Rugby Sevens: Passing and Catching Tips
The passing and catching game in sevens rugby are often overlooked because many contribute the game to just speed and strength. When a winger is sprinting down the pitch and scores a try, the two perfect passes that set this up usually go unrecognized. However, passing is a key skill that pulls rugby sevens together. Utilizing the width of the pitch is extremely important and quality passing is the main way to accomplish this during the match. Passes can make or break a game and it is essential to practice and perfect this skill. Below are some passing reminders and tips to focus on in your next practice!
Passing starts from your legs and builds up, therefore it is important to have a strong, balanced base. Your hips should be opened towards the target so you can push your hands through to finish at the target. Having a wider grip will allow you to have more control over the ball for distance and accuracy.
Practicing with a still target is a great way to work on form and accuracy. To do this, line up a row of balls about 5 meters from the target. Go down the line, one ball at a time, and focus on your form with your hands finishing at the target every time. Once you have successfully completed this, move the row of balls back another 5 meters and continue to do so as you began to practice for distance and accuracy together.
Since rugby is a high-speed game, it is more likely you will be passing to a moving target. In order to elevate your game play, it is best to practice passing and catching in game like situations. Have a group of 5 teammates spread out along the pitch in a line and have each player pick up some speed. Practice throwing the ball in these passing lines at different speeds and angles to increase your accuracy and comfortability with moving targets. Good passing is needed for the flow of the game, especially in high speed and pressure situations.
A greater emphasis is placed on passing, however it is necessary to remember the importance of catching. A pass may be great, but for there to be another play, the ball needs to be caught. As a receiver, you want to make sure your hands are up early as a target for the thrower, and you want to catch the ball by taking into your chest. The position of your hands and body are crucial so when you catch the ball you are set up to continue your run at the same time.
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