Inside the 22

5 Tips to become a better Rugby player

It’s safe to say Rugby is not for the faint-hearted, but if you’d like to get involved or are already playing there are five core steps you can take, both on and off the pitch, to become a better player. Rugby Box Founder and Professional Rugby Coach, Scott Warner, outlines his top tips for becoming a better all-round player.

Aug
13
2020

1. Passing

Some professional players spend up to 3 hours a day practising their ball skills and regardless of the position you play, passing will be a core part of your role on the pitch. 

Reduce the risk of slips and fumbles during a match by spending a few minutes each day practising your ball skills. 

A simple way to improve passing skills at home is to place different targets on a wall (masking tape works great!) and pass the ball to each target, trying to get as close to the target as possible. 

The Ram Rugby Solo Skills ball, featured in our Autumn 2020 Rugby Box, is specifically designed for this sort of training, and will bounce back, spin and return to the player when the flat edge is bounced against a wall.

2. Running

As with passing, running is a fundamental part of playing Rugby. In order to avoid tackles players must be quick, nimble and able to change speed and direction at a moments notice, all whilst staying controlled. Balance is especially important in situations where contact is imminent to ensure you’re not bowled over or injured.

The easiest way to practise running skills is to incorporate multi-directional running into your warm-ups using cones and ladders. 

To optimise speed your muscles must be ready to fire. Try using a muscle rub before your warm-up to maximise muscle performance. 

3. Tackling

Tackling is one of the most defining skills of Rugby and sets it apart from other sports, it can also be dangerous, so it’s vital you’re fully trained and prepared. Whatever position you play, you must be able to execute a variety of different tackles in varying situations, so tackling must form a core part of any training session. 

4. Decision making

One of the hardest skills to master in Rugby is how to make good decisions - when to run,  when to pass or kick the ball and when to hold it. You could be the fittest, most physically skillful player on the pitch, but if you can’t make good, informed decisions when under pressure, then you won’t be an asset to the team. 

Good decision making can only be developed over time, with match experience, so it’s important to incorporate in-game sessions into training, as well as taking part in regular matches. There’s no such thing as a Saturday lay in when you’re trying to become a better Rugby player!

5. Look after yourself!

Becoming a great Rugby player isn’t all about what you do on the pitch, it’s also about how you look after yourself. If you’re nailing the takeaways and the beers all week then you’re going to struggle in matches at the weekend. 

Whilst you’ll need to eat large volumes of food to maintain your size, especially when training, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance. Protein provides the building blocks for muscle, so you’ll need to be consuming plenty of lean meat, fish, nuts and eggs, alongside carbohydrates for energy and power. 

Complex carbs are especially important before training, so feel free to indulge in a big bowl of brown pasta a few hours before training or a match.

Staying hydrated is also extremely important, so ensure you’re necking at least 3 litres of water daily, with additional intake whilst training or playing. Dehydrating by just 3% can reduce strength by 10% and speed by 8%, so it’s vital you stay hydrated during play.

Now you’ve improved your game,  you’ll want to have everything you need for the rugby season ahead delivered straight to your door every 3-months. Featuring the latest and best stash from both established and emerging Rugby brands, Rugby Box is created by players for players. Subscribe now!