The scrum is an incredibly important part of the game and as much as the backs don't understand it, us forwards know what problems the team face should that part of the game not function. Here are my 5 tips for improving the scrum at your club. They aren't rocket science but they are things which can make a big difference. Let me know your thoughts.
1. Dedicate time during the training to the scrum.
Often at training the scrum is something we train towards the end or even at the very end of training (probably with the backs standing on the machine for weight!). Dedicate a portion of the training session to the scrum when guys are physically fresher, concentrated and keen.
2. Try and do your scrum work ‘live’ when possible.
Scrum machines are great for timing and building strength but nothing beats the real thing. Always try to work live when possible as there are so many benefits from working and practising as if a game that you won’t get from using a scrum machine.
3. Announce very clear objectives at every scrum.
Making sure everyone one is on the same page is very important. Everyone should know if it's a left shoulder or right shoulder you are looking to focus on. Have a plan with everyone working together, it will only help in achieving your desired results.
Try, when possible, to video scrum training and games. I understand this might not always be an option. Analyse your technique on a regular basis. This is just as important for the back 5. If you can add 10 kg of force from each of the back 5 using better technique then that's a huge help for the big boys up front.
5 . Train under fatigue.
Fatigue does funny things to the brain. Once you have the basics done look to add fatigue into your scrum training. For example, complete a set of 3 scrums with a 30 sec wrestle after the last one. After the wrestle, complete 3 more scrums and wrestle. There’s no rest so don’t add that in!! Video the session and look at your technique. The goal is to have faultless technique throughout the session.
I hope these five points might be able to help you with you scrums, they helped me when I was playing and now coaching in the Top 14 for Pau, I will be using all of these techniques when coaching my lads. Have a great new season. Pre season is nearly on us, enjoy!
If you are a forward you might also find these couple of articles of use, especially if you are a front row: