A son or daughter who just left school has all the answers to life… or so they think. Regardless of the fact that they don’t know the first thing about life. As a rugby player, this is usually where they take one of two paths: they stop completely… or they continue playing for many years to come. Under-21 rugby plays such a crucial part in success at a senior level.
Over the years I have regularly seen that from literally thousands of players who play at high school or a club up to the age of 18, only about 10% play after leaving school.
Rugby serves as an amazing tool in helping children understand various aspects of life, its challenges, and its rewards.
If your child decides that they want to stop playing, it is always a good idea to try and convince them to continue playing, regardless of their aspiration levels.
Why your child should continue playing rugby after school
There are very few sports with the unique characteristics of rugby. During the time that they are involved as a player, they learn extremely valuable life lessons.
The biggest benefit is the social aspect of the game. Rugby players make friends for life with those on their team as well as many opponents. These connections form an instant community where they will always be welcomed.
Players stay healthy and active by continuing to participate in organized sport. Every one of us has seen friends after school suddenly pick up a lot of weight and encounter health problems because they have stopped being active. Rugby players of all competition levels continue to stay active and lead a far healthier life than the average person.
Teamwork never goes out of fashion. Whether you are doing it for your rugby team or you are working as a group at work, a solid team player is always valued. Rugby players in a team don’t always get along off the field. When they are working towards a common purpose, the unselfish teamwork however really comes to the fore.
How can you as a parent stay involved with their under-21 rugby player?
As mentioned the most important thing you can do is to encourage them to continue being part of the game. Some players continue playing for 20 years after school and enjoy every minute of it.
If they love the game, but don’t want to play anymore, there are many options for them. There will always be a local club or school that would love their help as a coach, administrator or match official.
Whatever path they choose, be sure to encourage them to still be part of the game. It also opens up a whole new circle of potential friends for you as the parent when your child’s rugby career evolves.