Here are four lineout throwing drills to help hooker’s develop their co-ordination, timing, and throwing under pressure. You will need a rugby ball, a heavy or weighted rugby ball, and a swiss ball – all of which you can order from the LineoutCoach Rugby Store.
Lineout Throwing Drill 1: Timing of Release
This is a simple exercise hookers should practice every day. This helps hookers develop good co-ordinated hands and timing of the throw. Practice by lying on the floor, elbows tucked in, and simply execute a tricep extension, turning your hands out to generate the spiral on the ball.
The aim is to get the ball to land back in your hands where you released it. If the ball ends up too high above your head – the timing of the throw is too early. If the ball ends up too low – that’s a late throw out of your hands and you need to release the ball a little earlier. If it goes off to the left or right – it is an uneven release time with both your hands. So straight up and straight down is what we want here.
Lineout Throwing Drill 2: Swiss Ball
This is a key drill in terms of throwing exercises it develops core strength and co-ordination. There are 3 key points in this exercise. 1.High hips – the hooker must keep his hips high and core activated 2.Process starts with the throw – so the movement is throw and then sit up, in that order. 3.Stretch up to his shoulders The exercise should be practiced with a heavy ball, like the Gilbert Morgan Pass Developer seen here. You should aim for 4 sets of 5-10 throws based on an individual skill level, with the heavy ball. Hookers need to remember to keep their head in the neutral position and to point to the target after releasing the ball.
Lineout Throwing Drill 3: Throwing (advanced)
Here Zach is lying on an exercise ball with his feet on a wobble board.
The hooker is under intense pressure to stabilise himself and this requires excellent core strength. Key points are to activate the core by sucking in your tummy and locking the glutes. Only throw when you are stable. The movement is throw – sit up – point to target. Hookers should be aiming for 50 throws, 5 sets of 10. However this is an advanced exercise and hookers should start with a lower target.
Lineout Throwing Drill 4: Lollipop
This is the lollipop drill, this helps with timing, accuracy, consistency, while also dealing with pressure. During practice the hooker is set a predetermined number of consistently successful throws, in this case its 4 in a row. If the hooker fails to hit the target the drill restarts. As the hooker’s throwing improves the predetermined number of throws should increase. Ultimately hookers should aim to complete 4 sets of 5 throws, hitting the lollipop every time.