Learning to train (L2T)

This page is based on the LTAD website, the Irish LTPD, the RFU LTAD Booklet and our implementation for the Dutch Rugby Union: Meerjaren Opleidingsplan Rugby (MOR). You can download related pdf documents on the Free Download section of my website.

Players in this category are approximately 12-14, or even younger.

Developing the fundamental rugby skills. Quote LTPD: [The emphasis is now on refinement and maintenance of the athlete’s physical capacities, fundamental movement skills and the acquisition of rugby specific skills. This is allied to the continuation of other sporting activities throughout the school year, and during summer and winter multi-sport camps.]

So the focus is not at all on rugby alone! In the Talentdevelopment program of the NRB we include Judo, Basketball and Volleyball for instance. 

We further develop the Rugby Head here: players understand the idea of finding space and going forward. Now play can be more collective, we can run more game like exercises. Pierre Villepreux has a very simple idea about this:

  1. Let the attack play rugby, most of the time the rules of the game are similar of the rugby rules
  2. Manipulate the defence to create the learning experience.
  3. "Play".

You can manipulate the defence and create space by having the defence at specific starting positions, less players, etc.

Learn to train (L2T) and the Rugby Teacher

Due to maturation, the players are now capable of longer periods of concentration and attention; therefore teaching rather than guiding is more appropriate for accelerating learning. Knowledge of how to facilitate learning through understanding is critical together with tactical - and technical skill development and progressions.

The Rugby Guide is involved in the next activities:

  • KSS 2.1: Prepare for and delivering training sessions for his team
  • KSS 3.2: Coaching the team at games & tournaments
  • KSS 3.3: Organise activities
  • Make rugby safe: injury prevention (why did those course developers not give this a KSS number too?)

I have set up lots of pages to help the Rugby Teacher with these tasks. Also you will find a whole archive of documents to help you on your way in a practical manner. In this game based learning, or teaching games for understanding model, the Rugby Guide has to undrstand how, where and when to feed the ball. Also, focus on tactical not technical development, when one player drops the ball simply introduce a next ball and keep the game flowing. Address technical development in another part of your training.

LTAD Rugby Teacher Coaching Course

Finally, I have set up a special coaching course for The Rugby Teacher alone, it takes you five workshops to become one. A Self Study DVD and a Rugby Teacher Coaching Manual are part of this course. Offering more information and giving you the confidence to succesfully work with youngsters. IRB Level I is a nice one-day intro but forget IRB Level II, yes, you learn about rugby it does nothing to help you to become the Rugby Teacher, a specialist for this agegroup. You are still left with questions how to make a plan for the season, what your tactical and technical goals are. Strange when you come to think of it, now we have a development model for our players, the development model of the coach does not reflect this.....

Relevant topics: