Beach Touch

This Game Based Approach coaching sessions is based on Beach Touch.  Beach Touch is a game played on a field size of 15m x 30m and the attacking team has 3 players and the defending team has 2 players.  Using the CHANGE IT principles the rules, number of players, dimensions can be adjusted to match the ability of the attackers and defenders.  For this coaching session the starting width is 12m and the length 30m and there are 3 attackers and 2 defenders.

The session can be broken down into many mini-sessions, each of which focuses on only 1 aspect of the game of touch.  As a coach  you should resist the temptation of continually coaching the players while they are playing the game, just let them play.  Use the short breaks to add new coaching points  or reiterate current coaching points.

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1.  Break your squad into 2 equal teams.  The ideal number for this game is 6-8 players, 2 teams of 3 or 4 players.  Should you have more players consider having 2 coaches and 2 sessions running at the same time.  We will assume you have 8 players, 2 teams of 4 players.

2.  Get the players on each team to have a number e.g. 1 to 4.  On the attacking team, player 4 will be the substitute player.  On the defensive team, players 3 and 4 will be substitutes.  The substitutions can be made by rotating the players based on their number e.g.  1, then 2, then 3, then 4.

3.  Allow the first group of players to go up the pitch.  You can either change players every time they go up the pitch or allow one group to go up the pitch and back, then change players.  The second option allows the coach to have more interaction with the substitute players, but is unnecessary to begin with.

4.  Conduct the game for 5-10 minutes maximum.  The players will take time to get familiar with the game, just let them play.

5.  Stop the group and focus on only 1 coaching point.  The stoppage should last no more than 2 minutes.<br />During a game of touch, a coach will only have 2-3 minutes to interact with the players, so get used to that time frame.
The coach will only be able to cover 1-2 points in attack and defence, so again, get used to being brief and to the point.

6.  Conduct the sessions over a number of weeks e.g. 12 to see the full benefit of this game.

7.  Do as many of the mini-sessions as you need each week.  As an example you might set aside 20 minutes each week and only cover 2 min-sessions. 

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This provides an introduction to the Beach Touch Game.  The ball always starts with the middle player, who must roll the ball in front of one of the other attacking players, while making the touch on the defending player.  Once the touch is made the spare (3rd) player runs in an angle, receiving the ball from the dummy half who wraps.  At this point the player with the ball will be in the middle of the two support players.

When a player is touched, the play recommences with the same play as above.

When Used
This is used when introducing the game and at the beginning of coaching session to reinforce the way the game is started.

Key Coaching Points
1.  This is for introductory purposes so keep it simple and not too technical.
2.  Remind the players how the play is recommenced when a touch is played.

Common Errors
Not recommencing play using the correct method

Key Tips
1.  Players will go over the mark and make other basic touch errors.
2.  Do not over coach or over correct
3.  Only focus on the method of restarting play

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This session explains the scoring system for the game.  The initial setup as explained in the Introduction session includes the first touch, touch zero.

If the attackers can score before the next touch (touch 1) they get 10 points.
The full points system is a s follows:
Before Touch 1 => 10 points
Before Touch 2 => 5 points
Before Touch 3 => 3 points
Before Touch 4 => 1 point

When Used
This is used after the introduction to set a goal for both the attacking team and the defending team (stop the attackers from scoring).

Key Coaching Points
1.  Impress that there is the balance between scoring at least some points and striving to achieve 10 points
2.  Ask the players to set their own goals

Common Errors
Attempting to score before touch 1 and therefore panicking and  making fundamental errors like forward passes, late passes, dropped ball

Key Tips
1.  Ask the players what is their objective
2.  Lower expectations by asking them to scoring at least 1 point
3.  To encourage the use of all the touches, CHANGE IT by awarding 1 point for scoring on any touch e.g. Touch 1 => 1 point.

