Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Skills | Tags: catching, dropping the ball, passing, skills
Here is a rugby top tip that should improve your rugby players’ catching skills.
Most of us know that you need have your hands ready to catch the ball. A “W” shape for instance.
However try getting your players to point their fingers towards the ball.
1. It means there is flex in the fingers as the ball arrives. The hand lifts up as the ball arrives.
2. Keeps the ball in the fingers and off the palms, giving more control.
3. Tends to push the elbows away from the body, leaving less chance for the ball onto the chest and easy movement of the arms.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills, Rugby Training | Tags: game situations, passing in traffic, pressure rugby
Look at this picture below and you can tell that none of the normal passing options are on. There is no one around for a flat or deep lateral pass, so the player is either go to have to take contact or manufacture a pass.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Team Management | Tags: autistic basketball player, jason maclean, making a difference, Rugby Coaching, rugby coaching inspirational
Watch this video and think about the role of the coach.
As rugby coaches, we have a chance to make a real difference. But it is the player who makes it happen…
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: coaching, level 1 course, questioning styles, Welsh Women
What a rugby coaching weekend. Friday night was the first evening of a Level 1 course as a tutor, Saturday all day, coaching with the Welsh Women’s National Squad and Sunday, the second part of the Level 1.
It has been tiring, but exhilarating. And all those who I have been tutoring will tell you that I have already said the word that I didn’t want to say. More on that later.
Here are some of my reflections.
1. I delivered a presentation on “children in rugby and child protection”. It is more than a “I must listen because it’s my duty” session. Many key points came out which are worth remembering.
For me, it is the amount of contact you can have with the child, and by that I mean physical contact. Running around on the field with them can be dangerous for instance. We also debated holding tackle shields, and physical demonstrations.
2. On Saturday we worked on a number of areas of concern for the Welsh team. The mood was good, given the famous victory the previous weekend against England. However there was a good sense of focus on the coming fixture with France.
A lot of our exercises aimed to improve the intensity of training. One way was to make the players “self correct” as the drills worked through. Instead of lots of stop/start, feedback was on-the-go.
The coach hinted at and identified good and bad play and allowed the players to suggest solutions, as they moved from the end of one attempt to the start of the next. Far more activity and the players were empowered to coach themselves.
3. On Sunday, back on the Level 1 course, the coaches had their first chance to show their “how to coach” skills.
As part of my group, we had to cover warm up, 2 v 1, footwork skills and pass and catch. I did not coach one piece of skill throughout the morning. I showed the group one set up of cones to help the sidestep and that was it.
By questioning, I let them set up and coach all the skills. I was delighted with their response and in the afternoon, their more formal coaching sessions were very good.
What word was I trying not to say (and didn’t do too well at I must admit): “but”. Perhaps someone might like to tell us I was not trying to say “but”?
Filed under: Uncategorized
I am tutoring on a Level 1 course tonight. I am looking forward to it (as always) and have been charged with delivery of the module on “Working with children”.
There are so many issues involved in this area. The course quite rightly talks about enjoyment and safe environments.
However it does not have time to explore the most common problems:
1. Differing motivations of children at training – for example some lazy, some over zealous, some never listening and some always silly.
2. Coaching after school
3. What the children’s game should look like.
I shall be biting my lip over some things, because the course is all about the new coach and not me “telling” them how to do it.
There are always great questions though. I shall report back on Monday!
I think some coaches get confused. They call their rugby players athletes. Does that mean that athletes are rugby players too? Of course not.
They can share some attributes and training regimes, but we must be careful not to lump them together.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching | Tags: Brian Ashton, rugby analysis, rugby videos
About five years ago I heard Brian Ashton, former England and Ireland coach, talking about game analysis. He said that he never liked to comment on the game until he had seen the video replays.
Now that was a top coach talking. How are most club coaches meant to deal with the minutae of the game without access to tapes, analysis and, let’s face it, time.
Snapshot judgements often don’t allow us to reflect on what really happened. A missed tackle can be for a variety of reasons. Can we piece them together or do we just remember the player falling away as the ball carrier went through?
I am currently reviewing a game from the weekend and it does seem that I was watching a different match. I can describe the emotional events clearly. But there are too many nuances that have passed me by.
I was disciplined in my approach to watching during the game. I was tasked with looking at the opposition attacking options and ways around their defence. I think my analysis was about right at the time. However ask me to comment on our clearing out at rucks and I have to resort to the video and stats.
Simply, you need to concentrate on a few things only to get a clear pitch, or say that you can only get a feel if you decide to watch the whole thing.
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby News | Tags: control in rugby, half time team talks, Six Nations, the role of the rugby coach, Welsh Women
I have just watched some of the Super 14 rugby from the weekend. Some of it is breathtaking. The speed, power and pace is stunning in parts.
Does this put the Six Nations in the shadows?
The simple answer is no. Top level test rugby, where a whole nation of rugby supporters and press is watching over you tends to make it a vastly different encounter to top level regional rugby. Few can deny the passion of any team playing at their best, but with a nationalistic fevour, the stakes are raised.
The coach’s challenge is harness that desire, keep control and play to a pattern.
I experienced this in its own way on Saturday as attached coach to the Welsh Women. The girls are just as intense as the men about their rugby, just as focused. For the Welsh team, there is a particular passion since they have not ever beaten England at the 15-a-side game .
It was an exhilarating moment, standing in the changing room at half time, with only one score in it and our kicker having missed a sitter only minutes before. I will document the whole story in more detail at another time, because they are so many lessons to be learnt. However what I will say is this: Only the players can win or lose the game, but the coach can give them the belief, the plan, the way to win and the way to find the will to win.
The Welsh Women restarted 15-13 down with three minutes on the clock. The serious of drives and control led to a penalty. The kicker, Non Evans, struck the ball beautiful between the uprights to win the historic game. Many, many coaching sessions and meetings had led to that last three minutes, and I was privileged to be a small part of that process.
Jason Lewis, the head coach, and Rugby Coach writer, should take much praise for the progress of the team. Coaches still make a big difference.
It is nearly Valentine’s Day, so if you haven’t quite found your sweetheart then you might want to have a look at this site:
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby News | Tags: ELV, rugby ruck, super 14 rugby
The Super 14 competition starts this weekend. It will be a contrast to the Six Nations and other northern hemisphere rugby competitions.
The first reason must be the laws are different. The new ruck ELVs are still in force from last season with penalties downgraded to free kicks. This represents the key difference.
The second reason will be more subtle. There is a great divergence in the styles of play between different teams. It is not all frothy, basketball type rugby. Some teams grind out victories whilst others are happy to throw the ball around.
The weather is another factor. The South African home games are played on harder pitches, the New Zealand games sometimes in torrential rain.
There are lots of clips available on Youtube and other sites when the games start.
Try going to super14.com after this weekend.