Ask an expert

19 Apr 2006

My son is 13, weighs 47kg and is 1.58 heigh. He is a good rugby player and wants to improve his fitness and speed for the game without doing things that will be negative towards his growth but rather help him into reaching the full potential that is within him. Can you help with a fitness program and advice on the way forward.
Answer 398 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Leon

I presume he is in the middle of his rugby season at the moment - forgive me, but I am a little out of touch with the school sports calendars. If he is playing right at the moment, then my advice is that he focus on the rugby as the way to get fit. He will probably be playing one match per week, and another two practice sessions per week, and I believe that for a 13 year old boy this is enough. He will probably have some friends who he plays with on another day or two a week, and that results in a pretty full week! So doing any more than this will only add training that he is too young to handle, and push him into a zone of injuries and burnout.

Once the season is finished, then of course, things are different. My advice for the summer months, when he is not playing rugby is that he does school athletics, because of all the sports available to him, athletics will contribute the most to his fitness and development of those skills he will need to play rugby better. But one thing that I feel very strongly is that he should not attempt to embark on a specific training programme for rugby, because he is too young for such a programme. Rather, I think that the biggest benefits will come from doing specific fitness, first for rugby and then for athletics. By doing this, he will get faster and stronger (remember also that these will happen anyway, whether or not he trains) and so that makes his rugby much more improved in the long run

Good luck
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.