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Old 07-08-2008, 01:51 AM   #1
Paul Frost
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Rugby - specific exercises

I am doing my rugby coaching course at the moment - level 1.

Do any of you know or can recommend exercises that I could incorporate into the training sessions for my group of players 8 years old.

Ideally we are looking for exercises that are fun or game relevant?

Any help or guidance would be appreciated.

Cheers

Paul
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:55 AM   #2
Simon Nainby
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Re: Rugby - specific exercises

Hi Paul, I coach rugby and think incorporating crossift is really good for making fitness more interesting for all ages as well as more specific.

That is a great age to get them doing all the bodyweight exercises with correct technique, air squats, press ups, burpees, lunges (with a dummy pass either side) etc. I look after the fitness and conditioning for a county U17 and U18 with many boys capable of playing divisional and a few who may make international level but amazingly there is hardly one of them that can do any of those exercises properly.

When you are doing your coaching courses they like everything to be as game related as possible so lots of small sided games where you can reinforce your rugby coaching points, work on the player's understanding of the game and you can add in rules to make them work harder.

A good game is continuous scoring where you have 2 defenders at the top of a grid and 2 at the bottom with 4 attackers in the middle who attack the first 2 defenders at the top and once they score then turn to attack the bottom 2and so on. You can have them play 4 v 4 and every time a tackle is made the tackler has to sprint back to touch his own try line then back to defend - creates space, works decision making and also works fitness. There are loads of websites with ideas for these.

Rugby Obstacle relay races are great for younger kids - hop over a tackle pad, through a slalom, pass a ball, tackle a pad and sprint back type of thing and here you can throw in your burpees, press ups etc.

I like wrestling for the older kids - dunno how you feel about it for 8 yr olds some of the ones I use are 1v1 scrummage; kneeling facing each other with arms around each other's waists and try to put opponent on the floor; one on all fours with ball on floor underneath the other moving around foot to foot, on call of "Hit!" the one on all fours picks up the ball and the other player tries to flip him on to his back and contest for the ball; one laying on floor who has to try to get to a standing position other player tries to stop him etc.

Best book for rugby specific fitness is "Complete Conditioning for Rugby" by Dan Luger and Paul Pook (Human Kinetics) and Pooky's website www.fitness4rugby.com is useful - you can get the book there.

Very difficult (for me anyway!) to explain these things in writing and I'm sure you won't understand most of the things I have described so if they sound useful message me and I'll try and talk you through some of them!
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:33 AM   #3
Paul Frost
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Re: Rugby - specific exercises

Simon,

Thanks for the reply.

It did make sense to me and indeed we ran through the exercises of defender returning to touch after tackle and also the 2v4v2 set up.

In the new season my group are the under 8's so we cannot use contact yet and that has also specifically been prohibited from being introduced to training (ready for moving up to U9's contact game) until the contact season commences!

I am thinging more of the fitness side of lunges and perhaps using the polypipe or broomsticks for the squats and thruster form.

But as you say they do like activities to have game sense - so these may need to be used in warm ups only!

To be honest I think the cf would be hugely beneficial to all ages for rugby as so much core strength is required anyway - just moving the coaching on to a different mindset and view of such conditioning may take time!

Cheers

Paul
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:47 AM   #4
Simon Nainby
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Re: Rugby - specific exercises

Yeah like I said throw them into relay races/ obstacle courses and then you have the competition element which the kids love and it makes them work that bit harder.

Being a crossfitter I know you'll be making sure they all have great form on all the main moves - what is worrying me is the number of kids I am seeing who tell me they can squat 140kg and bench 100kg. When I ask for a demo its all quarter ranges and frightening form hence half of them are turning up injured!

As they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and there are certain coaches/school teachers out there who get the kids doing weights (kettlebells seem to be all the rage as well this pre-season) with no formal qualifications or experience other than the fact they saw Josh Lewsey swinging a kettlebell in the paper so they think they should be doing it!

Have a look at the gymnastics stuff as well not only is it very functional but good fun. I went down to Beckton Gymnastic Centre with Andrew Stemler from London Crossfit and you want to see the 8 year old kids do their stuff - it was incredible and it was all based on bodyweight exercises. They have them practising the dish hold, hollow rock and L sits from an early age - I'm 30 and they kicked my arse!
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