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Should “4 Corners” Be Banned?

While people park outside parliament protesting certain government mandates, passionate rugby coaches across the globe, who are focussed on making a positive difference to kids and adults alike, debate whether the classic ‘4 Corners’ drill should stay or go?

4 Corners has somewhat of a historical nostalgia. It has been passed down from generation to generation and has a special place in the hearts of many young people. With the campaign on ‘No More Queues,’ and 4 Corners being a classic queuing exercise, there have been critics of the No More Queues campaign saying to lose 4 Corners would in fact remove a special part of rugby culture.

There is something special about standing in queues on all 4 corners of a square passing left, passing right, running to the middle popping, placing, ripping, and of course ‘Truck and Trailer.’ When you master Truck and Trailer, you know you’re ready for Saturday. The coach stands to the side, whistle in hand calling out commands, and words of encouragement such as ‘pick up the pace,’ ‘get your comms up.’ And of course if you drop a ball you all do 10 press-ups.

But surely it’s time for something different? Def Leppard, denim, tie-dye (which appears to be making a comeback) and ghetto blasters belong in the 80’s, and so does 4 Corners. Here is why…

The evidence is telling us that to help players improve, develop, perform, we should practice in context as much as possible. Practices should look and feel like rugby (or your sport), where 4 Corners is far removed from reality. When was the last time you saw an entire team stand in queues, in a perfect square in a match? Sometimes there are circles (for team talks), but never squares. Rugby has 2 opposing lines, where you must pass the ball side-ways or backwards. Most passing in a 4 Corners drill is forward. In rugby you have defence to navigate. In 4 Corners, everyone is on attack. Often the focus of 4 Corners is to master the drill, rather than learn the skill. Flip this around. And lastly, players are queued which leads to boredom, misbehaving and even dropping out of rugby and/or sport altogether.

Happy to be challenged!

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