The Rugby Guide


Players in this development phase are approximately 5 – 10 years old.

The FUNdamental stage has to be well structured and fun! Participation in as many sports as possible is encouraged – if possible three or four times per week. This is where we develop the overall motor skills. Most learning activities are best promoted by playing. This theme does not just apply to modified games but also to reduced exercises and drill activities. Specific techniques and corrections can be integrated throughout the activity while still maintaining maximum participation and enjoyment.

This will also ensure that players receive a positive and motivating experience, remember experiencing individual success drives further learning!

The Rugby Guide

We call the coach for this development phase the Rugby Guide. He recognizes that children are not small adults. The LTPD Definition: the Rugby Guide facilitates the needs and capacities of younger players, providing the environment for players to explore in a safe and exciting way. Corrections and guidance should be subtle and simple, dealing with issues in a broad rather than detailed perspective.The Rugby Guide is involved in the next activities:

  • Prepare for and delivering training sessions for his team
  • Managing the team at games & tournaments
  • Make rugby safe: injury prevention

FUNdamentals and the Rugby Guide

Children in this age are very egoistic. You want to get them to play together? Only possible is a very special way. French rugby has developed a nice model that split children into three categories: those who always want to ball and go forward, those who are always near and around the ball and those waiting for the ball to come to them. By categorizing them in this way you understand how players can develop: you have to “Guide” all the players to be confident enough to go forward with the ball and explore the open space in front of them. Give them the ball and run into space, even if this is in our understanding running away from your support. Even as a National Under 18 coach I found that a lot of my players had little understanding of space, it took considerable time to develop it (or re-develop it).

Relevant topics:

  • LTAD Model explained
  • The different development stages and the perspective for the coach in more detail:  Rugby Teacher, -Rugby Challenger,  Rugby Facilitator, Rugby Empowerer;
  • The Free Download section with the Irish LTPD, the RFU LTAD Booklet and our implementation for the Dutch Rugby Union: Meerjaren Opleidingsplan Rugby (MOR);

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