Top 4 Benefits Of Playing Rugby

Top 4 Benefits Of Playing Rugby

Photo Credit – CC0 License

Rugby is a sport that divides opinion, mainly because it tends to rival football. When most children are growing up, they have to choose between rugby or football. Obviously, with football having such a massive global following, it often wins. From here, football fans have a very degrading view of rugby. Without wanting to get into a debate, this usually stems from a lack of understanding of the rules and an inability to play!

The fact is that rugby is an excellent sport for anyone to play. It has physical and mental health benefits, as well as aiding in the development of social skills. To drive this point home, here are the top four benefits of playing rugby:

Excellent for muscle building and cardiovascular fitness

Rugby is arguably the best sport in terms of its effect on your physical fitness. People of all body types and sizes can find a place on the rugby field. There’s a lot of running around, but equally as much tackling, passing and driving forwards. As a result, your entire body gets a workout, burning hundreds of calories per game. There’s an element of HIIT with rugby as you usually have short sharp bursts of activity and then a slight rest, followed by more activity.

Additionally, you need to be physically strong to play rugby. So, a lot of training takes place in the gym as you pack on some serious muscle. The game itself will build muscle as you often have to pick people up and really initiate a leg drive when tackled. Overall, you will find hardly any sports that can compete from a fitness perspective.

Creates a sense of comradery and community

It’s well known that rugby teams are tight-knit groups. If you look at professional rugby, it seems as though players are friendlier than in other sports. Certainly, you see rival teams sharing beers and having fun after matches. You never ever get this in other team sports – especially football.

Rugby creates this sense of community, which starts at the club level. You join a rugby club, and it’s actually a club. There’s usually a clubhouse with a bar, and you go there every weekend when you play. Food gets served after matches, and you enjoy it with the rest of the team, your family, and any local supporters. You feel a real sense of belonging as you sit there in your nice shirt, classic style glasses, and shoes. It sounds weird, but it’s almost like going to church. Especially because you all wear smart clothes after the match! When you play rugby, you truly feel like you belong to a special group. Not only that, but you feel connected to the local community as you represent them when stepping out onto the pitch. Generations of rugby players will be present at the club every weekend, enhancing this sense that you’re part of a massive family. It can be great for people who feel lonely and maybe struggle to make friends. Everyone is accepted in rugby!

Teaches politeness and respect

One of the best things about rugby is the respect players have for referees. Make no mistake about it, you won’t agree with every call on the pitch. However, there’s something amazing about seeing 16 stone beasts standing with their hands behind their back as a small man lectures them. Rugby players are taught to respect referees from a very young age. You call them ‘sir’, and you don’t chat back to them at all. When the referee makes his decision, that’s final!

In turn, this teaches rugby players crucial skills to help them through life. You learn to be polite and respect others. This translates into school life for young children as they grow up respecting teachers and not chatting back.

Improves toughness

Clearly, rugby is a very physical game. You get knocked around a lot, and it will leave you sore the next day. But, this can be beneficial as it builds toughness and resilience. You feel a lot stronger and tougher after playing rugby for a few years. Plus, you are physically more intimidating because you will be in great shape. All of this means that you don’t have to worry about taking care of yourself. You know that you can handle trouble if it comes your way. It’s more of a mental thing than anything else as you’re confident that you can deal with any issues if you’re out with friends or loved ones.

As you can see, rugby has many benefits that affect all facets of life. It’s a sport that deserves more global recognition than it already has. If you’re not already playing, perhaps it’s time to join your local club?