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 Post subject: Rugby Skill Progression
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:51 pm 
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Hello, All

I post in the hopes that someone on the board can help. I am trying to set up a sort of progression checklist for the coaches at my place of work so that they can measure how much the players they are coaching have progressed. Before I reinvent the wheel, is someone aware of something like this that already exists? I work with boys from the ages of 8-13.

My early thoughts are to encourage teaching core values as well as skills, so bits of research have come up with something like this:

• Integrity- Integrity is central to the fabric of the Game and is generated through honesty and fair play
• Passion- Rugby people have a passionate enthusiasm for the Game. Rugby generates excitement, emotional attachment and a sense of belonging to the global Rugby family
• Solidarity – Rugby provides a unifying spirit that leads to lifelong friendships, camaraderie, teamwork and loyalty which transcends cultural, geographic, political and religious differences
• Discipline - Discipline is an integral part of the Game, both on and off the field, and is reflected through adherence to the Laws, the Regulations and Rugby’s core values
• Respect– Respect for team mates, opponents, match officials and those involved in the Game is paramount

Some other important qualities include:

• Perseverence
• Ability to work in a team
• courage
• calmness under pressure
• vision
• endurance

Important skills and qualities for rugby

• Pick up ball
• Handle ball
• Receive a pass
• Move the ball
• Move with ball and Move without ball
• tackle opposition players
• kick the ball
• evade tackles


In the latter part of this players should also learn safe, effective scrummaging and rucking. They would also begin to look at attacking space, decision making in different scenarios, creating space etc. Many of the skills above would have a variety of skills within them, such as offloading in the tackle, ball placement etc.

Can anyone help, please?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:34 pm 
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Bump. Anyone?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:47 pm 
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I've recently done my Level 2 and much of what you're talking about was discussed during the course. I'll dig some stuff out and put something down, but in the meantime, this site has some useful stuff:

http://www.rugbycoachweekly.com

Take it you've got coaching quals and are just looking for some external input? I'll sort some thoughts out tomorrow on what I know/use.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:27 pm 
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Some national bodies have pdfs of what you're looking for 'skills' wise. Try searching using filetype:pdf and combos of words related to assessment, core skills, etc. However, these aren't 'skills' they're techniques... 'Skill' is techniques under pressure in an open environment, and someone who looks great in drills can be rubbish in a game.

For that age group, why not just focus on fun, active (i.e. No standing in lines) challenges? If you are concerned about things being taught then make the coaches have clear plans and have them self reflect (video might not be allowed but a great tool to see what's actually being done - time doing vs standing is a great basic measure for this age group as well). I wouldn't subject kids to any assessment tests nor bore them with technical drills.

Happy to expand on types of activities if you don't think I'm mad. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:54 pm 
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Nieghorn wrote:
Some national bodies have pdfs of what you're looking for 'skills' wise. Try searching using filetype:pdf and combos of words related to assessment, core skills, etc. However, these aren't 'skills' they're techniques... 'Skill' is techniques under pressure in an open environment, and someone who looks great in drills can be rubbish in a game.

For that age group, why not just focus on fun, active (i.e. No standing in lines) challenges? If you are concerned about things being taught then make the coaches have clear plans and have them self reflect (video might not be allowed but a great tool to see what's actually being done - time doing vs standing is a great basic measure for this age group as well). I wouldn't subject kids to any assessment tests nor bore them with technical drills.

Happy to expand on types of activities if you don't think I'm mad. :D


:thumbup: Nieg (you're a Canuck right? Happy 150th!)

Aside from the safety stuff, i.e. tackle technique, 8-13 yo's really just need to learn through playing games. End Ball, 5-pass game, overload touch, etc. And to stop the team with the 'Big Guy' (every team has at least one, you know what I mean), no more than 3 paces with ball, then either pass or stop and wait/look for support. More than 3 paces = turnover. Helps teach spatial awareness, support lines and game knowledge ...plus the most important, team work.

