Six ways to kick-start your pre-season rugby training
It’s not too late to give your pre-season rugby training a boost. When planning your sessions, remember these core messages for perfect preparation ahead of the new rugby season
1. Focus on agility
This is the one time of year that you get to work on agility before the serious contact and set-piece play comes in. Introduce short agility drills now, taking the time to explain the coaching points and details. By making them familiar now, you can use them over the course of the campaign as little ‘top-up’ agility drills without having to go over everything again.
Rhino Core Agility Pack
With cone ladder sets, speed ladder and marker discs, it’s got some agility essentials. More details here
Rhino Speed & Agility Pack
The daddy of all agility kits (below), including chutes, ladders, resistors, evasion belts, cones, hurdles and poles. More details here
2. Work in ‘matchplay’ scenarios
It’s important to always reiterate why you’re doing a drill in pre-season and how it correlates to match situations – this isn't just about seeing who can see their lunch again first. Incorporating basic key rugby skills into the fitness drills is not only a must but can also be a way of improving specific areas of weakness. For instance, bringing a Rhino Jackal Ring into a fitness drill allows you to tweak their breakdown technique while still delivering the overall conditioning aspect you want from pre-season sessions.
Rhino Jackal Ring
The Rhino Jackal Ring (below) allows you to actually strap a ball inside the ring to make for a more realistic ‘jackal’ after contact. More details here
3. A need for speed (and walking and jogging)
It might seem obvious to some, but training isn’t about sending them for endless laps of pitches any more. You need to break up the pace at all times, interspersing sessions with mixtures of sprint, recovery walking, jogging – essentially something called fartlek. The running you do should resemble what you do in games. As well as varying those runs, use kit such as harness and speed sleds and speed chutes – they liven up every session to keep minds focused.
Rhino Power Speed Sled
So you don’t have to haul old car tyres to every training session, get your players to haul the power sled instead. More details here
Rhino Speed Chute
The Rhino Speed Chute (below) is a staple of the professional pre-season training using wind resistance to improve performance. More details here
4. Get a strong start to the season
There's a reason the role of ‘strength and conditioning coach’ exists in professional rugby and let’s not forget the first element of that job title. While it’s tempting to leave the heavy stuff to the gym, utilising equipment such as lifting bags or core cubes means you can shake up your pre-season drills with some dynamic strength routines.
Rhino Core Cubes
Available in weights from 10kg to 30kg, these durable bags add to your training options. More details here
Rhino Weight Water Bag
Fill up at the ground, the Rhino Weight Water Bag (below, left) saves hassle and space. Weighs up to 25kg when full. More details here
5. Take time to focus on individual specialist skills
Unless you've got your own team of specialist coaches, finding time to help players in positions with unique skills is tough during the season. Players in roles such as hooker, scrum-half and your kicker require individual coaching to hone their technique – help them with that now rather than waiting until the passes, throws or kicks are going astray in December. Give them the best foundation for a successful campaign ahead. Better now than when poor technique starts to impact on games and, as a result, you have to battle low confidence as well.
Rhino Lineout Training Hoop
Improve your players aim with this simple training device (below). More details here
6. Keep them hydrated
Don’t rely on your players to bring enough water – even with the best of intentions, they never will. So come prepared on their behalf.
Rhino Drinks Carrier
The Rhino Drinks Carrier (picture below), more details here
Rhino was the official training equipment and training ball supplier to the 2017 British & Irish Lions, to view our full range of training equipment, click here