Rugby Sidestep Essentials
Rugby sidestep essentials helping you perform effective steps.
Information on when and where to step and how to spot opportunities.
Wht's needed for an effective sidestep
You are the ball carrier
In a rugby match you`re allowed to sidestep without the ball - but it`s pretty
Sidesteps are for cleverly getting the ball past the opposition.
If you don`t already have the ball, make sure you're in a position to receive
it from players close by.
You must be behind the ball carrier to receive the ball and you must be near
enough for a good pass to reach you.
Knowing this means you won`t be wasting good
sidesteps just running past opponents without the ball!
But who knows what`s
to come. Maybe ball carrier sidesteps synchronised with support player sidesteps?
A whole backline changing direction in one stride!
Spy out the land
Use time without the ball to spy out the land and make your sidestep effective.
Constantly scan the area around you.
Know where your team mates are, for support and avoiding contact.
Know where the opposition is, so you can get past them.
You must look for weaknesses in the opposition defence
defenders in jagged lines
defenders struggling because they are injured or unfit
wider gaps than normal between defenders
defenders looking towards or facing their own line
defenders who may be slower than others
defenders who are less agile
defenders who commit themselves easily or rashly
defenders who are isolated
defenders running too fast/slow to react well enough to stop you
You must look for good opportunities.
in opposition 22 is likely to be more damaging than in your own
the fewer opposition players in the area the better
Remember things are changing rapidly. You must scan constantly.
You know you must be very
perceptive. Practice when you're watching rugby games. Look for weaknesses.
Say to yourself "I can see a wider gap/isolated player/inattentive
player..." then look.
You'll always see more when you`re looking for something specific.
Next thing you know it`s a habit and you do it instinctively.
Practice anywhere and everywhere. Pick a colour/type of car/number, then
start looking for it. Say "I can see a red..." and say what you see
that`s red. Just one after the other.
You`ll be surprised how much more jumps out at you. Things you never noticed
before. Keep repeating the exercise. Soon you will see more without saying anything
Go over the same area again, you'll probably see things you missed the first time.
They must know where you`re going
You`ve found a weakness, but they don`t know.
They want to know where you`re going. If they know that, they can arrange to
meet you along the way and tackle you.
They`ll "know" where you`re going by seeing your speed, direction and the
signals your body gives out.
Make sure your opponents know EXACTLY where you're going.
Help them. Make it easy!
Then make sure you are somewhere else when they get there!
It's all a performance.
You identify a weakness. Say, a gap you intend to slip through.
You select another point. Do everything you can to help your opponents know
that`s where you`re going.
You must be convincing. Everything about you must say the same thing.
"I`m going over there. I know I can beat you going that way"
Knowing this means you know it`s important your
whole body say the same thing - "that`s where I`m going".
Meet where it`s best for YOU!
You must manipulate things for your own advantage. Make sure the place where
the tackler thinks the tackle will take place is the best place for you, not them!
Run straight at them and they have to stay where they are or run straight
towards you. Use this to maintain the existing space on either side of the defender.
Run at one of their shoulders and they have to move in that direction or
risk you running straight past them. Use this to increase space where
it`s required and also to make it more difficult for them to change direction.
Sometimes there`s no running. The player is in position ready to tackle and
you must move to avoid being tackled.
Knowing this means you know how to move players
into positions that suit you best - and why you move them.
Take them by surprise
Convincing them they KNOW where you`re going is a huge part of the sidestep.
You`re so convincing that all their effort is put into getting to the place
they know they`re going to tackle you.
That`s what they're seeing. That`s what they`re rehearsing.
But you`re seeing something completely different!
You're rehearsing something completely different!
You've done it enough times before.
You know you can leave it really late if that`s what`s needed.
You know you'll do it at the right moment without even thinking.
You unleash your sidestep.
It's too late for them. No time to react.
You're through and gone!
Knowing this means you will always be one step
ahead. You also know you have to practice enough to do it on demand,
with split-second timing!