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Solo drills to keep match ready during lockdown

The recent lockdown has presented many challenges. It’s been tough for everyone, but particularly for sportsmen and women where all training and events have been put on hold, re-scheduled or worse, completely kicked off the calendar until next year!

Nevertheless, there is tons of evidence about how significant exercise is, not only for our physical health, but also mental health, especially at this time. 

To help keep you match-fit during these uncertain times, here are just a few solo drills that will keep your spirits up and ensure you’re ready whenever the season re-starts. 

Practising Rugby skills can be difficult if you don’t happen to be related to another player,  but there are a few drills you can do at home by yourself with little or no equipment.

Tower of Power

The single most important exercise in Rugby is to practice the Tower of Power. 

The Tower of Power is significant because it can be used in almost every contact situation. The Tower of Power helps you to reduce the risk of injury, while simultaneously enabling you to deliver maximum control.

Equipment: None

  • Feet shoulder-width apart on the ground
  • Weight on the balls of the feet so that heels are only just touching the ground
  • Knees bent so that toes, knees and shoulders in a vertical line
  • Back straight and butt sticking out
  • To keep the back as straight as possible, get lower by bending the knees while pushing your backside out behind you
  • Neck and spine are completely straight
  • Arms tucked in with elbows back so that your shoulder blades are pulled back
Tip: It may help you to imagine two weights pulling your body into the position.
How it will help you: If you go into contact in this position your spine will be strong and straight from your shoulders to your hips and your neck will not be under any stress, making you safer and stronger.

Solo Rugby Pass & Catch Drills

It's important to keep your coordination skills in check when off the pitch. The following solo drills should help you keep these skills up to scratch ready for your return to full training. A tennis ball is best for the following drills.

Single crossover

Equipment: A wall and a ball 

  • Keep good posture, crouching slightly may be best
  • Throw the ball against the wall whilst catching with alternate hands each time
  • The faster the better!

Alternate hands

Equipment: A wall and two balls

  • Keep good posture, crouching slightly may be best
  • Have a ball in each hand
  • Throwing one ball at the wall at a time whilst throwing the other and catching again
  • Start slow and get quicker

Double crossover 

Equipment: A wall and two balls

  • Keep good posture, crouching slightly may be best.
  • Throw both balls at the wall at the same time
  • Make sure to throw balls at the wall and cross them over, so each ball you catch each time changes 
  • Again, quicken the pace and see how fast you can go
Tip: It may be a good idea to have two different coloured balls for easier tracking, to make sure that you are alternating balls each time. 

How it will help you: Practising these simple Rugby drills is crucial when it comes to playing a game as it makes sure that you're passing and catching skills are up to scratch. These drills will make sure you stay on top of your ‘A’ game during lockdown. 

Improving Footwork

It’s crucial to be quick on your feet when playing Rugby, so practise the following drill to improve your footwork.

Equipment: 6x markers

  • Place 6x markers 3m to 5m apart in a zigzag pattern
  • Run forward through the zigzag pattern
  • You should accelerate towards each marker
  • At the marker decelerate, as this lowers the centre of gravity
  • Then step off the outside foot and turn towards the next marker
  • Lastly, accelerate and then continue the sequence - repeat five times and rest for 90 seconds between reps
How it will help you: Quick coordinated footwork will give you the ability to be faster-paced during a game.

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