Requiring every player to have a diversity of skills – passing, jumping, kicking, running, tackling – rugby is one of the fastest growing team sports in America, and an increasing number of major universities now offer rugby scholarships to boys and girls.
Rugby sevens will debut at the 2016 Olympic Games, opening the opportunity for many new athletes to play for their country.
Taking part in last week’s event were international hall of famer and one of the greatest players ever, Waisale Serevi, and “The Fastest Man in Rugby,” current USA Rugby speedster Carlin Isles.
Joining them were current USA Rugby Head Coach Mike Tolkin, former USA Rugby player Phaidra Knight, and former USA Rugby captain and coach Matt Hawkins.
By its free-flowing nature, rugby is touted as an offseason complement for players of all sports to develop as total athletes, requiring all positions to run, catch, pass, and kick. It has some contact like football and lacrosse; the individual flair and constant action of basketball; and the skills and spacing of soccer.
Rugby also helps develop key decision-making skills by forcing all positions to think on the fly, whether on offense or defense.
Additionally, through the practice and development of other skills, rugby can keep young athletes’ attitude about and motivation for sports fresh, providing a break from “sport specialization” burnout that many youngsters are facing.