Some good stuff here too: https://www.youthsporttrust.org/rugby-union


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:31 pm 
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Being a descendant of immigrants who arrived before Confederation and having some First Nations family and friends, it's not my 150th. :D

Regarding games, there's another shift coming in this. An interview with an RFU development person said games alone aren't much better than drills. I'm on a tablet so can't add examples are easily but look into constraints-led training and you'll get an idea.

This article had me thinking I could do a lot more to enrich my sessions and I'm now designing more advanced activities based on it, thinking what are the best bits from video games that you don't typically see in a rugby training session? It hit me: Rugby training tends to be an hour of the first person shooter's tutorial and maybe fifteen minutes of level one of the actual video game.

https://www.sportscoachuk.org/sites/def ... rticle.pdf


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:14 am 
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Tighthead wrote:
Hello, All

I post in the hopes that someone on the board can help. I am trying to set up a sort of progression checklist for the coaches at my place of work so that they can measure how much the players they are coaching have progressed. Before I reinvent the wheel, is someone aware of something like this that already exists? I work with boys from the ages of 8-13.

My early thoughts are to encourage teaching core values as well as skills, so bits of research have come up with something like this:

• Integrity- Integrity is central to the fabric of the Game and is generated through honesty and fair play
• Passion- Rugby people have a passionate enthusiasm for the Game. Rugby generates excitement, emotional attachment and a sense of belonging to the global Rugby family
• Solidarity – Rugby provides a unifying spirit that leads to lifelong friendships, camaraderie, teamwork and loyalty which transcends cultural, geographic, political and religious differences
• Discipline - Discipline is an integral part of the Game, both on and off the field, and is reflected through adherence to the Laws, the Regulations and Rugby’s core values
• Respect– Respect for team mates, opponents, match officials and those involved in the Game is paramount

Some other important qualities include:

• Perseverence
• Ability to work in a team
• courage
• calmness under pressure
• vision
• endurance

Important skills and qualities for rugby

• Pick up ball
• Handle ball
• Receive a pass
• Move the ball
• Move with ball and Move without ball
• tackle opposition players
• kick the ball
• evade tackles


In the latter part of this players should also learn safe, effective scrummaging and rucking. They would also begin to look at attacking space, decision making in different scenarios, creating space etc. Many of the skills above would have a variety of skills within them, such as offloading in the tackle, ball placement etc.

Can anyone help, please?



I say all if not, the majority of tier one unions already have that out.

In regards to my own coaching experience from 8 to 13 skills particularly handling should be a key part of the warm up. A break down of tackling every session 5 to 10 minutes. I find if they aren't doing enough tackling at training week in, week out they start slipping off them in matches. It's habit and confidence. Have heard under 10s coaches having to spend most of the season teaching their players how to tackle. If they aren't tackling by under 11s they are going to struggle at under 13s on a full field. That leads to spending your sessions on tackling when you should be working on the players how to use the full field (including their first year out of modified kicking).

Kids at that age need to play normal Rugby games in sessions for their age and lots of them. Professional Kiwi coaches have preached to a group of us in sessions. Kids also want to play and enjoy playing games. Let them play first except for pulling up knock ons, forward passes. It helps them with their handling, decision making and respecting the ball. Further on give them work ons like focusing on falling in the tackle, driving over to retain possession, keeping shape (bib on the 9 works so the players don't swarm at the base of the ruck).

Ask them questions and encourage them to watch games including at their own club to see how more experienced players read and play the game. It's about encouraging them to learn. If they don't learn from what I am teaching them time for someone else to step in or just lay out a bunch of cones as a glorified baby sitter to play various versions of piggy in the middle from the coaching manual.


Last edited by Brumby_in_Vic on Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:25 am 
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Quote:
Regarding games, there's another shift coming in this. An interview with an RFU development person said games alone aren't much better than drills. I'm on a tablet so can't add examples are easily but look into constraints-led training and you'll get an idea.


Disagree and I say the RFU restructure to mini Rugby has gone too far with the modifications. The IRFU has probably got the right balance and they have made changes last season to help coaches transition from under 12s to full pitch Rugby.

