAL WARM-UP Jog up / down the field 2 min – 4 min Increase intensity of run GENERAL WARM-UP Structured running shuttles (include ball) 4 min – 9 min Dynamic Flex (stretches) GENERAL WARM-UP 9 min – 10 min Drinks break 10 min – 12 min Footwork Ladders (fast feet) GENERAL WARM-UP 3 sec static stretch holds 12 min – 16 min Skills and Drills DRILLS WARM-UP Drill activities for skill repartition 16 min – 17 min Drinks break 17 min – 30min Game specific Lineout / scrum / backs SPECIFIC WARM-UP Core skills (ruck / maul) Rugby drills for warm-up The use of drills through a grid structure is a very effective way of introducing sport specific skills into a warm-up. The luxury of using a grid allows teams to successfully practice the required skills in a confined work area. The following is a list of ways in which a grid system can be used to practice skills during a warm-up situation. Perimeter Confinement Cross over Channels It is important to remember not to introduce NEW drills into a pre-game warm-up if they have not been done before, also be careful not to introduce activities that are too intense where the body has not prepared for that level of activity. Complex activities performed at speed prior to full completing the stretching program can be more harm than good. Rugby games (challenge games) for warm-up The use of challenge games in a team warm-up can be extremely effective in warming athletes up both physically and mentally. Through the physical activity the athletes are also put in situations of decision making, which is very relevant to game conditions. More information on ‘Challenge games for Rugby’ can be found later in the module. Some example include: Rugby Baseball Two Ball Touch Rugby Gridiron Ruck Touch, etc Shadow Rugby Hammer Touch
  • 147. ACTIVITY NAME: Warr’s Drill NUMBERS: 8+ 2 Footballs 4 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • P1 starts with the ball, runs forward and passes to A1 who • Change direction of the grid to ensure players are passing from passes to A2 both sides • P2 receives the ball and passes to P4 running in the • Increase / decrease the size of work area (grid). opposite direction • Increase the number of players and balls involved. • A1 and A2 must touch the ground between the cones, turn • Increase speed – set targets for number of passes in a around and receive the next pass designated time period • A1 and A2 are under constant pressure to catch and pass, turn and get back into a position to receive the next pass Coaching Points Diagram P5 P6 • Pass ball out in front of the player. P3 P4 • Player receiving pass should have hands up ready and facing passer. • No spiral passes. • Verbal communication important. • Stay running straight, particularly A1 and A2 as they fatigue • Keep the work rate high P1 A1 A2 P2
  • 148. ACTIVITY NAME: Ball Handling (Continuous 3 v 2) NUMBERS: 9+ 1 Footballs 6 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • 3 v 2 continuous attack and defence - Make the grid wider so the players must pass further • The first group of attackers (A1, A2, A3) run forwards commiting the - Defenders change starting positions Defenders (D1, D2) and pass laterally to beat the defenders - Attackers can run or pass laterally • The third attacker (A3) then passes to the second group of attackers (A4, A5, A6) who then attack in the opposite direction • The next defenders (D3, D4) are the players opposite the ball carrier (A4) and first receiver (A5) • Repeat the process for the desired time period Coaching Points Diagram • Foot speed off the line A6 A5 A4 • Hands up ready to catch the ball • Split stance to begin D1 D2 • Running lines to commit the defender (inside shoulder) • Continuous attack and defence • Ball handling under game related pressure 10m • Defensive roles of tracking A1 A2 A3 D4 D3
  • 149. ACTIVITY NAME: Catch and Pass (2 v 1+1) NUMBERS: 4+ 1 Footballs 4 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • A1 and A2 aim to beat D1 and D2 - Increase the size of the grid • Activity starts when D1 passes the ball to A1 who advances into - Limit the style of pass allowed (eg no spiral passes) the grid in the hope to beat D2 who is now a defender. • A1 runs forward and commits D1 then Passes to A2 • D2 must run around the cone and attempt to stop A2 & A1. • A2 then makes an inside pass to A1if required Coaching Points Diagram • Foot speed off the line to take the space D1 • Attackers to commit defenders by attacking shoulders and providing space for the support players. • Catch and passing skills under game related pressure • Vision and decision-making under pressure D2 A1 A2
  • 150. ACTIVITY NAME: Footwork (speed) NUMBERS: 2+ Footballs 8 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions Set up a series of 10m grids that are 5m in width. To players A1 & A2 start at the end of the channel on the Have A1 carry a ball corner markers. Change the distance i.e. add in grids and have the players On the coaches call, A1 accelerates down the side of the grid run further while A2 chases them. A2 must remain on there side of the grid until a point and then cross over to make a two (2) handed tag on A1. Coaching Points Diagram Starting stance – one foot in front of the other and leaning slightly forward. Quick, short steps while body leaning forward in acceleration. Use of arms and head up and looking forward. 10m 10m A1 A2
