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Planning a coaching session

When coaches are planning their coaching session, it should be kept in mind what are the key goals in attack and defence for any Sevens team hoping to be successful:


  • Gaining possession
  • Retaining possession
  • Creating space
  • Penetrating using the space
  • Supporting
  • Scoring


  • Contesting possession
  • Denying space
  • Tackling the ball carrier
  • Regaining possession

How can these outcome goals be achieved? Through the use of skills, patterns and tactics in attack and defence. Therefore we can break the outcome goals down into more specific areas:


Gaining possession
  • Kick-offs
  • Scrums
  • Lineouts
Retaining possession
  • Handling
  • Alignment
  • Lateral space
  • Linear space
  • Before the tackle
  • In and through the tackle
  • Supporting
  • Lateral support
  • Linear support


Contesting possession
  • Creating untidy delivery of the ball at scrums and lineouts so options are limited
Denying space
  • Move forward in formation
  • Player on player defence or zone defence - the ability to adapt from one method to the other
  • Covering the space behind by the use of a sweeper
  • Deny space to reduce time and to force the attack to have greater depth in their formation
  • Defend inside out, not outside in
Tackling the ball carrier
  • Tackle to stop the player running on
  • Tackle to recover the ball
  • The use of multiple tackles
Regaining possession / attack
  • Maintain some depth so players can accelerate onto the ball
  • Loose ball on the ground
  • Recover quickly and pass the ball to space
  • Be alert
  • Immediately exploit the lack of sweeper when a turnover occurs
Coach Education
Get help with the planning aspect of your IRB Coaching course
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