If you’re a rugby coach you’ll know that developing the keys skills in the sport is essential. These include running, passing, tackling, and decision making. Once your team masters these, they’ll be unstoppable. It’s vital to ensure your players know which move to use when and the core responsibilities of their role in the game. Teach them how to think on their feet and use the right tactics to win. Here are five rugby coaching tips for developing key skills.


Get your team running

Running is an essential part of the game so get your team practising different running moves on various types of sports flooring. Your players need to learn to run sideways and backwards effortlessly in order to get into the right position quickly. Keep them on their toes by including a multi-directional warm-up at the beginning of each session. This will get them used to changing direction at a moment’s notice.


Teach which pass to use when

If your players can master passing they might just make it to the next Six Nations. Choosing the right pass is one of the most important skills in rugby. Your players need to know how to deliver spin passes, clearing passes, pop passes, and orthodox passes, and in which situation. Organise your game strategy to ensure they develop the ability to choose the appropriate pass in the moment.


Develop one-on-one tackling

Confidence in one-on-one tackling is also vital to rugby. Tackling should be aggressive but not too brutal. Here are some examples of the hardest clean and legal tackles. You can use drills to teach different tackles for different scenarios. This should boost your players’ confidence and hone their skills. Pair off the team and have them practising in a one-on-one situation.


Improve decision making in real-time

Decision making is crucial in rugby as opportunities can be missed in seconds otherwise. Try out some rugby decision making drills. Your players need to learn to make snap decisions in real-time. This includes which pass to make or which tackle, or where they need to be in the moment. You want to get to the stage where this is second nature to them. Some players may find making decisions under pressure easier than others and it’s important to get everyone up to speed.


Ensure players support one another

Players in support positions must understand their roles. Communicating with the ball carrier is essential and they need to be ready in position. Ideally, they should come from behind the ball carrier and let them know when to pass as they move forward. Your players need to work together to successfully complete a pass so ensure they work on supporting roles and take it in turns. Be sure to encourage them with positive feedback. Aim to foster a team culture based on supporting each other. This idea of team culture will enable them to collaborate effectively in order to win. Teamwork is a very important skill in rugby and you need to maximise this.

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