By the age of 18, rugby players have acquired all the necessary skills and have optimally increased their speed. The only thing that changes from 19 onwards is that their size changes and their strength increases.
Rugby players reach their physical peak at the age of 25 when their muscle power is optimum.
At this stage, rugby players need to decide whether they would like to build a career as a rugby player or whether they only want to play it for recreation.
The following skills are required of a recreational rugby player:
- Basic principles
- Continuity, rucking and mauling
- Scrums and lineouts
- Backline play
- Team play
- Forward play
Skills required of a career player:
Speed and fitness: Stamina, speed, leanness and dexterity, resilience, reaction, strength, muscle endurance, weight
Knowledge of team (team building) and team members: Especially before matches; Meyer & Briggs-tests
First aid: Also self massage and strapping (e.g. knee, ankle and shoulder)
Sport legislation: Rules, reliability of role players
Decision-making skills: Ability to make on-the-spot decisions
Ability to relax: Play additional sports for relaxation; take time out
Life skills: Creativity; communication skills; relationships; team work; conflict resolution; public speaking; financial planning; entrepreneurship; planning and prioritising.
In addition to rugby training, professional players need to work out at the gym to condition the body, enhance fitness and strength, stretch and prevent injuries. Additional sports such as swimming also help to ensure all-over strength. Rugby players are also encouraged to give back to the community by means of community projects and schools coaching.
– (Matie Rugby College, (021) 887 6666)
(Health24, August 2011)
Visit our Laaitie to a pro section for rugby skills for specific ages.