Rugby as a Training Method for Other Sports

Did you know that playing rugby can enhance your performance in other sports?

Rugby can make a dramatic difference on your performance on the football field, basketball court, or any other sport.

Watching rugby for the first time, you're likely going to be confused about the rules of the game. It may look like an unorganized group of people hitting each other without a purpose. However, rugby is the exact opposite as each step by each player on every play serves a purpose. There is always a reason for a player to pass the ball, follow the ball, ruck or not ruck, and communicate. Rugby is a unique game with many benefits including gaining team chemistry, footwork, fitness, strength, athletic ability, and overcoming adversity.

High school football coaches may want to consider advocating for a rugby program if one is not already present. The benefits it will make towards their team’s abilities on the football field are noticeably greater to those they will make from simply doing offseason weight room training. Rugby builds footwork in the open field and in small areas. Even forwards need to be able to move their feet quickly on the pitch. Therefore, rugby training involves a lot of ladder work, hurtles, quick 3-5 step get offs, and small area movements.

Strength is necessary in any sport, but it is imperative to becoming a premier rugby athlete. Every position needs to be able to out muscle their opponent when necessary. In rugby, this is done when running, tackling, scrumming and rucking. To do these things successfully a player needs a strong core, back, legs, and shoulders. A player needs the ability to get low in a scrum while using his legs and core to battle the man across from him.

After a rugby game, an athlete feels accomplished but is completely drained from 80 minutes of continuous battle with the opponent. There are times in every rugby players' career where they feel they are unable to continue forward and need to quit. However, for some reason they continue to run, hit, and work until the final whistle. This long grueling battle builds a team chemistry. It also teaches each individual how to overcome adversity when they feel defeated.

Overall, rugby will increase an athlete's abilities in his/her chosen sport. There is no better way to train than to compete; if you are simply playing rugby for the training and desire to compete that is fine. However, you may find that eventually you have grown to enjoy and respect rugby perhaps even more than your original sport!

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