  • 151. ACTIVITY NAME: Footwork (coaches call) NUMBERS: 2+ Footballs 9 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions In two (2) 10m x 10m adjacent grids the player commences in the centre at one end of the grid • Introduce ball activities at the end of the grids (i.e. place, roll, When instructed, players run down the centre of the first grid. pass etc) As players approach the end of the first grid, coaches need to • Increase the number of grids as so more players are working at call out LEFT or RIGHT. once On this call, players are to react quickly and change direction to run to the corner marker at the end of the grid that is on their LEFT or RIGHT (depending on coaches call) Coaching Points Diagram Initiate Running speed with short, quick steps Lean forward when running A1 Maintain foot work (speed) when changing direction by shortening stride length Carry ball in 2 hands A2
  • 152. ACTIVITY NAME: Lateral Pass (short / long) NUMBERS: 4+ Footballs 8 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions 4 Players (X) start at the end of a 10m (wide) x 20m (long) grid and on coaches instruction begin running forward Only allow the spiral pass to be performed on the way back performing a controlled (short) lateral pass. with the wide controlled passing. Once the 4 players reach the end of the grid, they are to Add switch and cut pass to the short passing channel. quickly move to the 4 wide markers and turn to face were Add in a defender for the short passing grid. they have come from. As soon as the ball carrier gets to the marker they begin moving forward performing a controlled (long) lateral pass. Coaching Points Diagram Run straight and pass across the body. Control the lateral pass by performing correctly without moving of the straight line running. Soft hands and reach for the ball Look at your target and transfer across your body. Pass ball out in front of target and not behind X X X X
  • 153. ACTIVITY NAME: Attack/defence (2 V 2) NUMBERS: 4+ 2 Footballs 6 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions D1 starts with the ball and sprints forward. • Increase or decrease the size of the activity D1 then passes to D2 who places the ball next to the middle • Add more attackers or attackers and defenders marker • Increase the level of contact D1 and D2 sprint to the next markers then turn around and defend (two handed tag) A1 and A2 can start as soon as D2 places the ball A1 and A2 sprint forward, pick up the ball and begin attacking, attempting to score a try Coaching Points Diagram • All players must sprint to cut down the space • Defenders must communicate their roles as so they can attempt to defend successfully. • Attackers must also communicate to effectively score the try. tryline • Attackers must maintain depth D1 D2 A1 A2
  • 154. ACTIVITY NAME: Attack v Defence (2 v 1) Grids NUMBERS: 6+ Footballs 4 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions In a 5m x 5m grid, 2 attackers (A1 & A2) commence on the side of the grid attacking 1 defender (D1). Increase to 3 v 2 once players are confident with the 2 v 1. The activity starts with the defender (D1) passing the ball to the Attacker (A1) who immediately attacks in the grid with the support player (A2). They must score (at the end of the grid passed the defender D1) without being touched or making and error. Once the try is scored everyone changes roles and the activity starts again. Coaching Points Diagram The ball carrier should attempt to run at the face or the side away from the support player in an attempt to make him A2 commit to the call carrier. The support player should run at ‘space’ but should be moving forward when receiving the pass Tryline If the defender commits to tag the ball carrier, then the ball carrier should pass The ball carrier can go them selves if the defender does not commit. A1 D1
  • 155. ACTIVITY NAME: Footspeed Attack / Defence (warm up) NUMBERS: 15 4 Footballs 9 Markers 4 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 2 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions 1. Attackers ( ) start the activity by running 2m forward but to the 1. Increase or decrease number of attackers and defenders. left, touch the ground (or marker), then run 4m to the right, touch 2. Decrease the distance between attackers & defenders as so the ground and then return back to starting marker. attackers have less time and space with the ball, which would 2. Once player returns back to marker, they must hit the ground increase the intensity and pressure. before jumping straight back to their feet, Player (A) passes ball 3. Once player (A) passes ball into activity, they become active into activity. and also become attackers trying to score passed the markers. 3. Once the ball is thrown to first player, Defenders ( ) are put This would increase the work load of the defenders marking it onside and must try to prevent attackers from scoring harder to defend against. a try over the try line, which is marker by the two markers. 4. Player (A) passes or kicks ball into activity and to anyone and 4. Once the attackers have been tagged or the try is scored, then from either side. the process begins again or the next group starts. 5. Defenders hold hit shields; attackers have 3 phases to score. Coaching Points Diagram 1. Catching and Passing – hands up and reaching for the ball, then transfer straight across the body and release. develop 25m correct passing technique 2. Footspeed – Accelerate and Deceleration to and from markers and then hit the ball at speed. Develop correct timing and 20m support lines. 3. Creating Space – Running straight or Angles to create space (A) for outside and inside support runners. 4. Communication – defenders must communicate there roles as so they can attempt to defend successfully. Attackers must also communicate to effectively score the try. 5. Work at a high rate of intensity and under pressure with 5m defenders.
