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Improving Your Decision Making

Turnovers are more important than you might think

Posted Jun 22, 2011 by Tips and Techniques

Using the ball from turnovers is more important than the turnover itself

If you ask coaches which team will win in a scrappy match, the majority will probably tell you that it is the team that wins the most turnover balls. However, you can win as many balls as you like, but if you don’t use that ball, it’s irrelevant. What coaches should be telling a player is that it is the team that uses the turnover ball most effectively who will win scrappy matches.

There are a couple of training exercises that can help players make the right decision on whether to attack or defend in turnover situations.

The first is a game involving two balls. Split players up into two teams, and play it in one half of the field. With one person taking the role of the referee, start a game off with one ball, and randomly stop the game and insert the second ball into a situation, somewhere near the defending team. The timing of the new ball is important, as this will simulate a turnover situation. Maybe insert the ball when a player starts running down a blind alley or is isolated.

The other game involves to teams of four, (or equal numbers below). Give one ‘attacking’ player a ruck pad and have him run along a line. He then picks a defender and runs at them and as he moves forward the defensive line comes up to meet him and the defender opposite the pad hits it. As the "tackle" occurs roll the ball towards the tackler. The defending team has to recover the ball and then attack the back three players who have to get aligned in defence quickly.

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