Drills are there to be game specific (a lot used are just running hats) and as I said previously you have to give the kids what they want, games. Too many sessions filled with drills and running laps will put them off playing. Games in training are good as the kids are tackling players in motion, working on their continuity skills (kids actually off load a lot in mini Rugby), team work for a game in motion and decision making. Stuff that you identify from games you can work on in a drill. There are coaches who just coach bang out of the manual and lay out drills they get online. They end up giving up because they can't adapt to coaching game situations.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:38 am 
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Constraints-led, situational, conditioned ...assuming all are much of the same thing, and it's key to build this in as kids develop. Gets them starting to think about tactics and also take a wider view - working with/against a depleted defence, exploiting turnovers, attacking weak points, etc.

Obviously the younger the kids the smaller the group should be: 1 coach per 6/8 kids works well and can help keep disruptive elements in order! Discipline is a key part of the game, so making 'punishments' game relevant is worthwhile - running laps, doing push-ups doesn't help, but a couple of minutes sitting out while their side are down shows impact on team and also gets the team thinking about playing under a YC.

As for tackling, 5 mins early in every session reinforces technique, switches players on for contact and can help reduce injury risk once any contact element of the session starts. Tackle practice late in the session not such a good idea with tired players being more likely to go in half arsed.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:26 pm 
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Brumby_in_Vic wrote:
Quote:
Regarding games, there's another shift coming in this. An interview with an RFU development person said games alone aren't much better than drills. I'm on a tablet so can't add examples are easily but look into constraints-led training and you'll get an idea.


Disagree and I say the RFU restructure to mini Rugby has gone too far with the modifications. The IRFU has probably got the right balance and they have made changes last season to help coaches transition from under 12s to full pitch Rugby.




I've not seen the RFU changes in action, so can't comment. Specifically, it was an interview with Stuart Armstrong (Player Pathways Manager) speaking to a professor who focuses on sport science and he was referencing a chat he had with Rod Thorpe, the professor who came up with the Teaching Games for Understanding process. From memory, the simple version is that at two extremes of an effectiveness scale you have drills - lots of touches, good to understand movement patterns, not good for long term learning or adaptation - and at the other end you have games (movement patterns applied in dynamic context, better for long term learning, relatively few touches or specific situations, very random). Somewhere in the middle is the constraints-led approach, TGfU, Game Sense, and the like where the activity is not so random, provides a higher number of 'goes' at a specific thing than a game, and has a dynamic nature that is very rugby like.

A lot of the modified games used (that I've seen anyway) at rugby training are not at all or not that rugby-like. It does no harm and, for me, is better than a drill in many ways, but if the goal is to truly learn rugby it has to have a realistic look and feel. Same relative space between defenders, same pressure, same amount of congestion in one's visual field. I believe ours is the most difficult sport in that regard, with only American football having as congested a POV, but with a LOT of pre-planned moves, specific roles, and the easily ability to throw to team mates in front. If you truly want to train people for rugby, their field of vision has to be reasonably congested - giving them a chance to succeed and learn from 'failure' - and incorporate team mates behind who provide options, both vocally and physically.

I'm convinced a heavy reliance on drills over the past couple of decades, more kids playing organized rather than figuring things out on their own in informal games, and too much coach influence (not to mention better defence) has got us to the current state where the vast number of phases is a one-out crash ball. Many pros, even, are poor anticipators, readers, communicators, not to mention the less than stellar skills that sees passes go directly to the body, to the shoulder, to the head / knees, etc. that slows down attack.


Here's a blogpost I wrote (that got a retweet from a sport science expert in Australia 8) ) looking at elements coaches should include when considering practice design and execution: https://conversationalrugby.wordpress.c ... -sessions/


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Personally I would like to see MOGS input in this thread.

:)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:21 pm 
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Market Square Hero wrote:
I've recently done my Level 2 and much of what you're talking about was discussed during the course. I'll dig some stuff out and put something down, but in the meantime, this site has some useful stuff:

http://www.rugbycoachweekly.com

Take it you've got coaching quals and are just looking for some external input? I'll sort some thoughts out tomorrow on what I know/use.


