A passing and handling drill for rugby players aged 5-7
on 03/11/2019

Any rugby coach who trains young players aged 5 to 7 will know how rewarding (and sometimes frustrating!) coaching players of this age can be, which is why it’s so important to get it right. This is one of the most vital times in their life when it comes to learning key skills, and a player who can grasp an understanding of rugby basics at this age will develop far better later on. As we know, passing and handling are imperative to good rugby, which is why coaches are always looking for new ways to teach and develop this skill. We take a look at a passing and handling drill for 5-to-7-year-olds, which can be easily integrated into your existing sessions with excellent results.

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Drill basics


Players: 12 to 24
Skill: Passing & Handling
Age: 5 to 7 years
Area: 5m x 5m square
Equipment: Four cones, one ball

To start the drill, put the players into four groups, directing each group to one of the coned corners of the square area. Pass the ball to one player and instruct them to throw it to a player in the next group. As they pass, they then run, following the ball, to join the next group. Make it harder by adding a second ball or by encouraging the players to run to the group after the one they have thrown the ball to. Once every player has had a go – or after five minutes – change the direction in which the ball is passed around.

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Skills gained

In addition to effective, controlled passing and better handling, this drill also teaches players to keep their heads up and look at where they are going. It teaches those catching the ball how to raise their hands as a target and how to pass it on quickly.

You’ll find many more excellent rugby training drills at Sportplan, which can also help build passing skills, agility, running, kicking, tackling and scrum. Coaches can also use Sportplan to create complete session planners. Information on developing your own skills as a coach and the rugby coaching pathway can be found at England Rugby.

This excellent passing and handling drill can be carried out with as few as 12 players and requires very little space and equipment.