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Coaching Body Height to Young Players

Body height is probably one of the key learning points of Rugby. Teaching your players to get lower into contact is one of the hardest aspects. Unfortunately all the players sees is legs,with big knees, moving towards them at high speed and naturally they think pain.

The key to coaching body height, like everything else is confidence. Always start with games that have limited space for players to move around in. This reduces the chance of a player getting to much motion and creates a level playing field.

3 key Learning points

It is always important to only use 3 learning points for young players. The key learning points for body height are;

1. Set a low, strong base. Players should bend their knees and squat into a comfortable position. They should lean slightly forward, balancing on the front half of the foot.

2. Keep the head up. It is important that the player keeps the head up so as to insure a straight back and to see what's happening in front of them.

3. Drive with the legs. In all aspects of contact body height involves the driving with the legs to maintain the strong base. Players should pump the legs with short steps, driving from low to high.

Practice through Games

Young players learn quicker when they play games. Therefore, to teach a young player how use low body height we often begin with a simple Sumo wrestling game. The players learn very quickly how important body height is through this game.

Basic Rules of Sumo Challenge are;

- Choose 2 players
- Both players should enter the ring and take the Sumo stance
- On the signal from the coach both players attempt to push the other out of the ring
- The players can only push, no grabbing or pulling
- As soon a one player puts any part of their body outside the ring they are out
- The coach can then decide to let the winner stay on and designate a challenge or choose 2 new contestants

To view a game sheet click here

Sumo Challenge

Players should attempt to:

- stay on their feet
- drive with their legs
- keep their head up

Sumo Royal Rumble teaches players to work as a team to eliminate players. This is a key learning point for the break down clean out.