Rugby is a game of skill and tactics and a key element of that is the lineout. The hooker is a crucial role for winning the ball, and there are many ways of getting the most from the throw-in. Try some out and see what works for your squad.
All about the hands
Naturally, there will be a difference in hold depending on whether you lead with your right of your left hand. Most people are right-handed, so we’ll describe on that basis. Hold the ball towards the back, with the seams on the sides as if corners of a square. Put your left hand slightly forward as a guide, and relax the fingers with the thumb underneath. To complete the throw, point hands in the direction of the target. The throw should be a sharp movement, a ‘snap’ of the elbows with the hands out to release the ball.
Keep things stable
Having a strong core is extremely important, so exercises to improve core strength should form part of your regular training. Use a stability ball to help isolate the upper body. Sit on the ball with your head high and hips up. Practice the snap throw from that position, and when that becomes second nature, try the exercise from the ball using just one leg for stability.
You might also want to introduce a wobble board to help with stability, core strength and posture. Standing tall with chest up, as with the ball, flex the knees but don’t bend them, and take the throw once you have your balance. This is worth getting right because, on the field, there won’t be long before the opposition is trying to take you off your feet. Practice and improve by getting your balance and completing the snap throw in a shorter time, and by throwing further.
For more tips on throwing into the lineout, see advice on the BBC website. Above all, it takes practice and working with your squad. Getting a rugby drill or two ready will help, available from online coaching specialists like Sport Plan https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/.
Review throws. Why did that particular throw work, but not the one before? How did the good throw feel? Don’t waste time analysing bad throws. With an average of 15 lineouts in a game, you should be completing almost 300 practice throws.