Many thanks, MSH. I'm also Level 2. Can't go higher because I coach U13, sadly.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:28 pm 
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Nieghorn wrote:
Some national bodies have pdfs of what you're looking for 'skills' wise. Try searching using filetype:pdf and combos of words related to assessment, core skills, etc. However, these aren't 'skills' they're techniques... 'Skill' is techniques under pressure in an open environment, and someone who looks great in drills can be rubbish in a game.

For that age group, why not just focus on fun, active (i.e. No standing in lines) challenges? If you are concerned about things being taught then make the coaches have clear plans and have them self reflect (video might not be allowed but a great tool to see what's actually being done - time doing vs standing is a great basic measure for this age group as well). I wouldn't subject kids to any assessment tests nor bore them with technical drills.

Happy to expand on types of activities if you don't think I'm mad. :D


I absolutely agree with the spirit of your point, Nieg - I usually agree with you. There are several reasons for what I'm doing:

(1) Keeping coaches honest. There is a pressure to prep a team from game to game and I want to ensure that individuals are looked at in terms of their personal progression. One of the things I would like to include is coaches noting whether they have seen skills/techniques not only in practices but also in matches. I don't want formal assessments: it's more a checklist so that when I player does something for, say, the third time, that thing can be ticked.

(2) Informed target setting. When a player goes to a coach and asks what he can do to improve (I use the masculine because I only coach boys), he can easily point out the next step on the progression ladder.

(3) Because I've been told to by my line manager. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:35 pm 
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Brumby_in_Vic wrote:

I say all if not, the majority of tier one unions already have that out.


BiV, thank you. That would be ideal. Please would you post a link to one?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:56 pm 
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Quote:
• Integrity- Integrity is central to the fabric of the Game and is generated through honesty and fair play


The real trick to this one is to teach them to excel at underhanded sneakery and general bastardiness, while maintaining an outward appearance of honesty and fair play. Teach them early and teach them often. Will take them much further.

General concepts they should excel at:

- always knowing which side of the field your team's touch judge is adjudicating, so you know where you can get away with the most shenanigans
- how far a finger must be bent to gain release of a ball
- the optimum time before a game to "wash down" the seats and floor of the opposition changing room, so the opposition end up playing with wet undies and socks
- how long to bind the opposition flanker to the scrum without getting pinged
- where to smear deep-heat laced vaseline so it gets in the opposition front-rowers eyes and not your own
- learning the key opposition players names so you can call for a pass when chasing their break
- the best place to put their feet at ruck time is on the opposition players fingers

The best measurable for most of these is the ratio of "penalties to opposition little piggy squeals". :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:00 pm 
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Nieghorn wrote:

I'm convinced a heavy reliance on drills over the past couple of decades, more kids playing organized rather than figuring things out on their own in informal games, and too much coach influence (not to mention better defence) has got us to the current state where the vast number of phases is a one-out crash ball. Many pros, even, are poor anticipators, readers, communicators, not to mention the less than stellar skills that sees passes go directly to the body, to the shoulder, to the head / knees, etc. that slows down attack.


Here's a blogpost I wrote (that got a retweet from a sport science expert in Australia 8) ) looking at elements coaches should include when considering practice design and execution: https://conversationalrugby.wordpress.c ... -sessions/


Spot on Nieg - that was identified here in Scotland as a big issue behind us struggling for the first decade or so of the professional era. Our Sevens team do virtually no drills now, all about game simulations ...seems to be working for them and is also much more evident in XVs.

(P.S.- apols for my faux pas on the 150th ...hadn't realised how contentious an issue it was for many in your country until I saw a feature on TV about it yesterday. I've got many Canadians relatives, but all part of the mass colonisation I guess. Best.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:03 pm 
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Tighthead wrote:
Brumby_in_Vic wrote:

I say all if not, the majority of tier one unions already have that out.


