In the modern game of rugby, the ability to evade opponents and break the gain line can often be the difference between victory and defeat. One of the most effective ways to do this is through the art of side stepping. When executed correctly, a side step can leave defenders clutching at thin air, and create scoring opportunities out of seemingly nothing. In this blog post, we will delve into four essential drills that can help enhance your footwork and explosiveness for the perfect 'Side step for rugby'.

 

Agility Drills

Agility is the cornerstone of a successful side step. The ability to change direction quickly and effectively can leave even the most tenacious defenders struggling to keep up. One of the best drills to enhance agility is the "Zig Zag Drill". Set up a series of cones in a zig-zag pattern and practice running through them, changing direction at each cone. This drill will help improve your agility, making your side steps more unpredictable and difficult to defend against.

Speed Drills

Speed is another crucial component of an effective side step. The "Sprint and Side Step Drill" is an excellent way to work on this. Set up two cones about 20 meters apart. Sprint from one cone to the other, then immediately execute a side step. This drill not only improves your speed but also helps you practice executing a side step at high speed, a skill that can be invaluable during a game.

Footwork Drills: Footwork is the foundation of a good side step. A drill that can help enhance your footwork is the "Ladder Drill". Using an agility ladder, practice different footwork patterns, focusing on quick foot movements. This drill will help improve your foot speed and coordination, making your side steps quicker and more efficient.

Explosive Drills

Explosiveness is what gives your side step the power to break the gain line. The "Box Jump Drill" is a fantastic way to work on this. Set up a sturdy box or platform and practice jumping onto it from a standing position. This drill helps develop explosive power in your legs, giving your side steps the extra 'oomph' they need to get past defenders.

Mastering the art of the side step is no easy task. It requires agility, speed, footwork, and explosiveness. However, by incorporating these four drills into your training routine, you can enhance your side stepping skills and become a more formidable player on the pitch.

 

Remember, the key to a great side step is not just about the step itself, but also about the footwork and explosiveness that power it. So, lace up your boots, hit the training ground, and start side stepping your way to rugby greatness.

 

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July 11, 2023 — Peter Breen

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