Rugby catching basics

Rugby catching basics are the things which go to make a good catch in rugby no matter what type of catch you are attempting to make.

Be aware

Good handling skills lead to good catching

You will be well on the way to winning when you control the ball during a game.

You use the ball well and with outstanding skill when you make good catches.

Make the best start with skills when you learn handling skills. (see core skills in main menu).

Concentrate on these

You catch well when you

  • think about and look at the ball
  • practice so your eyes and body cooperate well

  • are in the right place
  • are in the right place at the right time

Avoid distractions

In a rugby game there is much to distract players.

There are lots of interesting movements -
players falling, players diving, running, jumping. lifting, pushing.

Amazing expressions on peoples faces -
excitement, fear, loathing, satisfation, determination.

There are lots of bright, attractive colours -
rugby jerseys, shorts, socks, blood, skin, hair, grass, sky, eyes, mouthguards, headgear, strapping, seats, lines, advertising.

Lots of interesting sights -
bandages, blood, cuts, bruises, sidesteps, pure speed, unusual sizes, strange boots.

Lots of fascinating sounds -
whoops of excitement, yelps of fear and pain, commands, advice gamesmanship, bodies thumping, rugby boots thudding on turf, yelling, cheering, booing, catcalls, shouts of encouragement clapping, groaning.

Lots of smells -
liniment, body odour, deodorants, sweat, grass, mud and wafting from the canteen - sausages, pies, bacon, steak sandwiches.

Feelings -
of triumph, of fear, of dislike, of confidence, invincibility, pain vulnerability, isolation, strenght, companionship, boredom.

And day-dreams or thoughts -
about what, where, when, why and how you are going to do things and worries and hopes carried from the rest of your life.

There is a great deal competing for your attention!!!!

You can make a rugby pitch during a game a more confortable, calmer, friendlier place.

You must

  • Concentrate in your spare time on developing basic skills. Do it enough, they become instinctive. Then you can perform your skills without thinking

  • Train yourself so you know what is important in a game and learn to concentrate on those things

  • Train yourself so you know what is not important in a game and learn to identify them and ignore them

This helps you when you are back on the field.

This leaves you with more brain capacity to deal with other things during the game (Just my theory!)

It also helps you focus. With good ability to concentrate you improve your ability to filter out distractions.

You have good eye/body co-ordination

To actually catch the rugby ball you must ensure you have good eye/body co-ordination.


Just the usual. Practice!

You concentrate on the ball, think about catcing it and your subconcious mind does the rest.

It will move your body to the correct position. It will make sure all your body parts work in a co-ordinated way to achieve the result you want.

How will it know?

Because you have done it correctly enough times before this one!

Because you have trained it.

You have done the same things over and over, focused on the ball and thought about catching it.

If the result was a perfect catch you attempted to repeat it otherwise you made an effort to improve.

These basics are less about specific physical movements more about what goes on in your mind.

For catching act like a bean-bag - not exactly, of course!

Get your body to the right location (position the bean-bag)

When the ball arrives "give" - just the right amount with your fingers, arms, torso, legs to prevent rebounding and ensures the ball is held safely.

You are in the right place at the right time

To make any kind of catch you have to be there in the right place on the field and at the right time in relation to movement of the ball.

To do this, be interested in the game. Watch all the players. Get a feel for their abilities.

  • How far can your team mates pass and kick?
  • How well do they pass and kick?
  • How good is their catching?

  • How far can the opposition kick?
  • How well do they pass. Are they open to the intercepted pass?
  • How much "attention" are the ball-carriers getting?
  • Will it affect how well they deal with the ball

Know your own abilities and work to improve them.

Is there enough time to get there and accept a pass or kick or would you be best supporting another better placed player.

Watch play developing well ahead of the ball.

Watch where players are running, what they are doing. For each of them, what options are open to them.

To be good and improve as a player you must ask yourself "Why are they doing that"?

Good players become expert at reading play. You will too, when the answers you give turn out to be the same as the unfolding game.

Amazing - catching basics includes watching how other players pass and kick the ball!!