What is a Sidestep in Rugby?

A rugby sidestep is one of he most useful moves to get the hang of. A sidestep is most commonly used by backs and wingers, although it can be beneficial to any player who needs to evade opponents looking to tackle. The key to a good sidestep is being not only fast on your feet, but quick thinking too. Read on to find out more about how to achieve the perfect sidestep.

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When and Why to Sidestep

The sidestep needs to be put into action when a player is about to tackle you, usually from the front but also potentially from the back. It’s arguably the most effective way of avoiding a tackle.

How to Sidestep

It is, in essence, a simple step to the right or left whilst you continue to run. But getting it right is key to its effectiveness. First you need to decide whether you are going to step to the left or right, and this involves second guessing the exact tackle that is about to be made upon you. Before you start, begin to shorten your stride, as this will help you retain balance as you move and can also help you get the timing correct. Once you’ve shortened your stride and decided which way to go, open your leg in the other direction and place your weight on that leg to make your opponent believe that is where you are going. Once your attacker is suitable lulled, shift the weight fast to the other side and use the propelled motion from the inside leg to move fast to the other side. Your confused attacker will be caught off balance, giving you enough time to move past them without defeat. This BBC sport guide can help give you a visual idea of the way to move.

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Learning to sidestep effectively should form part of your everyday training and you’ll find relevant a rugby drill that helps with the sidestep at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/, as well as numerous more beneficial drills.

Once you’ve mastered the sidestep use it to your advantage, but not all the time as your attacker will always assume you’re going to use it. Leaving them to guess is part of its effectiveness. It’s best used when it’s totally unexpected, but be ready to think and move fast to put it into action most effectively.