Set up switch touch training game Set up a 15 by 40 metre pitch and play almost any variation of touch or tag rugby.
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Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. More rugby teams are kicking the ball into the tramlines, that is between the 15m and 5m lines.
Develop the rugby training drillGive the retriever targets to achieve, such as distance made, holding up the ball for support, or keeping the ball inside the tramlines. Known as "rippa" in New Zealand, tag rules in rugby are a useful training aid, allowing players to focus on technique rather than strength and power. Set up this drill to encourage fair tag rugby tackling and attacking and defensive movement.
Carry out this drill, which encourages players to move constantly, penalizes players who are not fully mobile and involves players in both offense and defense.
I have been involved in coaching and administration of youth soccer with the Herts FA for several years. I have many years experience with the technical side and equipment of soccer, cricket, rugby, snooker and poker. I studied the health and fitness and dietary side of competitive sport while at University.
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Start the ball with the player furthest from the touchline (see top part of picture below). This means your wingers, or the players covering that area, need to develop tactics to return the ball.
Chasing defenders can be any player.Returning tacticsThis session looks at a couple of the tactics your team might use in the tramlines.

Change the position the defenders start from and set up different places along the touchline for the play to start from. Using tag training drills also limits the number of injuries that can be sustained in training and during warm-ups. This is because they cannot attempt to break the defensive line using force as they would in full contact.
Using cones, mark out a 10-by-10-meter square and line up four equal-sized groups at each corner of the square. Line up twice as many attackers as you have defenders -- such as 10 attackers running at five defenders -- and mark out a cone corridor that should be 3 meters wide for each attacker and 22 meters long.
Discuss the best options.Put the drill into a game situationFrom the halfway line, set up a kicker and four lettered chasers (as in the bottom picture). Designate a pair of lines opposite each other as attackers and the other two lines as defenders. Inform your players that normal rugby rules apply, except that you are touch tackling rather than full contact. All the players immediately have to change from playing lengthwise (on a long, narrow pitch) to widthwise (on a short, wide pitch). When the ball reaches the end player he turns and passes the ball to one of two players:i) Either he passes the ball to the player who has just passed him the ball. Have a retriever stand to the side of the tramlines and two defenders about 20 metres away.Put a support player for the retriever behind the defenders.
Place three opposition players in the 13, wing and 15 positions.Condition the kicker to only kick into the tramlines, varying the distances behind the widest defender. One useful drill gets attackers running directly at the defensive line to practice drawing the tackler toward them.
Give the leading man in one line of attackers a ball and tell him his objective is to reach the opposite corner of the square and hand off the ball to the leading attacker in the opposite corner. Attackers must get from one line to the other without getting tagged by a defender, while defenders must tag as many attackers as they can.

One of the leading defenders from the other two corners takes turns attempting to touch tackle the attacker, preventing him crossing the square. However, instruct your attackers that only players who are moving are allowed to receive the ball. Instruct attackers to run from the try line to the 22 and wait until you blow the whistle, which you will do once all attackers are eliminated from the game after receiving a tag or have made it to the other side. This player was the last but one to touch the ball, and has run at an angle to receive a short flat pass from the end player (No 2 in the bottom part of the picture below). The retreiving group attack back through the tramlines.For a complete training plan for dealing with tramline kicks why not subscribe to Smart Sessions Advanced Skills, ready-made training plans for experienced players. If a player receives the ball and is not moving, penalize him with a lap of the whole pitch. If the ball goes to the player behind the end man, it is passed back inside to the first passer (No 1 in the bottom part of the picture below). Give the attacking player on one end of the line the ball and tell him to run directly at the defensive line, only passing to a teammate when he is within 2 yards of the tackler. If an attacker is touch tackled, he must roll the ball backward through his legs in rugby league style and the defense must retreat three meters. The skill is getting the attacker to practice drawing the tackle while defensive players must practice not overcommitting, which can lead to missed tackles. The ball is turned over -- making the attacking team the defenders and vice versa -- whenever attackers knock the ball, play a forward pass or play the ball into touch.

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