Despite how cool rugby bruises can be, and are a thing of pride and to boast about, one of my biggest fears in life is being injured. My job revolves around the fact that I can participate in sports and truly active activities. It was definitely always something in the back of my mind while playing rugby. I also stopped playing rugby after I tore my MCL, meniscus, and had a discontinuous ACL. So how do you play a full tackle sport, with ot pads and not worry about getting injured? How to you help younger players who have no fear of injury understand the seriousness of using their body correctly so that they do not get injured?
For me once I was on the pitch, unless it was a huge hit injury was not always plaguing my thought. It was however once I started playin with North Shore that i really was well coached and understood how important body position is, not in tackling, but in the scrum. As a prop, I never thought before fully about how important spine and head alignment is in the scrum. As the sport continues to expand, that is one hugely stressed point in coaching clinics. The man we had acting as our scrum coach told us that one of his friend is South Africa broke his neck and died from just diving into a scrum. That is something that really stuck with me,
Fundamentals from running properly, to tackles, to the scrum is something that no matter the level of your experience cannot be worked on enough. Our rookies in college, we always told them the first few tackles are the scariest, but after that it gets easier and eventually becomes second nature. We need to embrace and understand that fear, particularly when working with new players. It needs to be something that is over come, but not something that leaves your mind.
In my time on and off the pitch, I've seen broken fingers, noses, wrists, legs, ankles. Dislocated collar bones, shoulder, and knees. The fear of injury is always around on the field, and needs to continue to be a real reminder the second you step into the game, and during practice, when sloppy "playing around" can lead to just as many if not more injuries. So to all my players who read, what was a fear the kept you from first trying rugby? What fear got you to try out rugby? What fear has the sport helped you get over?