Nswru coaching


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Nswru coaching

  1. 1. 01.1 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  2. 2. 01.1 Coaching: 5 common mistakes
  3. 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. 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. 5. 01.1 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  6. 6. 01.1 Scrum: Mechanics & Roles
  7. 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. 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. 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. 10. 01. 2 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  11. 11. 01. 2 Coaching: Season Planning
  12. 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. 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. 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. 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. 16. 01.2 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  17. 17. 01.2 Scrum: Tactics, & Problem Solving
  18. 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. 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. 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. 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. 22. 01.3 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  23. 23. 01.3 Defence: Identifying right from wrong!
  24. 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. 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. 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. 27. 01. 3 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  28. 28. 01. 3 Selecting: How to be transparent & fair!
  29. 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. 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. 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. 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. 33. 01.4 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  34. 34. 01.4 Defence: Dynamics and Shape!
  35. 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. 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. 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. 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. 39. 01. 4 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  40. 40. 01. 4 Utilising: Key terms for better coaching!
  41. 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. 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. 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. 44. 01.5 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  45. 45. 01.5 Defence: Block & Impact Tackles
  46. 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. 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. 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. 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. 50. 01. 5 coaching tips & tricks from the best in the game... the waratah way...
  51. 51. 01. 5 Core Skill: Programming
  52. 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. 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. 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. 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.