5 Skills You Will Learn From Rugby

And we’re not talking about physical skills but life skills that rugby teaches you.

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With the Rugby World Cup kicking off, there’s a feast of sport on offer for fans of the game. But rugby isn’t just about entertainment – there’s plenty it can teach you about the qualities you need to succeed in your career and life in general, too. Here are five main points to take away:

Team work

Jason Leonard, the former England Rugby Captain, says, “Everything in a scrummage is ultimately team work because you are turning round and saying to your mate, I am with you, I won’t let you down. I can look someone in the eye and say I am right beside you, that is what a scrum is all about.”

Saying that you can learn about teamwork from rugby seems a bit obvious, really. After all, it’s a team sport. However, it’s not until you get on the pitch that you realise just how it works. If you expect to be a superstar player, if you expect to do what you want and take all the credit, you’ll get hit, you’ll get tripped and you’ll get hurt, because your focus is in the wrong place. The only way to survive is to rely on your team mates, and no matter how bad things seem, there are always people who are willing to help you.


Communication is important in everything we do, because it’s what sets us apart as a species. In rugby, if you don’t communicate you get hurt, it’s as simple as that. You might have an idea about where you’re heading, but if you don’t find a way to communicate your intentions, you either get left behind or trampled on. Communication is the conduit for team work, and I think one of the most valuable lessons to learn is that we’re always communicating, whether we like it or not.


In a game of rugby, the whole direction of the game can change in an instant, and you have to be ready to take advantage of that. In life, people think they’re stuck with their problems, when in fact, you can change anything you want as quickly as you want.


It’s so easy, when we’re faced with what seem like insurmountable problems, to want to throw in the towel. We walk out on a relationship rather than working at it, or we leave a job rather than focusing on our goals.

Research has shown that one of the traits that helps people to be more resilient in life is a strong sense of humour. Being able to step back and look at a bad situation in a different light really does make the difference between wallowing in self pity and picking yourself up, shaking yourself down and moving on.


In a game of rugby, it often looks like the players on opposing sides are out for blood. Some of the tackles seem surprisingly rough, and of course players can suffer serious physical injuries from the game. This might make it look like the players have no respect for their opponents, yet the opposite is true. If players lack respect for their opposite numbers, they will fall into the trap of underestimating them, which gives their opponents a clear advantage. Always assume that your opponents are better than you, and that playing them will give you an opportunity to improve. We can’t learn anything from playing within our comfort zone, and of course I’m not just talking about rugby, I’m talking about any competitive situation in life. When you respect your opponents, you are respecting yourself.