It is important to understand what we are trying to achieve when we introduce children to rugby.
They develop at different rates both physically and mentally and so sympathetic coaching needs to recognise this.
The younger children want to play games and do not have the concentration levels for long periods of skills development. Therefore, their coaching sessions will incorporate some key skills, but mostly it will be about having fun.
The older children want to play contact rugby and by the time they are 11 or 12 they are beginning to understand the importance of team play and basic tactics. It is essential that they can apply the correct and safe methods of tackling as well as having developed some good all-round ball skills. .
The coaches place great emphasis throughout the age groups on proper behaviour particularly
- respecting the opposition
- not questioning the referee’s decisions during the game
- thanking the referee at the end of the game
- accepting bad results along with the good.
P1 – P3
With the younger children we aim to promote physical well being, introduce teamwork, teach basic rugby skills, and, to have fun.
As skills develop the emphasis will turn to development of team skills. Rugby ‘games’ will be based on ‘touch rugby’. At the end of the season we may introduce limited contact but this will only be considered should the individual boy or girl be ready.
P4 and P5
P4 players are introduced to contact. The coaching takes children gradually through tackling skills at their own pace. We encourage a style of rugby that emphasises skills by providing a core of basic skills – ball handling, tackling and teamwork. At this age there is a wide range of skills and abilities but our aim is to involve every child.
P6 and P7
Generally we aim to have three “training” Sundays to each “match” Sunday.
There are several fixtures throughout the season for all age groups but please be assured that these are fun days. The games will mostly be joint training sessions followed by games but no one will keep score. Winning is not important.
The main objective of all the sessions is for the children to have fun.
Rugby should be fun to play and safe.