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Old 02-24-2010, 04:42 AM   #31
Harry Munro
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Hi Steve, I've had three seperate unbeaten seasons when I was in my mid teens.. club and school rugby. Two things these unbeaten seasons had in common, was number 1 defence and number 2 fitness. When defence is second nature to everyone then everything else seems so much easier, although I'm sure you know this!
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:49 PM   #32
Steve Shafley
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Thanks for all the tips.

Cormac, I like that drill (sprint/burpee thing) and will implement it.

I've had them doing extensive ball handling the past 5 practices and this last practice we began the classic 2 on 1 drills. I work alot of 2 on 1s and 3 on 2s especially after we get outside.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:17 PM   #33
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Has anyone mentioned Fran?
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:20 PM   #34
Darren Reed
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Default Some ideas

Steve, a bit late to this, but some broad ideas. Been playing rugby since I was 9-ish, state/provincial under 18, under 21, some open age grade rep level stuff.

On gum shields - get them custom made at a dentist. The store bought ones are crapola in my experience. Pay the price and get one custom molded. Worth every penny.

For beginners, basic ball and contact skills are the most important things in my mind (after their conditioning is taken care of obviously). The 2 on 1's and 3 on 2 drills are awesome for this. Emphasise ball carrier "fixing" defenders and using space to beat opponents. EVERY player needs to learn to control the pointt of contact. For attackers that means carrying the ball into contact correctly and placing it correctly (body position into contact), and EVERY player needs to be proficient at cleaning defenders away from the contact point and securing possesion. Emphasise rucking drills for EVERYONE. If you have a bunch of aggresive forwards plus a 10, 12 and 13 who can effectively support and secure possesion on attack and get some steals on defense, its a huge bonus. Aggression and effectiveness at the breakdown will pay HUGE dividends.

DRILL SET PIECES OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Scrums, lineouts and kickoffs should comprise 50% + of the forwards time in my mind. For the backs, 3-5 BASIC moves max. Simple stuff. No need for quadraple loop double skip type junk. Basics done well will win games.

Use touch rugby a lot. Unlimited touches until a mistake (knock on etc) is made. Play it "league" style where the ball carrier must place and roll the ball between their legs when touched. You can then modify this to teach different skills. EG touch rugby but when ball player is touched 2 attackers and defenders must step over ball/drop to a knee at contact point before ball can be played (simulates attackers being removed from attack when commiting to ruck in game situation), or when touched ball carrier must stop and turn and ball must be ripped in order for play to continue etc etc etc. Tonnes of combinations here.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:29 AM   #35
Steve Shafley
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This season left me disgruntled and questioning whether or not to do it next year. It started off strong, with 22-23 girls coming to indoor practices, and it seemed like we lost girls every practice.

First game of the season we were down to 15, and one broke her wrist (though she came back for the last two games of the season). Another one got her calf stomped so hard that apparently a blood clot formed and she couldn't play anymore (what she said, anyway).

Some skill development occurred, and there were 3 girls who came out who liked the sport and who will be promising candidates for next season, but we ended up traveling or even playing at home with ~10-12 girls, which means we filled our roster in with girls from other teams, and thereby forfeited every game by default.

This team lacked any kind of spirit. The stand outs were my scrum half, who went from meh to pretty good, a first year prop who scored 3x by always supporting the ball carrier, and my outside center, who scored quite a bit herself, and is going on to select sides, I think.

I hate to let down the group of hardcore enthusiasts, but you can't make a team out of 8 girls, none of whom have really stepped up to lead the team.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:33 AM   #36
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Shaf, thats tough. I take for granted how lucky I was to grow up in a strong rugby culture. Kids today.....

If you decide to pursue it again, feel free to drop me a line anytime. Always happy to help.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:05 AM   #37
Steve Shafley
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There were several factors that made this season tough all over Michigan, most notably the economy.

One of the other coaches in the state just shrugged when we were talking about it and said "Bro! They are teenaged girls!"

While funny, that's not the attitude I prefer to take. I expect a baseline of commitment if I'm going to spend my free time coaching.

Thanks, Darren. Been a bit of a vent, but, hell, the show must go on.
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