BiV, thank you. That would be ideal. Please would you post a link to one?

http://www.irishrugby.ie/playingthegame ... /index.php


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Market Square Hero wrote:
Nieghorn wrote:

I'm convinced a heavy reliance on drills over the past couple of decades, more kids playing organized rather than figuring things out on their own in informal games, and too much coach influence (not to mention better defence) has got us to the current state where the vast number of phases is a one-out crash ball. Many pros, even, are poor anticipators, readers, communicators, not to mention the less than stellar skills that sees passes go directly to the body, to the shoulder, to the head / knees, etc. that slows down attack.


Here's a blogpost I wrote (that got a retweet from a sport science expert in Australia 8) ) looking at elements coaches should include when considering practice design and execution: https://conversationalrugby.wordpress.c ... -sessions/


Spot on Nieg - that was identified here in Scotland as a big issue behind us struggling for the first decade or so of the professional era. Our Sevens team do virtually no drills now, all about game simulations ...seems to be working for them and is also much more evident in XVs.

(P.S.- apols for my faux pas on the 150th ...hadn't realised how contentious an issue it was for many in your country until I saw a feature on TV about it yesterday. I've got many Canadians relatives, but all part of the mass colonisation I guess. Best.)


Playing "pop touch" is good for creativity (and fun) while not getting the "bad habits" that normal informal touch at rugby training often brings (e.g. running sideways, hail mary passes, attacking without laying a platform etc). Basically normal touch, but when you are touched you hit the deck and have to pop the ball up to one of your team mates instead of playing it. The tackler has to do a press-up, and then he can jackal the ball from you through the gate, if you haven't yet passed it. Unlimited touches and the off-side line is about half a metre to a metre behind the "ruck". It encourages you to get a forward based "roll" on before spreading it wide.

The other option is what we call "Fijian touch", which has a similar concept. It is normal touch, but the player that makes the touch must retreat to their own goal line (which can be up to 100m away if the team with the ball is coming from their own try line) before re-joining the defensive line. Again, the best option is to get a roll-on to get a few players out of the D line and retreating, before spreading wide to allow the outside players to play what's in front of them.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Brumby_in_Vic wrote:


You beauty! Thank you very much. For those who are looking for something similar, I followed BiV's link and found a lot of what I needed here: http://www.irishrugby.ie/downloads/LTPD_Brochure_FINAL.pdf


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:14 pm 
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Demilich wrote:
Market Square Hero wrote:
Nieghorn wrote:

I'm convinced a heavy reliance on drills over the past couple of decades, more kids playing organized rather than figuring things out on their own in informal games, and too much coach influence (not to mention better defence) has got us to the current state where the vast number of phases is a one-out crash ball. Many pros, even, are poor anticipators, readers, communicators, not to mention the less than stellar skills that sees passes go directly to the body, to the shoulder, to the head / knees, etc. that slows down attack.


Here's a blogpost I wrote (that got a retweet from a sport science expert in Australia 8) ) looking at elements coaches should include when considering practice design and execution: https://conversationalrugby.wordpress.c ... -sessions/


Spot on Nieg - that was identified here in Scotland as a big issue behind us struggling for the first decade or so of the professional era. Our Sevens team do virtually no drills now, all about game simulations ...seems to be working for them and is also much more evident in XVs.

(P.S.- apols for my faux pas on the 150th ...hadn't realised how contentious an issue it was for many in your country until I saw a feature on TV about it yesterday. I've got many Canadians relatives, but all part of the mass colonisation I guess. Best.)


Playing "pop touch" is good for creativity (and fun) while not getting the "bad habits" that normal informal touch at rugby training often brings (e.g. running sideways, hail mary passes, attacking without laying a platform etc). Basically normal touch, but when you are touched you hit the deck and have to pop the ball up to one of your team mates instead of playing it. The tackler has to do a press-up, and then he can jackal the ball from you through the gate, if you haven't yet passed it. Unlimited touches and the off-side line is about half a metre to a metre behind the "ruck". It encourages you to get a forward based "roll" on before spreading it wide.

The other option is what we call "Fijian touch", which has a similar concept. It is normal touch, but the player that makes the touch must retreat to their own goal line (which can be up to 100m away if the team with the ball is coming from their own try line) before re-joining the defensive line. Again, the best option is to get a roll-on to get a few players out of the D line and retreating, before spreading wide to allow the outside players to play what's in front of them.


