Junior rugby - tips to improve your teams performance.
Kicking for territory.
The games going wrong, the opposing team are running riot, breaking the gain line and scoring tries. Whats the problem rugby is a simple game yet there seems to be something wrong, the team are not gelling.
The following five tips might help. I looked at the way my sons team performed and analyzed where they were going wrong and came to this conclusion. Winning is something you work towards, plan your attack, Doing everything right!
Every team as their Achilles heel though i'ts not,always clear to see.
Maybe these tips might help reduce your frustration.
Tip1 Overcome rooking problems.
One of the biggest problems with rooking in junior rugby is that when your players were first coached rooking,I bet they were showed how to position themselves when a rook was formed - this could amount to 3, 4 + players taken up at the breakdown in both attacking and defending situations. This had the following result now is Slow ball if you were in attack or not enough players in the defensive line,
Coach a mixture of fast and slow ball and get a decision making process underway. As you know the scrum half is the ideal decision maker - he can call in more players or pull players out
Rooking is a simple way of looking after the ball - See how wales clock up the phases in order to get the ball to the try line and it is said that other international teams go through as many as 100 phases at training.
Tip 2 contention at lineout.
My eldest sons team is at under16 level so are able to jump at lineouts - I consider that whichever team a lineout is awarded to should unless they are unlucky win it but easy call codes and signs should be used and all the lineout players should be looking out or listening for them.
If it is the oppositions lineout and at this junior age there are variations of height due to growth spurts consider not contesting the jump but being ready for when the jumper lands with the ball then attack as they should all be ready.
Tip 3 Decision making when being awarded a penalty.
Before I go any further I always say to the players "If 5 seconds have lapsed after the referee awarding you the penalty always kick for touch - unless you are in the opponents 22. Remember territory is what you want and that way you get it for nothing.
Because in the early years the player was encouraged to tap the ball and run to keep in the contact area with the opposition, as they get older kicking is important
If fast penalties are to be taken this must be done when the opposition is walking away - not stood waiting for you.
Tip 4 Be noisy.
The biggest disruption particularly at lineouts, and scrum time is noise, plenty of chanting, shouting orders,code etc. can all cause the opposition problems when mixed with their communication methods.
A chant and count at set when its your scrum will do wonders to demoralizing the apposing pack especially if your pack gets a good shove on.
Calling for it?
Tip 5 Throwing that dummy!
When running backs moves involving dummy runs or miss- passes all players should be vocal and all make the same signs ie; raising hands to receive passes even if the ball is going to the player behind them.
Players on the wing should be encouraged to move inside from time to time to confuse the opposition and if you have got a fly half with a heavy boot move him unless he is kicking effectively
What is listed above is should already be ingrained in your players brains but, it maybe time if you don't as a coach start going through this decision making process before every match so that when the players go out onto the pitch they have these points fresh in their minds.
Remember there is always a place in any changing room for mind talks.