How Rugby Makes Better football Players

Your high school season is over.  Your players are already making plans to play other sports during the winter and the spring.  What should they play?

In the spring, especially, football coaches find themselves at odds with their player’s choices.  But what if your players could play a sport that not only keeps them in shape for football, but actually makes them better football players?

The sport is out there, it is called rugby, and strangely enough, some football coaches won’t let their athletes play the game,

High-school age rugby is played throughout the USA, culminating in a national championship tournament in late May.

The game itself is in ancestor of football, and is similar to a no-huddle, wishbone gridiron game with all two-way players.  Forward passing is not allowed, so the ball must be advanced by hard running and intricate lateral passing.  After a tackle, play continues as teams form essentially a compacted line of scrimmage and try to drive each other off the ball.  Players and football coaches who have been involved in both sports agree that playing rugby can make for better football players, and more dedicated athletes.

“The improvement in fitness, hand-eye coordination, and tackling technique after a season of rugby is phenomenal”, said Mark Bullock.  who served as head football coach and head rugby coach for Kentwood High School in Kent, Washington, before becoming the USA Under-19 rugby coach-

“I always recommended that my football players play rugby if they were playing a spring sport”

 

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