Coaching Tips

For a great coaching aid Google Complete Panthers below is some examples: Getting Off the Line Good Line Speed, Maintaining Spacing, Communication: Off the line to Paddle, make a decision, in or out. The hardest thing about maintaining a good, well-structured defensive line in Rugby League is the fact the rule for onside is 10m and tackle count is 6. As coaches we actually know that this means our team must form a line and get off the 10m line and up and back 6 times every time the opposition team has the football and makes the maximum number of plays. It is one of the most difficult things in our game to do and can only be mastered with practice and with fit / disciplined players willing to get off the line with good speed every time and get back to the referee every time. Batsmen's Turn Running backwards is very energy draining and takes a very fit player to be able to get up 10m and back 10m every play forwards and backwards. This is why we recommend the batsmen's turn. This is actually taken from cricket terminology by the way that a batsman would reach the crease and turn to run back to the other end of the pitch. They will approach the crease with his arm, hand and bat outstretched with either his left or right hand and be looking in the direction of the cricket ball. This is enabling them to make the decision whether to run again or stay as they can see where the ball is and how close the fielder is to retrieving and throwing the ball into the wickets. The same approach is used in our game to get back to the referee's line for the defence and turn to go again once the play the ball has been made. This means we can get back to the line actually running in a forward motion while maintaining eyesight and body positioning towards where the football is being played at the ruck. You are onside with one foot on the 10m line, it is a simple step on the imaginary line and be in a power stance ready to go forward again when required. Drill 604 - Line Speed Drill shows us exactly how this can work successfully, using the batsmen's turn and pointing to where the play the ball or ruck is on every play. 604 is also particularly good for the defence practice as it automatically arranges the defenders into line and creates talk and communication while performing the drill. The drill simply does not work without talking to each other and reacting to the calls. Positive communication is the key to a successful defensive line and that can only be maintained with every player taking it upon themselves to talk to the players next to them. Holding space and reacting positively to calls. Drill 495 - Holding Space when performed properly is the key to getting this action right. It is a great drill and can be used at most levels of the game, from Mod thru to International. Getting off the Line with Speed Getting off the line quickly and all together cannot be performed unless there is talk and reaction to the talk. As we have said the defender only needs one foot on the line and other forward in a power position ready to get off the line straight into stride. Depending on which side of the ruck the defender is they will have the outside foot up/forward which will automatically set them off in a forward direction. It is essential that the first 3 to 5 strides are in a forward direction and done with speed. Drill 605 - Markers and A Defenders gives us a good indication of the actions of the Markers and more focusing on the A defenders feet placement and speed off the line to join the splitting markers. That straight direction is critical to the defensive system working well all along the line, outside or wider of the ruck and at A defender! The system of running forward straight and square will also restrict the attacking team from getting to the inside shoulder of the defenders creating the unders lines. This is in particularly important at A, B and C defensive positions. Each player will come forward and get to the position where they will need to slow to a Paddle. Paddling Paddling is coming almost to a halt while keeping the feet moving in a running on the spot movement. The defenders eyes are scanning, head on a swivel, rotating and looking inside and outside with-out turning the body. It is imperative for the effectiveness of the tackle that the defenders body remains square, facing up field not facing towards the attackers until the decision for the tackle is made! At this point the defender will go in (up and in) and make the tackle or go out (slide) to make the tackle. Once that decision has been made there are several things that must happen. The defender goes hard with conviction to make the tackle Communication is essential from that defender and others inside and out Once the decision is made in or out team-mates inside and outside must respond and go with them. All the best Complete Panthers

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