Kicking for Rookies
To integrate kicking into Rookie Rugby.
What to Coach
There are two main types of kicking in rugby:
Punting – Punting the ball is when players drop the ball and kick it before it hits the ground.
Drop Kick – A drop kick is a rugby-specific kick where players will allow the ball to hit the ground before kicking it.
Step 1: Have all players practice the skill of punting during practice. Instruct players to hold the ball up and down. Have them step forward, drop the ball, and swing through with their back leg, making contact with the ball.
Step 2: Have all players practice drop kicks by holding the ball up and down. Have them drop the ball, take a step, and kick through.
Step 3: Starting the Game – The first time to introduce kicking in Rookie Rugby is the start of the game. This allows kicking to be introduced slowly and allows all players to have the chance to practice their skills. Drop kicks can be more difficult for children. Start kick-offs with punting until players are ready to advance to drop kick starts.
Step 4: Kick-offs after Scoring – Similar to the start of a game, a kick-off is used to restart play after a try is scored. After introducing kicking at the start of a game, this is the next progression for kids in Rookie Rugby. After a try is scored, the team that scored the try will then kick off to the opposing team.
- Add penalty kicks into games. A penalty kick in rugby is when the non-infringing team kicks the ball down the field and out of bounds in order to get a lineout.
- Add kicking during open play into games. Players should be permitted to punt the ball at any time during the game as a strategic move. It is recommended that teams are limited to the number of kicks they can perform until they are ready to strategically make kicking decisions.
- Coach kicking effectively and safely.
- Be sure that players understand when kicking should occur in games.
- Players should not start kicking in rugby until they are fully ready.