Expert Training Session 13 – Sample Warm Up Structure on Match Day

Session is about 30-35 minutes long and suitable for Intermediate and Advanced players.
Make sure you follow this guide with it’s video SESSION.

It focuses on:
• Increase players core temperature.
• Prepare the body and mind for the match.
• Include components that incorporate all the various games specific aspects.

There are many different drills, exercises and sequences that can be used to warm up a team for a match. The key is making sure the general sequences and progressions are consistent with the below structure. This is a guideline around which you can design your own warm ups and is relevant from senior school boy teams up to international level.


Set up the warm up area prior to the team coming out. Not only does it create an organized impression for the players, it will help keep the transition from one warm up activity to the next smooth and efficient. Make sure you have a watch to keep track of the time so that you can complete the warm up without rushing at the end. Make sure there is always water freely available and encourage players to drink liberally throughout the warm up.

Basic Match Team Warm Up Structure:


  Easy Free Running:  Time: 3-4 minutes
• Objective is to get the players out on the field to take in the atmosphere and get them moving to start increasing their core body temperature and get the blood moving and heart rate going.
• This can take the form of players jogging across the width of the field and back a few times at a easy 50-60% pace, incorporating a few varied running patterns such as gentle weaving, light skipping, sideways crossover (karaoke) running, etc.
• Get a few balls in amongst the players while they run so they can get their hands on the ball nice and early in the warm up and can make a few passes to each other while they are running.


  Team Huddle and Talk:  Time: 1 minute
• Blow the whistle to signal the players to come in and get together in a team huddle.
• Briefly explain to them what they will be doing next, give the captain an opportunity to give the team a quick few words. This gives the team a chance to start building some focus and atmosphere.


Session Plan:

Warm Up  4-5 minutes | SAQ Component Drills 5 minutes  | Grid Drills 5 minutes | Contact Ready & Defensive Drills 5 minutes

  Warm Up:  Time: 4-5 minutes
• Allow the players to go through a basic mobilisation and stretching routine that must include dynamic and static stretching components.
• Generally players should start with their lower backs, then work through their glutes (buttocks), groins, hamstrings, quads and calves in that order followed by their upper body (shoulders and necks).
• Samples of the type of stretches that can be included, but not limited to, during this time are:


Hip Cross Overs @ 10 – 15 each side.


Stingray @ 10 – 15 each side.


Hand Walk Plus Press Up @ 6 – 10 reps each.


Hamstring Pendulum @ 10 – 15 each side.


Dynamic Calf Stretch @ 10 – 15 each side.


Dynamic Groin @ 10 – 15 each side.

  Individual Skills:  Time: 5 minutes
• Once the players are warm and stretched it is a good time to let them break up into positional pods and run through some basic individual skills drills for a few minutes.
• Eg. 9 & 10 link up for a few passes and kicks while wings and full back field the kicks and run them back a few meters, accelerating, weaving, side stepping etc then practicing their grubbers or chips back to the 9 & 10. Hookers can do some throws against the poles or link up with their locks and props for a few quick throws, loose forwards can roll balls to each other and practice ripping or wrestling the ball away from each other, front rows can bind up and get their engage positions right, etc.
 SAQ Component Drills: Equipment: Cones,Tackle Bags, Shields & Balls | Time: 5 minutes

• Players are now nice and warm and stretched, time to get the intensity and focus up a bit more.
• Use a few simple SAQ drills to get the heart rate pumping and the buzz going for a couple of minutes.
• Keep the drills simple!
• See below for a few appropriate examples of the type of drills to use.

Single Space Jumps .


Dead Leg Run.


Zig Zag Agility Run.

 Seated Forward Get Ups


 Grid Drills (Handling & Evasion):  Equipment: Balls.  | Time 5 minutes
• Players should be sweating visibly now and the intensity building up nicely.
• Time to bring them together and get some high intensity passing, handling and game situational grids going.
• Choose 2 from the examples below and run them for a few minutes each.

    Centre Ball Drill
    Agility Plus Pick & Place
   2 vs 1 into 2  vs 3
   Grid Skills 3 vs 2
   Cross Over Hands



 Contact Ready & Defensive Drills  Equipment: Tackle Bags, Balls & Contact Shields.  | Time 5 minutes
• Time to get the bodies contact ready and the communication really going.
• Incorporate a few of the below examples to make sure the team is properly prepared for the contact coming their way!

    Defense Alignment vs 7 Bags & Shields.
    Down, Up, Cross, Hit & Drive
   Defense Alignment With Shields 
   Multiple Pod Rucking & Retention
   Ball Present & Drive
  Backs and Forwards Split:  Time: 5-7 minutes
• Time now for the forwards and backs to split and run through various game aspects.
• Forwards generally do a few lineouts, mauls, kick offs and scrum timing drills.
• Backs will get their rhythm and timing going by doing a few passing drills and run through a few of their set moves.
• Good chance for the coach to move between the groups and add in important points and reinforce match strategy and game plan implementation.

9. Finish and head back to the change room.

Expert Session 13 – Sample Warm Up Structure on Match Day

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