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Receiving the high ball with Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith demonstrates a series of the most up-to-date, safe, and effective techniques for winning the ball back from high kicks. "It doesn’t matter if you’re coaching little kids or coaching at the top end of the game, I’ll take you through some simple techniques that are position generic and will help your team win those contests in the air when the high ball is kicked to you."

Part 1. Receiving the high ball   19:12 Member content

Wayne Smith goes through the basics of catching the high ball and adds in some fantastic pointers.

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Course Part 1
Extras Includes a companion PDF
Duration 24:12
Topics Defence
Applicable to Coaches   Players  
Languages English , Español

Click on CC button at top left of video for other translation options.

Course reviews

Wayne Smith is the best rugby coach in the world In my opinion. Totally peerless. Traditionally coaches have taught players catching the high ball to turn towards their own line when catching. This is because if they drop the ball, they would drop it backwards. Smith totally debunks this, everything faces forward.

Great Britain & Northern Ireland

one of my favorites, so well explained it is a difficult skill, all the components well linked Together

Stfor such a difficult skill


les vidéos de Wayne sont toujours pertinentes et applicables à tous les niveaux. Excellent ! François – Rugby Canada


Very good. A clear development of skills.

New Zealand

Excellent. A really good demonstration of the skill.


It ’a video done right, Wayne Smith is the master who could have miglir


subtitulos en español por favor


As usual good progressions going from the easy to the challenging. Wayne has the gift of reducing the complex to the simple.


A very good building session. I use some coloured electical tape round the waist of the ball to encourage players to really look at it. It also works very well in helping younger players to adjust their hands for a better early catch.Get them to put their thumbs on the tape. Wayne must have used half a dozen great coaching tecniques that any tyro coach would do very well to copy. Most importantly you felt that all the players, even the big lug, learnt something. A point a lot of coaching anoraks forget is why we are there.


Another Wayne Smith classic. Skill development as it should be – broken down effectively into constituent parts, built back up with clear guidance. Brilliant.


Hi Christopher, the “gunsight” idea is about sighting the ball early, hands high (above eyeline like pointing a rifle at a target) eyes on ball (read the label as you catch it), elbows in, head still, body at 45 degrees angled down the field. If the hands are too low, the ball passes below the eyes quickly and is hard to follow into the hands (causes dropsies!). We definitely want to meet the ball front on but at 45 degrees angle so that we are protected in the air by the hard parts of our body (the J-line i talk about creates this, improves timing of the jump and avoids the ball ricocheting off the chest). it’s really important to not try and swivel in the air to make the ball spill backwards – this wiil definitely result in a spillage – stay still through the air (head and body) and read the label on the ball. You are dead right about elbows in to cradle the ball. cheers, wayne.

New Zealand

Really simply, well explained and practical. Excellent


I’d love it if Wayne could explain why he recommends the ‘gun site’ technique for catching the ball. Is this an assumption that if the receiver makes a mistake the ball will roll backwards? In my experience players tend to knock the ball on more using this technique or the ball passes between the arms. I get my players to receive the ball front on with both hands up and then elbows in. If the ball hits the chest the arms are up to stop it going forward, and elbows in prevents the ball falling through. Love to hear your thoughts.

New Zealand

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