  • 156. ACTIVITY NAME: Attack v Defence ; Support in depth + cover defence NUMBERS: 5 minimum 1 Footballs 5 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: 3 Contact suits 2 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions Increase pressure with 2 v 2 A1 begins with the ball, attackers must run through the gates. Introduce contact with players wearing suits/ shields On the coaches call A1,A2 & A3 attempt to score the try at the Change starting positions of defenders and or attackers. far end. Play two phases. D1 & d2 attempt to prevent them with a two handed tag D1 is a lateral defender & D2 is defending from a front on position. This activity requires all players to participate with maximum effort. Coaching Points Diagram A1 must take the ball forward at speed and be decisive A2 & A3 must react to A1’s movements D2 At least one supporter should maintain depth D1 A1 A2 A3 TR-10+
  • 157. ACTIVITY NAME: Attack v Defence Activity #1 NUMBERS: 2 - 15 TRACKING/DEFENCE DRILL 3 Footballs 6 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions Two grids A & B, the middle attacker must attack in one or the 3 v 2 situation, two attackers start on the middle marker picking other. up a third attacker from grid A or B. Middle attacker begins with the ball (A2) with the aim of scoring Two defenders begin on the middle marker, with the emphasis at the far end using either A1 or A3 for support. being on tracking inside shoulder. Simultaneously pressure is put on by a defender (D1) , who Both supporters should be changing the running angle & must react to the attackers choice of grid (Two hand tag only). attacking at space. The diagram shows A2 attacking grid A, committing D1 and Variation maybe for two supporters to start on the outside passing to A1 who scores. markers with the ball carrier beginning on the middle marker. Middle attacker must make intentions clear to defenders as to which grid they are attacking. Activity is continuous, players are to rotate as attackers and defenders regularly. Coaching Points Diagram A4 A5 A6 Middle attackers to practice moving forward first at pace to A1 A2 A3 commit defenders by fixing inside shoulders. Support runners to support in depth at pace & if possible practice a change of running angle. Defenders should move forward putting pressure on the ball carrier. Defenders should practice tracking inside shoulder of attackers & shouldn’t be stepped inside. D1 Quality of pass & communication is the key to success, pass out D2 in front of support. TR-10+
  • 158. TR-10+
  • 159. ACTIVITY NAME: Ball Presentation - Static Start (contact) NUMBERS: 3+ 1 Footballs 5 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: 2 Contact suits Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • A1 starts in contact with D1 • D2 starts 2m behind D1 • Have a second attacker start who cleans out the defenders • On the coaches call A1 drives forward, staying on feet as long • Start 1m away from contact as possible • When forward momentum begins to stop A1 must go to ground and work to present the ball with a long place Coaching Points Diagram 3m • Start with the Attackers in a strong body position already contacting the pad, ready to drive • Ball should be away from contact • Small powerful steps • Head should be in a fully extended position (chin off chest) with no rotation. Looking forward, not down 3m D2 • The back (spine) should be straight while toes, knees, hips and shoulders remain square D1 • When on ground A1 should turn abs and buttocks on and A1 attempt to change body position to make as long a place as possible
  • 160. ACTIVITY NAME: CODE: BP1 NUMBERS: 4 - 20 Ball Presentation – Including Foot Speed 4 Footballs 16 Markers 4 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 4 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions 1. Players (A) and (D) begin activity lying on their stomach 1. Player (S) joins in as a supporter of player (D). Starting on facing the poles waiting for coach to say go, player (D) is the ground also and comes forward on the ‘go’ call. holding a hit shield. 