Learn how to perfect one of the game's key skills
THIS YEAR’S RBS 6 Nations has shown how important a skill catching a high ball is. Ireland‘s half-backs Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray sent a series of high balls to England‘s back three during their game at the Aviva Stadium – and the tactics proved successful giving the home side’s 19-9 win.
Wales, too, have proved adept at kicking ball up into the air to put pressure on the opposition as they attempt to catch it, particularly given the speed of their chasers.
So learning how to catch a high ball is a key skill for mini players. The important points to remember are keeping your eyes on the ball and forming a cradle to catch the ball rather than reaching out with your hands. This helps to avoid knocking the ball on, as does standing sideways rather than front on to take the catch.
To master the skill, start by kneeling and catching the ball thrown up by your coach or team-mate. Once you have it nailed from a kneeling position, try it standing with a coach/team-mate kicking the ball towards you. These can be small kicks to start with, building up to higher kicks as you feel more confident.
Rugby World has put together a series of videos to show mini rugby players how to perform various skills, from different passes to the switch and the two-on-one. The aim is to help improve players’ all-round game and all the videos can be found here.
Every month Rugby World magazine features a ‘How To’ guide on a specific technique and a fun game to use in training that will keep the players entertained and help develop skills like teamwork, communication, support play and evasive running.