In this regard, there are some excellent conditioned games here: http://www.englandrugby.com/mm/Document/MyRugby/Education/01/30/51/15/RFUA6TeachingAndCoaching_English.pdf


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:15 pm 
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Demilich wrote:
Quote:
• Integrity- Integrity is central to the fabric of the Game and is generated through honesty and fair play


The real trick to this one is to teach them to excel at underhanded sneakery and general bastardiness, while maintaining an outward appearance of honesty and fair play. Teach them early and teach them often. Will take them much further.

General concepts they should excel at:

- always knowing which side of the field your team's touch judge is adjudicating, so you know where you can get away with the most shenanigans
- how far a finger must be bent to gain release of a ball
- the optimum time before a game to "wash down" the seats and floor of the opposition changing room, so the opposition end up playing with wet undies and socks
- how long to bind the opposition flanker to the scrum without getting pinged
- where to smear deep-heat laced vaseline so it gets in the opposition front-rowers eyes and not your own
- learning the key opposition players names so you can call for a pass when chasing their break
- the best place to put their feet at ruck time is on the opposition players fingers

The best measurable for most of these is the ratio of "penalties to opposition little piggy squeals". :thumbup:


Did you learn to play in France? South Africa doesn't worry about these subtleties. We just stock up on gold watches, dodgy waitresses and protest armbands.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:18 pm 
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Tighthead wrote:
Demilich wrote:
Quote:
• Integrity- Integrity is central to the fabric of the Game and is generated through honesty and fair play


The real trick to this one is to teach them to excel at underhanded sneakery and general bastardiness, while maintaining an outward appearance of honesty and fair play. Teach them early and teach them often. Will take them much further.

General concepts they should excel at:

- always knowing which side of the field your team's touch judge is adjudicating, so you know where you can get away with the most shenanigans
- how far a finger must be bent to gain release of a ball
- the optimum time before a game to "wash down" the seats and floor of the opposition changing room, so the opposition end up playing with wet undies and socks
- how long to bind the opposition flanker to the scrum without getting pinged
- where to smear deep-heat laced vaseline so it gets in the opposition front-rowers eyes and not your own
- learning the key opposition players names so you can call for a pass when chasing their break
- the best place to put their feet at ruck time is on the opposition players fingers

The best measurable for most of these is the ratio of "penalties to opposition little piggy squeals". :thumbup:


Did you learn to play in France? South Africa doesn't worry about these subtleties. We just stock up on gold watches, dodgy waitresses and protest armbands.


New Zealand. We started learning them at about age 5. :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:27 pm 
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Playing "pop touch" is good for creativity (and fun) while not getting the "bad habits" that normal informal touch at rugby training often brings (e.g. running sideways, hail mary passes, attacking without laying a platform etc). Basically normal touch, but when you are touched you hit the deck and have to pop the ball up to one of your team mates instead of playing it. The tackler has to do a press-up, and then he can jackal the ball from you through the gate, if you haven't yet passed it. Unlimited touches and the off-side line is about half a metre to a metre behind the "ruck". It encourages you to get a forward based "roll" on before spreading it wide.


Wayne Smith has a good session on passing here where he uses that game. Pretty sure that Itoje is one of the participants

Tighthead wrote:
Brumby_in_Vic wrote:


You beauty! Thank you very much. For those who are looking for something similar, I followed BiV's link and found a lot of what I needed here: http://www.irishrugby.ie/downloads/LTPD_Brochure_FINAL.pdf



The IRB has their own version http://www.irbrugbyready.com/index.php?section=56


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:19 pm 
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I'm not sure if we still have a 'coaching' thread, so thought this the best home for a shameless plug. I'm not making anything off this, so please don't ban me ... I just wanted to share info with the masses. Feel free to offer suggestions as it's the first site I've made and have very very little coding knowledge, so stuck with the Word Press visual creator, but am happy with it, so be kind! :)

https://rugbyguide.ca/


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