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The JR Blog

The JR Blog tackles the topics effecting Rugby, with a special interest on the effects they may have on the Junior Rugby world.

The best way to learn any thing is through repetition, the more you do something the greater chance you will master it (hence the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000hrs rule). However repetition has its limitation, especially in the form of boredom!

We all know the feeling of wanting to master something, either a skill in a sport, a musical instrument or even an academic skill. Your intentions are there you want to make it work and you start off 100% an hour, day after day. Until one day you get bored, your desire starts to slip and you take a day off, that day off leads to finding an excuse why not to train the next day and so on.

What’s the answer? Use your imagination and turn the repetitive skill sessions into a challenge, take the focus off the technical completion of the skill and turn it onto the fun of completing the skill.

How can you make passing practice more fun?

Passing practice doesn’t have to be the same old run up and down the field passing to the player next to you. There are many ways that you can make it a challenge and bring out the best in a player.

Firstly lets break the skill down, the pass revolves around the following elements:
  • Identify the target
  • Turn shoulders towards the target
  • Roll the outside hand over in towards the body when passing
  • Keep elbows up when passing
  • follow through towards the target
  • Get hands ready to receive again

These are the very basic elements of the pass and they are a great starting point for developing the games or challenges you can set your players. So lets look at them and work out challenges to help them improve these aspects;

Identify the target - this is easy, lets get the target moving or give them several targets that the coach nominates
Completion of the pass - practice in a competition game, the player to complete the skill correctly the most times wins, the group that completes the skill correctly the most wins etc.
Get hands up ready to receive - have the player under stress of receiving and passing on, increase the speed of the balls to be received and count how many they completed before a mistake, use this as a challenge to beat that score next time

As you can see there are many ways to turn a repetitive skill practice into a fun, challenging session.

How to turn passing into a game

As a kid what is the most fun thing you could do with a rugby ball in the hand, other than run with it? Yep, pass it at someone else. So lets use this in a game sense to challenge the player’s learning skills. Below are a couple of games that help the player to learn;
  • Passing technique
  • Passing at moving targets
  • Patience to pass when the target is in range
  • Evasion

Space Invaders

The aim of this game is for the kids to run down the middle with out getting hit by the ball. The players on the outside have to rugby pass the ball at them to try and hit them below the shoulders. Kids love this game and it helps them to learn all of the above coaching points.

King Ball

This game is another accuracy game that involves the players passing the ball at either other player (moving targets) to get them out or at the balls placed at the back of the square. It also builds a good team work environment.

Up and Pass Drill

This is more an individual based drill in which players are challenged to get off the ground and run to the colour cone called by the coach, then pass a ball at a stationary target. This is very good for 9s.

Jason Grier | Friday, March 27, 2015 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


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