Lets get Chaotic! Introducing Hexagon touch!

Lets get Chaotic! Introducing Hexagon Touch! 

Welcome back to the Rugby Coaches Blog, its been a busy couple of months and I apologies for not keeping within the two weeks limit I set myself. Its taken a long time to pull all this together so I hope you enjoy it!

The story of Hexagon Touch! This game grew out of Three Sided Football and a Magic Academy post. I ran with the idea its has been a success with players who are willing to put themselves in the arena of Chaos. 

Firstly, let me show you some comments I recently received via an anonymous survey monkey:

Working under chaos really shows who communicates well. You can tell instantly if people on your team look lost. Chaos rugby produces more and different problems than that of a normal game. Even people who react well in a normal game have to think. People work harder as a team, less one man shows as the chaos doesn’t allow for anyone to work by themselves.

I have found hexagon touch a real eye opener in to how people react to different situations. People can talk and decide what the right decisions out. But in the chaos of it all it never happens. Quite game scenario based as its constant reaction.
Normal touch can sometimes become just about the skills and not about decision making.

Working under chaos makes you think on your feet, everyone’s first thought is to control the chaos with rules and order, but the real solution is to look for the opportunities within the chaos and making your team mates aware of it. Hexagon touch builds on decision making, communication and team continuity and although difficult at first as we have built as a team the game has become easier to manage. It has improved my communication within the squad and the ability to look up and see attacking and defending opportunities. In addition, giving me confidence to speak within the team on and off the pitch.

As you can read the players are enjoying the game and seeing the benefit of working under chaos - Have a look on the clip below! hopefully you will see they are enjoying it too:

Hopefully you get the basic idea of the game, the first steps (and after reflecting) the most important steps are to get the players to agree the rules of this game, as it can become very chaotic and this can lead to players becoming frustrated. Frustration can lead to aggression and that has to be managed appropriately.

So what is the theory behind this? 

Well if we take our experiential learning cycle then what we see is the more we experience application within a specific context the stronger the short term memory stores it, practice this enough and this will transfer into the long term memory stores.  If you also consider another theoretical approach to this I would encourage you to look at "Comfort Zones" if you click this link you will find information about this theory: 

Below is how we set the pitch out, use three different colours to identify try lines. The other sides of the hexagon can be marked out with flag poles or the same coloured cones or just left empty. Once the pitch is sorted split your training group into three (small sides groups or bigger groups, but this depends on the size of the hexagon).

Once we had agreed the rules for starting the game, it started to grow, I was being asked:
"what about if we had to communicate with another team to join together?"

"do we have to have another team with us?"

and "do we have to wait until the opposition are on their try line?"

We tried all these different progressions and then agreed a set of 3 to try (these can be seen on the session plan) Some of the progressions are in the video below, can you guess the secret progression we added in without telling the players?

Thats correct! you got it! we added in remote controlled lights and the lights indicated what try line the team with the ball had to attack, but this colour could change at any point.

Here is some more input from the players:

In terms of working under chaos during training it’s challenging as it gets you to make decisions quicker and following through with them immediately having less time to think about it. It does help bring this quick decision mentality into actual game play as when you are under pressure I find myself actually sticking to a decision instead of taking more time to think about. I’d never done hexagon touch before and I really enjoy it, the use of the lights as well makes it more effective and I feel my performance has improved since.

I like it. It helps you to reorganise your defensive line quickly under pressure. I think it’s helped my fitness and defensive awareness

So as you can read again, the lights really put the players under pressure and this has enabled them to see their own progress. 

More details are available from our session plan, all you have to do is sign up.

Here is the full film! all put together, so please have a watch and leave a comment!

Why is it important for me to share this? I believe this has been a great game that has improved the players performance and most importantly they have loved it! 
I also wanted to share how they have found working under chaotic conditions and how this has had a direct impact on their progress.

I hope you have enjoyed the read - Its been great fun working on this one and I know the players have really enjoyed it.  

If you have any questions then contact us via social media or email rugbycoachesblog@gmail.com

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