Rugby is a great game of skill and tactics, and while some are born with a natural flair, others can be coached and learn skills. All players, though, benefit from regular training and practice.
Practice Makes Perfect
Setting up simple rugby drills for the squad to run through in a training session has a number of benefits. They are easy to set up and straightforward for a coach to monitor, so improvements can be easily spotted. Equally, poor technique can also be picked up on quickly and corrected. The set-up of simple drills means there is nowhere for a player to hide.
Simulate a more real experience by combining exercises to test attack and defence ability, and players’ ability to change from one to the other.
Drills can also be a good, consistent way to improve general fitness and stamina, which is important for a squad who will need to be able to play for the full 80 minutes and sometimes beyond without fitness factoring and slowing them and their game down.
Working on high intensity fitness drills first, before you move on to skills exercises, can show you exactly how a player performs under pressure or is likely to perform in the second half, for example, of a critical match. Skills vary a great deal in some players from ‘fresh onto the park’ to ‘exhaustion’, and it is worth practising at all stages in between.
Recent research covered in The Guardian outlines how a few minutes’ warming up with drills can prevent injury.
There are some good examples available online from specialists such as Sport Plan https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/, where you can build a set of drills to work from with your squad. Make sure you understand what a particular drill is looking to improve so you don’t focus too heavily on skills at the expense of fitness or vice versa.
Try combining a series of drills to enable players in your training sessions to work through very closed activities through to more flowing, open options that progress naturally to a game.
Careful planning of the training sessions will allow you and your squad to get the very best out of the time, and introducing carefully chosen drills will make sure you’re working on the right aspects of your game.