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Coaching students is one of the most important stages in how a young person will experience a sport and can be the beginning of a lifelong journey or even a profession. It is important then, to make sure that the experience for those children encourages and supports them.

Here are 5 tips for coaching that can help your students find their enjoyment of Rugby.

1. Keep it simple

Focus on one or two core skills at a time. Some go together naturally, for instance passing and catching, but otherwise stick to one. Keep each drill short and fun, but include several different exercises on that specific core skill to avoid players becoming disinterested.

2. Play – Coach – Play

To keep things interesting, intersperse coaching sessions with fun games such as turbo touch rugby. The best way to keep the student’s attention is a 10-minute game, 15 to 20 minutes of coaching such as passing accuracy, then another 10-minute game.

This way, your players get to enjoy the game aspect and put into practice the coaching session almost immediately, helping with retention and engagement.

3. No Lectures

Avoid long periods where you are talking with everyone standing around listening. Instead, explain the idea quickly and get the group working on a drill, so they can learn by doing. They will be more engaged and enthusiastic, and with that comes retention and enjoyment.

Combined with the Play – Coach – Play method, you will have coaching sessions that teach key skills and put them into practice quickly and effectively.

4. Try 7s Rugby

7s rugby is not just an Olympic sport in its own right, but a great training tool for the traditional game too. 7s gives players more space and time to think about what they want to do and then execute it, great for learning and a really good option for ending your play-coach-play session for a group that has progressed beyond touch rugby.

5. Be Positive!

There is no question that Rugby is a tough game and a challenge for anyone learning to play well. Keeping your players engaged and having fun is crucial, so stay positive throughout the session. Keep any criticism constructive, offering advice for improvement rather than focusing on the problem.


With the popularity of 7s and the development of many different non-contact approaches to the game, Rugby is evolving quickly. With that comes an influx of new players ready and eager to learn who have different expectations from those who began playing just a few years ago. Training needs to adapt to those new expectations, but also offer a fun, challenging experience that will keep the play interested. They need to see progression, learn new skills and enjoy the game itself.

If you would like some assistance with delivering your PE lessons and especially rugby then why not head over to PE Office to grab some valuable time-saving lesson plans and schemes of work?

The platform comprises both Rugby League and Rugby Union and can help teachers save time on preparing lessons and focusing more on supporting their students. You can call the team on 01909 776900, send an email to or book a free online demonstration of the entire platform here