2. Defenders can also start at (C1) and / or (C2) and make a 2. On the go call, both players jump up, (A) spins and runs at tackle on player (A) after they avoid player (D). (D), Using the correct foot work, avoids full contact and hits 3. Attacking support players can start at (B1) and / or (B2) and ground just past player (D) who is running straight at the after running around one of the poles can track player (A) poles (does not change line). into a contact situation and attempt to recycle the ball. 3. Once player (A) has avoided contact with (D), they must hit 4. Players at (B) and (c) can swap roles (which will give them the ground and perform the correct ball presentation. further to run to assist) and after running around opposite 4. Player (S) can be used as a supporter of player (D) and markers can enter the tackle contest. attempt to turn player presenting the ball. Coaching Points Diagram 1. Speed - off the ground with ball security. (S) 2. ‘Foot Work in a contact situation’ - to avoid the strong tackle (BP) (T1) and push through the weaker area (T2). (C2) (D) (C1) 3. Correct ball placement - keeping in mind the correct techniques involved. 4. Strong dynamic movements on the ground to place ball in best situation for attacking player – long place or tunnel ball. 5. Abdominal on to avoid being turned while presenting the ball (B1) (A) (B2)
  • 161. ACTIVITY NAME: ONE ON ONE CONTACT/BALL PRESENTATION NUMBERS: 5-10 1 Footballs 4 Markers Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits Agility poles Other: Contact suits optional Description Variations/Progressions • An attacking player (A1-A4) begins on each side of a 2-3m grid • Set up two or more grids for numbers greater than 5/6. marked out by four markers ( ). • To create a situation of two attackers v one defender see • A defender ( D ) begins in the centre of the grid. diagram B). Once A1 initiates contact with the defender, the • A1 takes the ball into contact with D. D attempts to hold up the player to their immediate right, A4, rounds a marker and ball carrier. If in the contact both defender and ball carrier go to supports A1 in maintaining the ball. To continue the sequence ground then the defender tries best to put themselves in a A1 becomes the defender, A4 returns to their starting position, D position to play the ball (ie get to their feet) takes the original position of A1 ready to support A2 once they • A1 attempts to present the ball as best as possible (maintain the move to initiate contact with the new defender in the centre of ball) for support players arriving. the grid. • After tackle or ball presentation is completed, A1 becomes the • For greater numbers two defenders can be used in the centre of new defender and the ball is passed to A2 to become the new the grid working against two attackers as in the example of attacker. D takes the original position of A1. diagram B). • A2 takes the ball into contact with A1 as the defender. The sequence continues in a clockwise direction around the grid. Coaching Points Diagram • Players are to prepare for contact by : A) B) • Lowering body height by bending at ankles, knees and hips maintaining a straight back and head up looking forward A1 A1 • Both defender and ball carrier should have lead foot as close to each other as possible, if not past. Upon contact foot speed, balance and stability should be key coaching points. A4 D A2 A4 D A2 • Ball carrier should not lead with the ball into contact. If two hands can be kept on the ball then this will be the safest way of maintaining possession before presentation. A3 A3 • Ball carrier must control contact with defender and sometimes the ground before using delivery techniques. 2-3m 2-3m • Contact situation is not over until ball carrier has best delivered the ball or the defender has got to their feet and is in a position to play the ball. C-12+
  • 162. ACTIVITY NAME: Ball Presentation – Under force NUMBERS: 6+ 2 Footballs 4 Markers 2 Shields Tackle bags EQUIPMENT: Contact suits 2 Agility poles Other: Description Variations/Progressions • A1 carries the ball forward, steps the agility pole then goes to ground • D1 attempts to steal the ball and A2 must effectively clean out • As A1 goes to ground D1 lies on top of A1 with a hit shield before the ball is stolen • A1 attempts to change body shape and long place while D1 is lying on top • A2 attempts to clean out D1 • This can all happen pretty simultaneously Coaching Points Diagram D1 D2 • Ball carrier to keep ball in two hands, transfer ball to outside arm to palm the pole then go to ground with the ball in two hands (don’t stick arms out to break fall) • A2 must maintain feet while cleaning out D1. This may mean bobcatting (lifting) D1 off A1. • A1 must turn abs on and change body position to get the ball as far away from the defenders as possible. • Ball carrier musn’t roll onto their backs when going to ground (turning abs on and changing body position should change this A1 A3 A2 A4