My Skills Games for Rugby is suitable for coaches of players at all levels and will equip them with the ability and understanding to perform crucial elements of the game when it really counts – under pressure on match day.
No Mistakes = No Progress
It is vital when practising that your players are tested to the full. They need to push themselves and you need to help them.
A player should never be left wondering whether he has the ability to throw a two-man miss pass on match day. You will have helped him realise that potential in training.
These games constantly challenge your players and offer them opportunities to improve. They must be given choices and forced to make the correct choice under pressure.
"Quality Underpins Success"
This phrase is fundamental to profitable training sessions.
My games encourage your players (and in many cases forces them) to play to their optimum level. This way their basic ability, confidence and, consequently, their overall performance will improve.
I have also given clear pointers with each game so you can be sure your players are getting the utmost benefit from each game.
After a short time you should see your players' game understanding and skill levels increase significantly.
It's on such small margins that matches are won and lost.
So why games?
Games are fast-becoming the preferred training method in many team sports, not just rugby.
And here's why. They are:
Competitive – tries are scored and points awarded. Players strive to beat each other and win.
Relevant – players practice under match conditions so you can recreate pressure situations in a game.
Easy to set up – you only need a ball and a few players to run a constructive training session
Active – even with lots of players, games keep everyone constantly active and prevent them getting bored.
Flexible – players take responsibility and are free to experiment, make mistakes and learn through experience. Games are suitable for players of all ages and standards.
Outcome focused – games concentrate on winning more matches, not on creating a team of "robots" who merely go through the motions of a drill.
Constantly changing – 50 different games means 50 different decisions to make, problems to solve and skills to use.
Energetic – games are a "sneaky" way of introducing fitness and footwork into your training regime
Teamwork focused – games foster team spirit, enforce team values and motivate the players in training
FUN! The best reason of all! Games are fun to participate in, watch and coach... no monotony and no referee is needed!
Players have nowhere to hide!
The small teams involved in each game ensure all players are constantly involved. There is nowhere to hide for the reluctant prop forward!
By replicating match situations you can isolate a situation in a game, such as a 2v1 overlap 10 metres from the try line, and focus on players' ability to score.
Situation specific training
Specific rules for each game allow you to focus even more on a certain area of the game. You can disallow rucks or mauls to encourage speed of play, or only allow rucks and mauls if you want your players to be able to cope in atrocious weather conditions that dictate a different style of play.
You will help your players understand the need to react to circumstances in the game... how to snatch victory, close out a game and so on.
Understanding through playing
By playing games, players will understand what will and what won't work in a match. They will also naturally find the best way to beat an opponent.
For example, your backs will realise running sideways ruins an overlap and forwards will see how drawing a man and passing is sometimes a better option than trying to run through them!
And they will pick up this knowledge instinctively through the games they play. Not by you bawling at them, which is so often ignored and can create resentment.
By confronting players with all the various situations they will face in a match, they will feel far more confident on the pitch and be able to execute the right decision more frequently.