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Author Topic: Top 10 tips for new players  (Read 1210 times)

Offline JackAsbery

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Top 10 tips for new players
« on: May 17, 2017, 11:49:22 PM »
This league sees a lot of players who have never touched a rugby ball in their lives. So I ask what helpful hints would experienced players and coaches give to new players coming into the game?

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 01:28:15 PM »
Jack, your question is difficult to answer for several reasons, not least the fact that your opening statement is incorrect. In D&N1 there are no players who have 'never seen a rugby ball before'. There may be one or two who occasionally give that impression, but despite what I've had to say in another thread the standard is way better than that!
You also don't clarify whether you mean prospective 6 - 16 year-olds thinking about giving the game a go in the youth section of a local club or adults joining to train then eventually play in the social side.
My advice is therefore a bit generic and you could probably have made the same list yourself.
1. Go along to training at your chosen club and introduce yourself to an official or coach, being open and humble about why you are there. Don't pretend to be up to speed as you'll quickly be found out.
2. Don't decide on a position yet, that will become clear in time - and your coach/selectors may disagree with your choice anyway! Its important to get the basics down first before specifics.
3. Ask at the club if there is anyone who could spend a little time with you one-to-one. Be mindful that club seniors training tends to have little time for beginners; coaches want to get on with drilling the established players. Do not interpret this as being unwelcome.
4. Watch games - especially those at your club. You will see the skills in action, and just being around will produce familiarity and maybe even friendships, which makes the whole process much more comfortable.
5. Learn the laws - you don't need the finer nuances of rules and directives - just a basic understanding to begin with.
6. Don't attend training sporadically, be a regular - the more you train, the better you'll understand.
7. Don't be intimidated by the fact that the others are established players - they all had to start somewhere; it's just like being a learner driver out on the roads. You may be better than them in time!
8. Don't expect to be Owen Farrell within a season. Rugby takes time to learn, so be patient.
9. Don't go training in the depths of winter wearing shorts and t-shirt! I've seen this from inexperienced players numerous times over the years. You want to be comfortable at training. Wear plenty of layers, you can always take some off.
10. Buy or borrow a rugby ball. Get used to it. Chuck it around in the garden or out on the fields. Kick it high and catch it. If you can get a mate to join you, so much the better.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 11:38:18 AM by Mugsy »

Offline JackAsbery

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 02:46:38 PM »
Thank you for your response. I do apologise that my statement was too generic and misinformed and your response is fantastic. The intention for my post was to find a few generic top tips for an aspiring player whether they be young or an adult.

Offline Renegade

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 04:19:20 PM »
Can I add 2 tips;

1. Learn to run with the ball held in 2 hands, then try to carry the ball on the field in 2 hands as much as possible.
2. Try to play with your head up, looking around you for space and team mates.

Both seem obvious but the best players do both well!

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 12:40:23 PM »
Oops! Sorry Renegade, but with respect that mantra (point 1) is one of my pet hates as a coach! It sounds right to say you should carry the ball in 2 hands as much as possible and it is indeed an important skill, but it's only the correct technique when it's the correct technique - telling players they should always do so ignores the fact that there are many game situations when it's absolutely the wrong thing to do - such as when sidestepping a weak arm, hitting contact or running clear of a defender. (I should clarify that I don't count going into contact with the ball held tightly in 2 arms against the chest as 'carrying in 2 hands', that's a different technique and should be coached separately.)
No-one can run at full pace carrying the ball in both hands. (Jason Robinson was the freakish exception, but even he carried in one hand when it was right). New players need to learn to carry securely with one hand and transfer the ball quickly and easily to the other or to both whilst running full tilt.
In my opinion the best players know instinctively when the ball should be carried in both hands and when they need to have a hand free.
Personally, as a player I loved playing against lads who'd obviously been coached to carry in two hands all the time, because you could smash them knowing there was no awkward fend coming, and often dislodge the ball in the process.
You only need watch the top players to see that the ball is not carried in two hands as often as that saying would have us believe.
Sorry to disagree slightly on that one; I do understand where you're coming from and point 2 is spot on.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 12:57:22 PM by Mugsy »

Offline local player

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 05:09:41 PM »
For any new to the game player-pick the nearest club to you, get a telephone number of a coach/manager & introduce yourself.

Go down to training & enjoy it, the ups & the downs.

Have a pint or two with the lads, make friends that you will know for the rest of your life!

Offline Renegade

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 07:24:14 AM »
Mugsy, I agree on my first point however I chose to use "as much as possible" to cover the points you made with regards to handoffs etc.

May explain why I'm not a coach 😜
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 07:25:01 AM by Renegade »

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 10:01:06 AM »
Thanks Renegade, we agree really. As for you not being a coach; I've seen you ref a youth game and you're one of the good guys putting something back. Unlike many refs you communicate with the players, and that's some of the most valuable coaching they'll ever get.

Offline misterfacts

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 11:22:54 AM »
Mugsy

all referees do try and communicate with the players it is just that some are better at than others. Communication takes a number of forms such as using the whistle, verbal commands, hand gestures and just a look or shake of the head. Good communicators are normally good man managers and this is a good start to becoming a good referee. Very few players will communicate as well as the referee but I do agree some referees are poor in this phase and may need time to develop this attribute.

Offline davebarnes

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 11:45:19 AM »

Have no fear and approach every game as though it's your last.

Relish the contact and collisions.
Bring back the ruck.

Offline Texas10

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 11:17:36 AM »
Re: the carry the ball in 2 hands point.

Doing this enables and encourages players to make decisions, too often players tuck the ball under one and then try to just run/step around a defender or break the tackle. Their decision is already made and very little variance in it is available.
The best players do carry the ball in two hands, and play with their heads up, then AFTER the decision making process they change to a single hand carry, pass, kick etc.

Offline Mugsy

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Re: Top 10 tips for new players
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 11:32:47 PM »
Yep.