Coaching Manuals


The JR Blog

The JR Blog tackles the topics effecting Rugby, with a special interest on the effects they may have on the Junior Rugby world.

Side step warm up - Rugby for kids

As a coach it is hard to warm the players up without wasting time! Usually we only have 1-11/2 hours per week to try and train the players. In this time we have to improve their skills and gel them as a team.

Therefore, it is import ant to use our time wisely and the warm up is the perfect time to add basic skill development. It’s well documented now that static warm ups (stretching without movement) aren’t effective as dynamic warm ups (warming up through movement). So lets combine the warm up with skill development, while reducing the contact and chances of injury.

This side stepping and leg drive drill hits that mark. It is designed for larger groups, with a fast turn around participation. It can be set up any where and requires limited equipment. The poles and crash pads can be replaced for cones and simply a defender or coach tagging the player.

Set Up

Establish the number of participants, we really want to have at most 3 players lining up to run at a time. Therefore if you have 20 players you would be looking at setting 5 stations up (remember you will have a crash pad holder, so the groups are 4 players).
- Place a cone for each station about 1 meter apart to reduce the chance of collision.
- Place a pole about 2ms in from the cone
- Place a crash pad another meter back from the pole


- Tell the players to line up between a cone in groups of 4
- Tell the first player to go and pick up the crash pad and stand at the position of the crash pad.
- Give a ball to each group and explain to the players that the ball carrier will run forward with the ball in 2 hands until he/she reaches the pole, at which time they will choose the side they want to step towards and move the ball under the arm of the hand furtherest away from the pole.
- The ball carrier then must hit the pad and drive the pad back 5 steps. This hit will later be replaced by evading the pad or trying to hit on the edge of the pad so reinforce evasion rather than running into players.
- Tell the pad holder to stand their ground and later you can tell them they can move forward after the ball carrier steps the pole.

Coaching Points

- Ball in 2 hands
- Transfer the ball away from the contact zone
- Drive with the legs through contact

If you are interested in more games and drills have a look at the manuals I have written for young players.

The Beginners Rugby Manual
The Introduction to Contact Rugby
The Introduction to Breakdown and Set Piece Manual  

If you want a full season of games check out one of the manuals below.

Jason Grier | Tuesday, October 04, 2011 | Comments ((Disabled)) | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Recent Posts