You’re developing endurance and focusing on your nutrition to get lean. You’re building your core with Pilates and practising your tackling skills with judo. But how do you really become a better rugby player? What essential skills do you need to sharpen your game?
Play More Intelligently
First find a role and stick to it, and watch as many top-level games as you can, focusing on what the player in your position is doing. Make a full commitment to playing as a team unit where each position complements and supports the others. You can’t win the game alone, so don’t try to be a hero – staying behind the ball and being ready to ruck or to pick up a pass is far more intelligent play.
Want to know the best way to improve your in-game intelligence? Be aware of everything that’s going on on the pitch around you. Keep your head up and scan the field of play at ball times. Keep lines tight, and be prepared to fall on any loose balls. Possession is your number one priority, and you need to commit 100% to every play on the pitch.
Build Your Skills
Learn to be comfortable running with the ball and how to deal with being tackled. Learn to throw accurately to each side and the art of the perfect offload as you’re tackled. Try never to get caught standing still – the best players are always on the move, receiving and passing the ball as they run forward.
You can practise the skills for your position after normal practice – kick some field goals, hit the scrum sled or practise catching punts. Or use a good-quality rugby drill video from a company like https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/, which will allow you to understand and drill the skills you need. Push yourself as hard as possible to build the muscles and stamina you need for match day.
Train for the Match
While all players need to train for strong core, quads and back, there are specific exercises you can do for your position like sprint or strength training. Interval training, plyometrics and a total body weights programme are all essential to build your level of stamina and endurance. Then follow the British rugby team and cross-train yourself to fitness perfection.