More individual responsibility, better team performances
Incorporating individual skills and team performance, the games call on the players constantly to refine their understanding of their roles and responsibilities, in both attacking and defensive positions.
Players will soon learn how their positioning and the support of their team mates can be used to overwhelm a defence or neutralise an attack, to give the team the greatest possible chance of scoring or winning back possession.
Simple to understand, easy to use
I designed Rugby Skills Games with you, the coach, in mind. Each page follows the same format:
Introduction – An explanation of the game, and the skills and techniques it focuses on.
Set up – Showing everything you’ll need to run the game, from the suggested number of players, to the size of the area,
and the number of balls and cones.
Game notes – The simple game rules, like "allow rucks", "don't allow kicking", "swap the teams after each tackle", "give the attack five goes to score".
Scoring – Key to meeting the game's objectives and keeping it competitive. In
many cases, scoring is simply "1 point for a try", but sometimes it's more sophisticated, to reward good play. For instance, "2 points for stopping the attack getting over the gain line".
What to call out – Never be lost for words with these concise phrases to address the key factors of each game.
Coaching notes – Ways to adapt and develop the game to suit your players, or to introduce the game into a session.
Skill area – The key skill be practised, covering: tackling, handling, support play, rucking, mauling, kick & recover, attack, and defence. All the games address footwork, team work and decision making too.
Category – Indicating the type of game: small-sided game, conditioned game, or game situation.
Key – Making sure you can differentiate between runs and passes, and pitch markings and try lines in the illustrations.
Illustrations – Three pictures clearly showing you how the game is set up and developed, and highlighting the key techniques involved.
Captions – Explaining the key points of the game.
Two free sample games
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so the saying goes, and I couldn't agree more.
So I've selected two games from the manual that you can download immediately for free.
Give one a go with your players and I'm certain you'll be rushing back from training to place your order.
Sample Game 1 is a small-sided game called "Run backs".
A kick behind the defence will be a key part of many of your opponents' attacking strategies.
"Run backs" will develop quick thinking in your defence and teach the players new ways to counter attack from these kicks.
Click here to download "Run backs".
Sample Game 2 is a conditioned game called "Boxed in".
Close to the try line space is at a premium. "Boxed in" works on handling skills, communication and vision in a tight, flat, crowded area.
Attackers will have to be innovative to find and exploit space. Defenders will need to work together to protect the try line. Both sets of players will have to work hard.
Click here to download "Boxed in".
Playing the games
The suggested pitch sizes and the number of players involved in each game are guidelines only. You can easily vary these depending on how many players have turned up to training, or the skill levels of your players.
The equipment you need is minimal, usually just a ball and a few markers to indicate a try line.
At first the games may be chaotic, with lots of mistakes. However, as the players learn to take better options under pressure, you'll see a marked improvement in their decision making and in the application of their skills.
And not just in training, but in competitive matches too.