Great Games For Pre-Season
One of the key pieces of feedback that players give is that they enjoy the games that the coach puts together within the session. If our aim is to increase enjoyment, motivation, retention and the trust of the players, we need to be smart in our training design.
Provide games and activities that have:
- An element of competition - winner and losers
- game context - i.e. developing grip to healp offloading
- Conditioning element
So let's start with a basic game: Touch Rugby. If you're touched with the ball you must stop and pass the ball or rugby league style it through the legs. Defence retreats as far as you want them too.
Now let's see what variants of this game we can try based on the outcomces we want.
By elimintating one defender and forcing them to run to the base line we are working on increasing fitness and attacking space in this game.
The next progression to try is ball presentation touch where the ball cariier performs a long lie every time they are touched. You can also start putting a limit on the number of touches before progressing into ruck touch.
Once we have developed the positional aspect we can look at the technical variants and progressions. In this two touch game we look at how defences manage line breaks as well as attacking support can get to the ball carrier to provide effective go forward.
Building on this we may recognise that players are effective at support but their game would develpp by learning the effectiveness of how and when to offload. Use constraints to increase pressure such as 1 second offloads!
It's easy to explain the rules of these games but we need to make sure that we are using these games in the right way:
- Observe what you see in the games and look at what skills are needed.
- Fault Correct what you see going awry, if you do not correct, they will continue to make the same mistakes.
- Praise what is right and feedback on what needs to improve.