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Attacking players are always trying to create space.  This involves the attacking player trying bring defenders together to minimise space in one part of the pitch to maximise space in another part of the pitch.  This often involved preventing lateral movement of the defender.  In the game of Beach Touch the ball will often be in the hands of the middle attacking player.  To prevent the lateral movement of defenders, the middle attacking player with the ball needs to Hold the Defender.  To prevent the lateral movement, the attacker should run with the ball in two hands, presenting the ball to the defender and running at the defenders inside shoulder.  This is the one towards the middle of the pitch, between the two defenders.

This will help narrow the defensive space between the two defenders and increase the attacking space on the outside of the defenders.  This will provide attacking options on the left and right to to the supporting attacking players.

When Used
This is used in all phases of Beach Touch and Touch Games.

Key Coaching Points
1.  Creating attacking space by decreasing space elsewhere on the pitch.
2.  Prevent the defenders lateral movement.
3.  Run at the defenders shoulder to hold the defender.
4.  Run with the ball in two hands and present the ball to the defender.

Common Errors
1.  Running sideways, towards the defenders outside shoulder, allowing one defender to defend two attackers.  This then leaves one attacker against one defender.
2.  Not carrying the ball in two hands.
3.  Not presenting the ball to the defender.

Key Tips
1.  Emphasise running more direct lines down the pitch.
2.  Support players maintain width.
3.  Attacking player aim at inside shoulder.
4.  Attacker should always be looking to engage multiple defenders.

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At the start of this game the ball starts with the middle player.  As soon as one team gains possession, think about attack.  This means from the very first touch start looking to manipulate defenders.  The objective in a full game of touch is to engage multiple defenders where possible.  At the start, the middle player should move one of the defenders to one side to help open up space on the other side of the pitch.  Players should be familiar with the terms “kicking in” and “kicking out” whereby the attacker runs at the defender and kicks (steps) to one side of the defender with the objective of engaging more than one defender.  Once the defender has been moved to one side the next runner and wrapper will provide an attacking opportunity on one or both sides of the pitch.

When Used
Used at the start of the game to initially move the defenders laterally.  Players can also use this when recommencing play.

Key Coaching Points
1.  Engage the defender, make them commit to the touch.
2.  Attacking roll ball should played at the side of the defender.
3.  In a full game of touch any sideways running will allow the defender to hand off the attacker to the next defender.  If this occurs, the attacker has not manipulated or engaged the defender.

Common Errors
1.  Not engaging the defender
2.  Performing the roll ball in front of the defender instead of the side of the defender.
3.  Not performing a correct roll ball.
4.  Not having a dummy half

Key Tips
1.  Run at the defender, kick out.
2.  Carrying the ball in two hands
3.  Present the ball to the defender
4.  Transfer the ball to the correct hand, furtherest from the defender.
5.  Attacker should always be looking to engage multiple defenders.

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It is important that the ball carrier has as many options as possible.  That means having as many players onside so the ball carrier can pass the ball to any player.  There are two ways to do this, firstly the ball carrier moving forward to put players onside, secondly the player who passed the ball retreating to put themselves in a position to receive the ball.

The second situation typically happens when a player is touched, performs the roll ball and then steps to one side and backwards to get on side.  They will also do this when they pass the ball, though if the person receiving the ball moves forward this may not be necessary to step backwards as the other player’s forward movement will put the player onside.

When Used
This is used in all phases of Beach Touch and Touch games, especially when the ball is passed or a player performs a roll ball.

Key Coaching Points
1.  Correct roll ball technique is required to efficiently get onside.
2.  As soon as the ball is passed , the passer should support the player who now has the ball.
3.  Always expect the ball
4.  Carrying the ball correctly will allow for quick hands.

Common Errors
1.  Becoming a ball watcher after passing the ball rather than maintaining focus to support the ball carrier.
2.  The ball carrier not moving forward down the pitch to put players onside.
3.  Incorrect roll ball when in an attacking position.

Key Tips
1.  Emphasise, the player’s job is not finished when the ball is passed.
2.  Defenders have to make decisions about all support players.  If you are in front of the ball carrier you are not a threat to the defence.
3.  Always expect the ball.