Training Mindset: Rugby?

Student Review: CTT & Why I chose MVT for Training: DevilDoc
October 5, 2015
Classes Available Pre-Christmas
October 5, 2015

At the risk of upsetting staunch American Football fans out there, I want to put this thought piece up about Rugby. I played Rugby at School and University and absolutely loved it. The game was just so amazing, I used to look forward to it with visceral excitement. It was a sort of controlled fight allied with sporting skill.

I have been remiss as a Rugby fan in the intervening years. The last World Cup match I watched (on TV) was while in Dubai in 2003 prior to going into Iraq. That was an epic game where England defeated Australia to win the final. Fast forward to this weekend, where on pay per view I watched Australia defeat England, and it wasn’t even the final!

Since I played Rugby they have amended some of the rules and cleaned up the play. You don’t see mass struggling mauls of forwards fighting for the ball. That was always the best bit! It is however a great game.

What I see in Rugby is an excellent sport that translates across in mindset to SUT. I see Rugby as a flow, a constant  movement interrupted only briefly by setting up for scrums, kicks and line-outs. The forwards are always moving to support each other, but everyone has to run, and the backs are always setting and resetting the line. However possession is gained, the idea is to pass it out along the line and try to outflank the opposition to score a try over their try line.

You always have mutual support, you always have someone in you back pocket, you have to depend on it.

Forwards = support by fire, backs = maneuver….

You cannot throw the ball forward, you have to pass back and run it forwards. If the ball is kicked forwards, you are offside unless you were behind the kicker, or he gets ahead of you by sprinting forwards.

It is a game of constant flow and immediate tactical decisions, of mutual support while under physical and mental pressure, of getting the ball out and taking one for the team. There are no Cheerleaders in Rugby, the game is too much of a flow, and the game itself is so interesting no-one has time to look  at them! The coach is not involved in any calls. It is only the players on the field.

Do with this opinion as you wish. I have never been able to interest myself in American Football. I think if it had any influence on an SUT mindset, it would make it slow and over reliant on set-piece plays….

Here is an idea of the game of Rugby:

Here are highlights of the 2003 England vs Australia Final:

Here are highlights of this weekend’s match:



  1. Former Sapper says:

    I was always too short tempered to play Rugby,found this out after tackling a Korean guy and giving him a swift elbow to the face as payback for a dirty tackle he had performed on me. I was far too impulsive for it, excellent game for those that like controlled aggression and can stop themselves filling people in for bad tackles.

    A game of rugby with a well coached and captained team is something to behold.

  2. Bergmann says:

    Sports have long been the basis for preparation for team work required by the military. The ancient world knew this. The Spartans come to mind here. I think it reached its peak in the Third Reich with the HJ groups that focused on sports to not only keep the youthful body fit and the mind sharp but it was all around in preparation for military service to work in small groups and in tactics and strategies. In the IIIR you had no choice but to join the HJ and to take part in local sports clubs, and baring an physical disability I think thats a good thing for any society to remain strong and focused on it own survival.. These days I think such activities are discouraged in favor of other more gentile passive activities that are turning kids into fat useless resource consumers..

    Personally I’m not a sports fan in any sense of the word. I detest the saturating intrusion of football and baseball seasons. Though I dabble in hockey but but i suspect its simply my barbaric side and I’m just there for the fights and brutality. There’s nothing like watching someone teeth rocket across the ice in a spray of blood. I’m not a great spectator of anything. I’m a do’er. I think if i took all my years and added up all the snippets of time i saw a game/match on the TV by simply flipping through channels it wouldn’t add up to 1/4 of game/match..


    • Max Velocity says:

      It’s important to separate the ‘doing’ of sports from the ‘sports fan’ mentality which is very much the death of masculinity as you sit fat and happy grilling while watching ‘doers’ do it on TV! 😉

      I’ll make an exception for Rugby World Cup / 6 Nations – but I’m also not sitting fat and happy as an eternal ‘sports fan.’

      • Bergmann says:

        Right. I did my sports “do’er” time. I played soccer in grade school and through high school. But no real interest since.

        Chess is also a mental skill builder I would recommend to folks. I was well into this as a youth through the guiding hands and wisdom of my father.. I dont know if that’s a sport or not. Ive heard it argued like the age old question on whether a tomato a fruit or vegetable..


      • Leatherneck556 says:

        AMEN! I couldn’t agree more. I have no love for sports as a spectator.

        Don’t misunderstand me: I am impressed and entertained by displays of skill and athleticism, and I understand if you like sports. But the “sports fan” persona has replaced real manliness. Now you have to be soft and weak, wearing another man’s shirt to be considered manly.

        It is a huge distraction, and one of the best things we could do for ourselves as a nation is to turn off ESPN.

  3. Max Velocity says:

    Here’s USA losing to Scotland 2015 World Cup:

    But…but…’Merca is best at EVERYTHING! Exceptionalism, don’t you know!

  4. Mike H says:

    Sport along with physical “play”(not PEDs) is important in young ones development. Since it’s basically been taken out of children’s life with more time spend on diversity and other cultural drivel, we now have the current state of unhealthy and shallow youth. Growing up organized sport followed many years of “sandlot” or “playground” sports(tackle football, pond hockey, etc.) where character was found and developed. When the time came to step into organized sport we already had dealt with adversity while developing both physically and mentally. That isn’t happening in today’s America. But we sure do watch a lot of sport on TV.

  5. Bergmann says:

    If this does not fit your over all objective of the blog discussion, delete. No harm.

  6. Redcoat says:

    You knew I would have to comment on this one!

    I have been a rugby player for 25 years and played at a fairly competitive level for a few of them.

    I would add that this game is responsible for the man I am today. The combined aggression and skill developes over years of playing. Match fitness and game awareness are attained from dedication and constant training. The comaraderie of rugby players cannot be found in any other team sport.

    Having said all that, I spent 90% of the game offside and challenged the laws of fair play every weekend. It’s a battle and I would come off the pitch completely spent. Nothing in tank. Total commitment. Nothing given and everything taken.

    What an awesome sport! What’s more I learned how to take a punch, drink a yard of ale and sing some of the filthiest rugby songs known in christendom!

    Swing low, sweet chariot!!

  7. AgingDrifter says:

    Max–I didn’t play but youngest son did–tight head prop. A real beast in the scrum, tackles and the ruck. Team won Texas state high school championship. The post-match trophy picture has the place of honor in my office.

    For me, the sense of team and of collegiality with the other team (after the game) was striking. A beautiful, exciting game.

    And English fans in a London market pub watching an Australia-England match are a treat. Especially as they buy the Yank all the beer he can drink.

  8. Jay says:

    Inside head scrum here.. great way to burn off the testosterone. Still have some great drinking songs from those days too. Ohhhhh roll her leg over, oh roll her leg over…