6 Ways to Motivate Your Rugby Team

6 Ways to Motivate Your Rugby Team

You’d hope that your rugby team was always motivated, ready to go, and all-around doing all the things that they need to be doing if they’re going to be successful, and make the whole shebang worth everyone’s while. But of course, rugby players are human just like everyone else, they’re only going to respond to what they’re given. As the coach, that means it’s up to you to put in place all the ingredients that’ll lead to everyone feeling positive and encouraged. But how do you do this? We take a look at six ways below.

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Make it Fun

Sure, there’s always space for a competitive edge when it comes to any sport. But let’s be real for a second — unless they have serious eyes on one day becoming a professional, rugby is going to be one small aspect of a fuller life, not the be all and end all. So make sure you’re making your rugby club a light space, where fitness, competitiveness, and fun all come together. Professional athletes have an inner inspiration — they might be motivated by tough treatment. A person who’s coming to play rugby just because they like the sport will be better motivated by having a good time.

Building Friendships

Hey, you’re a team, not a bunch of individuals! Studies have shown that people who have a good friend at work perform much better than those who don’t. The same can be said for a sports team. If everyone knows each other and gets along well, they’ll be more inclined to go the extra mile, work hard, forgive mistakes, and so on. A good way to build friendships is to encourage social gatherings. End of year parties, evenings out, trips into the outdoors, and so on will all help with the bonding process.

Trips Away

And talking of bonding, a good way to bring people together, inspire people to perform their best, and have fun is to take a club trip. There are rugby tournaments taking place all over Europe, which will allow your club to challenge their talents against teams from other nations. Of course, while you’ll want to do your best (and maybe come home with silverware), the playing aspect of the trip will only be one part of the overall fun. The rest will be sightseeing, bringing the group together, exposing the players to new ways of thinking, and so on. It’ll be a challenge, it’ll be exciting, it’ll be fun.

Open Door Communication

By all accounts, Alex Ferguson had an “it’s my way or the highway” approach when it came to management, and was, obviously, hugely successful. But he is the exception, not the rule — in nearly all cases, it’s better to have an open dialogue with your players rather than to rule with an iron fist. In any case, you might be able to get away with telling players exactly what to do when you’re paying them one hundred grand a week — not so much when they’re turning up to play for you in the cold and rain. Let them have their say. They’ll be more motivated when it feels like they’ve got a say in how the team operates rather than if they’re just absorbing information.

Individual Challenges

You’ll want to treat your team as just that — a team — but it’s also worth thinking about them as individual players, too. While your players will be motivated to do their best for the cause, they’ve also got their own reasons for being on the team. As such, make sure you’re setting some time aside to working with your players on a one-to-one basis. If every single player on your team is playing at their best, then the team is going to benefit. Plus, sometimes a little push is all a player needs to kick on and become a better player.

Celebrate the Victories

Finally, remember to celebrate your victories. It all comes back to the idea of having fun — if you’re not making a fuss and enjoying the good times that you share, then what’s the point of doing all of this anyway? Award ceremonies are also a good way to inspire your players, too — there’s nothing like trying to break a record for most tries in a season to encourage someone to give an extra 10% in effort.

Conclusion

You’re the coach because you love the sport, you love working with players, you love everything about having a team. Take the tips above, and you’ll be doing your best to make the rugby team a positive experience for everyone.