Support is one of the "Principles of play" and finding the right depth can be tricky. Harlequins Academy Manager Howard Graham delivers an excellent exercise to practise improving support play
You working in this channel? You're facing this way. You two are facing that way. They'll go down and come back this way. Hello leg tackles only, please. Yeah one lazy Runner so you can't tackle anyone or you can do is intercept the offload can't just run over the top of people go to use footwork. What's the key thing that was missing there for most of it? Yeah, both of those things depth and communication. Okay, how will the depth helpers? Okay and one more time. All right. Okay, what will the sort of lazy Defender do which we will we pick up generally, right? Okay, mine up, you know it is you get two attackers there one Defender. You can only defend one one person here. So let's let's not try and rush things if you'd not only have got us to defend rear tell him tell him not me not me. Not me. Yeah, ready play. Well held Matt. Well held stay in field. Ready by round the red cones James. Everyone will get frustrated. You know, there's no doubt about that. But you've got to put the emphasis back on the players to sort it out. You know, you you shouting at them more won't really help you can you know, you can highlight during the session to make sure that they're thinking about it. But actually you venting is for you. Not not for the not for the players. So yeah, just got to keep a lid on it in the shade thoughts around that sometimes I would just throw it. Yeah. So how do we know the guys right there communicate? Yes, we do. Yeah, we just got this. There's no communication going on certainly not enough. Yeah, one or two people say something every now and again, but we've got it up the communication talk to him. You know, he's busy trying to fend off a Defender. You've got to tell him. Well or whether or not you're not on at all. Yeah, just say they're not me not me. That's fine. At least he knows then so how then do we get the other player into contention to getting the ball later? Okay. You've answered it swag.
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Use as either part of your warm up or as a breakout, this exercise is a high intensity passing challenge. Encourage your players to take ownership of this grid and manage the intensity themselves. Should create lots of fun
Making good decisions around the contact area is a tricky area to coach, Howard Graham from Harlequins explains some of the key factors in what to coach players when focusing on continuity, beating players and offloading to keep the ball in play