Something I will always remember one of my first coaches telling me I needed to do if I truly wanted to become a better player was to find time to practice passing and working with the rugby ball on my own. All the premier rugby athletes in the world include individual training in their schedules in order to maintain their top-flight skills. I often meet players and ask what their training regimen entails. I am always surprised to find out that some don’t even have their own rugby ball at home to help hone their passing and kicking skills! This is one of the easiest ways you can continue to build your ball skills when not out on the training pitch.
-Simply buy a standard rugby ball, mark an X on a wall (preferably outside on a garage or the side of your house/building), and practice throwing left and right-handed at varying distances for 15-20 minutes a day. For increased development, check out the Gilbert Morgan Training Ball, which is a weighted ball that builds your hand, wrist, and arm strength, meaning more accurate passing on game day.
-If you’re able to snag a teammate to join you in some pass training, try some of the drills noted in this video.
-If you have a park or a school field nearby, try different styles of kicking (box kicks, long kicks for touch, grubbers, etc.) as well as practice kicking for points. One of the sore spots in all of US rugby is our lack of kicking skills. Developing this skill will surely put you ahead of the recruiting class!
Check out some great videos that focus on passing and kicking from various Youtube Channels such as World Rugby or The Rugby Site. Here are some videos I recommend:
Last but not least – make sure you have fun! Running, Kicking yourself, or simply playing catch with a sibling or friend are great ways to build your skills when not in season.