Rugby is a tough sport where men and women tackle one another and make amazing plays while also not caring about their own safety. It is a spectacular sport to watch, particularly because little to no body protection is worn when it is played. As a sport with such a tough reputation, it takes quite the skill for players to adapt and become the best.
Not everyone has what it takes to become the best at a given sport. Genetically speaking, some people will be at a disadvantage, for example, short people competing in professional basketball and volleyball. While it can be done, they would always be at a disadvantage.
Rugby also takes skill and traits. Here are the ones which make a great rugby player.
Fitness – Running
Just like most sports played on football pitches, rugby requires a lot of running. Get ready for a plethora of runs if you want to be a rugby professional. Rugby is not an endurance sport, but when your opponents are not stopping and making plays, you as well, have to adapt and that means lots of running.
Coordination – Passing and Observation
Rugby is nothing without teamwork. You have to pass the ball to your teammates. When this happens, you first need to know where they are and where they might go in case you pass. This is something that can be trained, by practicing various strategies, but improvisation on the pitch is a skill of its own.
Having the ability to observe and react immediately is a large plus in rugby and most fast-paced team sports.
Tackling is no doubt one of the main reasons people that do not follow rugby know of rugby, that and the “weird ball”. Tackling is a necessary skill in rugby and it should be practiced routinely. That is up to the coach, as tackling is not something to be taken lightly.
A wrong tackle and you might injure your opponent or yourself. Either of those two is bad and that is something to be avoided. Part of knowing how to tackle is also knowing how to get tackled. It will happen so preparing for it in advance is recommended.
Experience – Making a Decision
This is a rather complicated skill that most experienced players get by playing. To some players, it comes naturally, as a part of their talent, while others have to spend hours studying various tactics and working on their mental state.
When things get heated and when the pressure is one, the best players know when to pass the ball and when to attempt a play on their own. Getting to that level of being the best takes time, however.
Positioning – Crucial in Team Sports
Rugby, as a team sport, requires a team of people to work together to a common goal, to score as many points and prevent the opposing team from scoring. It is then, team play, which decides everything.
Teamplay is based on positioning and that includes knowing where both your teammates and the opposing will be or are at the moment. This skill, however, takes time to practice, as well as communicate, because things will be forgotten on the pitch.
Thinking Outside the Box
Nothing beats talent and hard work, except all of that and then improvisation on the top. Adaptive thinking, to try and outsmart your opponent and not use brute force or talent, is often the best way to play a match. Just like great tennis players change their strategies during a match to adapt to an opponent who is playing differently than what they expected, so do great rugby players adapt and not just make practiced plays.
These are the skills required to be an amazing rugby player.