So, it appears a great weekend in Super Rugby to highlight what it is to possess great “catching attitude” as a player.
It was only two days ago that I wrote a small article piece explaining what this is, using a Willie Le Roux high ball catch as an example.
This article seemed to polarise somewhat, as I am suggesting for a player to be a good consistent catcher of a high ball, they will need to remove all self preservation in doing so.
Have I lost you yet?
Well, the message is simple.
Coaches need to take responsibility for promoting, encouraging and coaching players to make a unwavering comitment to the ball when attempting a high catch.
Ball first, self preservation second…this is your recipe to make more catches.
One outstanding exponent of skilful catching is Jaguares (Super Rugby) fullback Emiliano Boffelli.
Granted, he is a tremendous athlete with plenty of skill in several areas. But I am using Emiliano to deliver my key messages on vision and attentional focus here today.
Rather than just marvel at these displays, I’d like you to consider how you can adapt the message for your players, as this is more about attitude than talent that creates such opportunities.
Watch the three example videos below (average 20secs each) and observe how Emiliano’s focus of attention is ultimately responsible for these brilliant plays.
- with much work to do in the chase, Emiliano tracks and catches a high contestable kick maintaining possession and allowing his team to mount an attack. Ask yourself how many of your backs would not even have tried to chase that kick, assuming they’d not make it?? Attitude is everything…
- after a quick assessment of oncoming traffic, and no regard for his own safety, Emiliano makes a ‘dominant’ leap to secure the ball in the air. You may get hurt, but Attitude is everything…
- with great awareness and timing Emiliano puts himself in a great position to catch a chip kick and score a try. Note, with strong prospects of physical contact he maintained only a focus on the ball and his momentum won him the contact. Attitude is everything…
Yes coach, it is up to you to help develop both confidence (focus, vision, commitment) and skill (tracking, timing, leap, catch) to execute more catches.
What’s the point of chip kicking or sending up a bomb, after all?
By Stuart Lierich