Here are some popular training drills to help prepare for Sevens.
Objective: To establish depth in support, quick realignment, accurate passing and good communication.
Description: 2 teams of 5 players. Training area should allow for 10 metres between each player (i.e. 50 metres area) and 10 metres between each team. The ball is to be transferred from one side to the other (player 1-2-3-4-5) and back again (5-4-3-2-1) in each team, and the 2 teams compete against each other.
Activity: The ball is placed by a marker (usually a cone). Both teams face each other and, on the whistle, player 1 sprints to recover the ball from the marker. The team pushes up in a line and the ball is passed along the line at pace until player 5 takes the ball around a marker parallel to the first and passes the ball back down the line. During this, players must realign to allow sufficient depth to run into the line so that player 1 'scores' at the first marker.
Variations on this may include changing angles, loops, switches and so on.
Duration and Intensity: Create time requirements, time (or other) penalties for dropped passes etc, but it is better to create pressure as in a competition.
Equipment Needed: 2 balls, whistle, 4 cones/markers.
Objective: To work hard on defence in both one-on-one and team situations, to cut off or reduce the attacking players' support options, to work together and communicate. There are also benefits for attacking players, as it helps to reinforce the importance of timing the pass, the use of the support player, running at pace and backing up.
Description: An excellent defensive drill is known as 'turn and burn', and is a continuous drill as the attacking team do not stop and there are 3 stages. There are 2 teams of 3 players, who take turns to attack and defend the full field. The defending team are positioned down the sideline at each 22 and the halfway line, while the attackers are positioned across the field, 20 metres apart.
Activity: The attackers start on the goal line and have to 'score' at the far end. Stage 1 involves the attackers taking on the first defending player (3 on 1). When they have got past, the defender sprints back to join the player on the halfway line. Stage 2 is the attackers taking on the players on the halfway line (3 on 2), who will then sprint back to support the defender on the far 22, giving a 3 on 3. The attackers will then seek to get past them and 'score'. The secret of this is for each defender to hold up the attack to create time for the other defenders to realign. The real skill is in the defenders being able to get back and not converge on the ball carrier, but rather turn and chase the support players and thereby cut off the ball carrier's passing options. This drill is excellent for fitness and communication, and for players developing good defensive angles and working as a team.
Duration and Intensity: This is a very tough drill; initially concentrate on players doing it properly in terms of covering the whole field. It should be at full intensity, as it involves full pace and full tackle situations. Teams should be rotated between attack and defence.
Free weekly coaching tip. www.betterrugbycoaching.com
Monthly insights and expertise newsletter. http://www.rugby-coach.com
Weekly ready made coaching sessions. http://www.rugby-coach.com/sessions
Special reports - 50 Ways to score more tries. http://www.rugby-coach.com/50bm
Match day tactics to give your team an edge. http://www.rugby-coach.com/matchdaytactics
Secrets of the front row. http://www.rugby-coach.com/secrets
The ruck and how to win it. http://www.rugby-coach.com/theruck
The ultimate rugby warm-ups manual. http://www.rugby-coach.com/warmups