At the age of seven, when schools usually start allowing boys to play rugby, it can be difficult to know where to start in helping your son develop his rugby skills. The most important thing at this stage is to teach him the importance of warming up his muscles and stretching.
Here’s a great game for your son and his friends to play before rugby practice. “Swap and Pass” helps raise his heartrate and increase his focus on players in the game and the ball.
Swap an Pass Game
You will need:
1. Four beacons/ markers. You can use anything visible or colourful if you don’t have beacons.
2. Set the markers 3 metres apart in the shape of a square.
3. You need four players in the game.
How to play:
1. Place one player at each beacon.
2. Imagine the beacons as North, South, East and West.
3. Start the game with a countdown. The opposing players must swap places, in other words, North must go South and East must go West. Players must not touch each other as they pass each other. Repeat for another five rounds.
4. Once they have mastered this, introduce two rugby balls. Give one player, in each pair, a ball and start the game again.
5. Players must run to the centre at the same time, passing the ball to their opposing partner while continuing to run to their opposing player’s beacon. Repeat for another five rounds.
The game may seem rather simple but avoiding contact in centre of the group is tricky. Players need to watch the other players in the group, keep their eye on the ball and work as a team to ensure the activity is completed successfully.