Last Updated on Saturday, 20 October 2012 12:13
You need a master plan in order to set up your training sessions, to pick your players for the first team and to monitor your progress. (Look under Teambuilding / Performing for more on the "why"). I think it is essential that you involve your top players in this too. Take care: a game plan is not a set of plays for the players to choose from. It is a generic (strategic) approach to the game that should result in the players making the right (tactical) decisions in all situations. I believe that the first priority for every player to learn the philosophy of the game. With this general understanding in place you can fill in the technical and positional bits.
French rugby has a different approach where from a couple fixed ideas a whole game developed:
- Attack the gain line to penetrate: attack the space, if there is no space then play the ball retention game, play a lateral game and play elsewhere.
- Fix defenders by bringing the ball back inside: by passing or running, run the diagonals
Pierre Villepreux has set up a reference model for the players to decide where to position themselves in a favorable situation. The French focus more on generic skills rather than drill specific moves. It is no mystery why French team score so much from counterattacks. More on moves or set plays here.
Develop and implement a plan
My approach is described by these steps:
- Learn players the general rules of play: the Adaptive Game vs. the Planned Game. Play Modified Games to improve the recognising and using space.
- Based on the players age: fill in technical skills and fill in positional / unit skills. I use the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model for this.
- Use video to show the players what you want to achieve and to monitor their progress.
Follow these steps, use my website as a guide!
An internet friend of mine, Ian Kennedy, has sent me his vision on developing play. He made a very simple check list! Tick the boxes and 90% of work is done. Read his page here.