Okay, we all know that ball hogging number 8 who just won’t pass because deep down he knows he can’t! If you are a coach of a club side who just wants to teach all players to pass consistently here are our top 5 tips.
In modern-day professional rugby, it is even more important for all players to have a high level of passing off either hand. But what if you are not a professional player who is worried about your left-handed pass or what if you are a coach of a club side who just wants to teach that ball hogging number 8 (we all know one!) who just won’t pass because deep down he knows he can’t!
What this article aims to do is to give you some pointers on how to improve the accuracy and consistency of your pass.
1. Hands up!
How many times have you heard a coach say “hold your hands up to receive a pass, give them a target!” It is the truth! You are aiming to pass the ball towards the chest of your teammate, where (ideally) they will have their hands out awaiting the arrival of your perfectly weighted and timed pass. Providing a target will allow passes to be more accurate and will allow the receiving player more time to decide what they are going to do next.
2. Keep the ball off your chest.
As discussed above, you will be receiving the ball at chest height. A common mistake is once you have received the ball, you gather it in as close to your body as possible to stop that thieving flanker from stealing what is rightfully yours. If the pass is accurate, you can afford some more time on the ball to move the ball across your chest in front of you to receive and pass all in one movement.
3. Always have a look at where you want to pass.
If you get into the routine of turning your head just as you receive the ball in your hands, and as you move your arms from one side of your body to the other to pass, your head should be slightly ahead of this. Have a quick look before your release the ball. This will also give you a split second to change your mind if you see a gap opening up in front of you.
4. You do not always have to spin pass the ball!
Making sure that you make an accurate pass will always outweigh a quick pass. Focus on the distance the ball needs to travel and if it is less than a 5 metre pass, a simple flick of the wrists should be enough to get the ball to your teammate. Even by placing both hands at the base of the ball should give you enough grip to do this.
5. Follow your pass.
You will be the closest player to support your teammate. Whether you are a speedy back offering a supporting run looping around or a second row being the first to clear the ruck, you need to follow your pass. It is very easy to sit back and admire your passing skills, but this is what the bar is for at full time. Who knows, you may even get on the end of the next pass for your own moment of glory!