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Small kids running into pads?

  • 06-02-2023 1:38pm
    Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭

    My five y/o started with a rugby club a couple of weeks ago. I've been doing the drills at home too.

    One thing they did was to run into a pad being held by the coaches. He did it very gently at training. I did it at home and encouraged him to barge into me hard. He got into it.

    I wondered if there was a limit on how much frequently he should do this because of the jarring effect on his head. I found the following discussion which references a directive that it shouldn't be done at all by juniors:

    I didn't find the directive itself though.

    The consensus on that thread seems to be to either have kids hold the pads or roll with the impact if an adult holds it. Seems to make sense?


  • Subscribers Posts: 40,565 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    Terrible idea to have kids aiming for pads , especially at that age. They should be trained to run for the space between defenders.

    You yourself have remarked about the head whip action. They should not be doing that at that age grade.

    All they do at that age is run until they're tipped, and then stop and pass it backwards. Absolutely no need to be learning to drive through contact

  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭El Vino

    I coached in the English system, coaches holding tackle bags was a big no no when training kids, we were actually told we would not be insured in the case the kid got injured. The size differential is too much. If you have to use pads it should be the kids holding the pads and the coach observing. I would argue you should only do it when contact is allowed or end of season before.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,170 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs

    Coaches haven't a clue. I'm not sure about the physical effects but teaching kids to run into contact at 5 years old is one of the most stupid things I've ever heard.

    Teach evasion, looking for space, linking with team mates, some very basic ball skills etc, not running into brick walls and recycling the ball

  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭NeutralHandle

    Thanks. Great to get clarity on this.

    The regular coach wasn't there the day they did it. They didn't do anything like that the time we went when he was there. So hopefully it won't feature again and it was just guys covering the session who don't usually coach that age group. The club has a reputation for being a nice place for people and kids, so I'm optimistic about that.

    Just as valuable advice one way or another though, as I know not to do it with him myself. (I might have as he got really enthusiastic about it once he lost his inhibition.)

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,913 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo

    You could fill the gap by letting him tackle the bags to his hearts content, but hitting objects offensively at that age is mental.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,123 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    id say even that wouldnt be good for a childs brain tbh

  • Subscribers Posts: 40,565 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    correct. all age grade rugby from u7s down is non contact

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭ersatz

    If you can get kids to pass the ball while running you're probably establishing the most useful and appropriate skill possible for them. Presenting the ball on the ground is another foundational skill and doesn't need any contact to learn.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,913 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo

    is tackling a freestanding pad considered contact?

  • Subscribers Posts: 40,565 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    you miss the point, theres no contact tackling from u7s down. its essentially tip rugby.

    so having a 5 or 6 year old running into pads is completely pointless.

    i would even argue when it comes to learning to tackle properly, its better to do it "live" against other players, rather than tackle bags. You learn the correct way to hit and wrap an more importantly how to control your fall. The tackled person also learns how to control their fall. you dont get that from hitting freestanding bags. you dont get "head on the wrong side" when hitting a tackle bag. all these things can be taught property to a 7 year old tacling another 7 year ol.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,913 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo

    Fair enough on the tip side, no issue with that.

    HOwever, you do get head on the wrong side with tackle bags, you just don!t get injured doing it!

  • Subscribers Posts: 40,565 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    we're getting kind of pernickety now.... but if theres a risk of "head on the wrong side" when your teaching a 7 year old to tackle, then youre doing it wrong. Tackle bags dont move, so technically whatever shoulder you hit with, your head will be to the other side regardless. youre head can only be "on the wrong side" when you put it in front of a player moving forward.

    you break the tackle down into very small easy to understand steps and you progress

    by the time a player is tackling a player moving forward, they should know all about what side their head should be on.

    this video give a good example of what im talking about.

    you can see the progression of the tackle technique from about 1:00 onwards

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,913 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo

    Your head can on the wrong side of a tackle bag or person if you put it on the wrong side because you don't know any better...thats why we can use tackle bags to teach kids how to tackle at full speed where they cant get hurt by a mistake. For sure the bag cant/wont be as dynamic as a player with the ball, but as you say, its progression.

  • Subscribers Posts: 40,565 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    the only way you can put your head on the wrong side of a static tackle bag is to head butt it.

    otherwise you're either hitting it with your left or right shoulder and your head is on the opposite. A static tackle bag does nothing for teaching you which shoulder to tackle with. Kids should always be taught to put their head where the player is coming from , not going to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭NeutralHandle

    They did it again in the session this weekend. I told him to ignore what the coaches said and just tap it and he did. Probably more than half the kids did the same. The coaches ignored it with the smaller kids, but urged the older kids to charge it. Some kids really charged into them.