You have decided to sign yourself or you child up for rugby…Great! Now you have to figure how to find the best club so that your rugby career gets off to a smooth start. It can be a bit daunting trying to understand if a rugby club is suitable so we will help you out. We have come up with a set of criteria you can use to evaluate clubs so you can make an informed decision on where you want to play rugby.
How to find a good rugby club?
To find a good rugby club you need to ensure they have an experienced coach, large number of active players, have a history of developing players that compete at higher levels, are open to new players joining the club and have a strong communal family spirit.
How To Know If Your Rugby Coach Is Good?
If your rugby coach has a lot of experience coaching, has produced high performing winning sides and has a history of developing players that have gone on to play professionally then chances are your footy coach is legit.
When you are looking for a rugby club to apply your trade at, ensuring that the side is led by a high quality coach is very important. A side with a poor coach is unlikely to be very successful and a bad coach is not going to have the ability to improve your rugby skills.
When evaluating your potential future rugby coach ask yourself these questions:
- Do they have experience coaching at their current level?
- Have they produced winning sides?
- Do players play for this coach for a long time?
- Do they give opportunities to new players?
- Do they focus on skill development?
- Have they produced players that have played professionally?
- Do they create a good atmosphere?
- Are players excited to come to their training sessions?
These questions will help you figure out if a coach is legit or a pretender.
Should I Play For A Big Rugby Club?
A big club has the advantage of giving you more training partners to practice and the extra depth usually means there is more talent which can help elevate your rugby game. However, in a smaller club it may be easier to win a starting position and it may have a more family atmosphere.
When choosing a rugby club you need to determine what exactly you are looking for. Do you want to play for a highly competitive club that can give you the chance of becoming a top tier footy player? Do you want a more social atmosphere? Or do you want to play in a high grade with little competition?
At a big club with many players you have an increased chance of developing as a player. The more players there are means there are more training partners for you to workout with. You will also get exposed to higher levels of talent which is usually less abundant at small clubs.
The downside to a big club is with more players comes more competition. Now this competition is often good but only if you succeed and have a bit of luck. It can be very difficult as a new player to just show up at a club and win a starting position in a high grade. You can end up stuck on the bench or wasting away in the lower grades where you are stuck training with uncommitted players and receiving poor coaching.
This situation can go either two ways, you can become inspired to work 10x harder and break into the top grades or you can become disillusioned with rugby and quit the game.
Now on the opposite end of the spectrum at a small club you run into the opposite problem. You may find it much easier to break into the 1st grade side but that won’t mean much if the players are of a low quality and the 1st grade coach is at the same level as the 4th grade coach at the large club.
However, if you are just looking to play some rugby for fun and make some new friends then the small club is probably the better option. At a small club you will quickly get to know everyone and they are usually more social, so you have many opportunities to hit the town with your new rugby mates.
Should I Play Rugby For A Local Club?
Playing rugby for a local club is usually ideal as it makes it easier to regularly make it to practice and you will most likely be playing with people and friends from your community. Playing for a local club helps you connect with your neighbourhood.
If you have the option of playing for a great club which is a big commute away or a good club which is right on your doorstep, then you should probably opt to represent the good club.
When you are tired, it’s cold, and you have just had a long day at school or work do you think it is going to be easy to travel for 40 + minutes to show up at rugby training multiple days a week? The further your club is away from where you live or work the more likely you are to skip training.
To avoid training truancy it is advised you play for a club that is very easy to get to. As humans we love to give ourselves excuses not to do difficult things, by signing up to a club that is far away, you are giving yourself an excuse on why you shouldn’t be at practice every week.
Another benefit of playing for a local rugby club is the enhanced connection you can develop with your local community which can be lacking in the modern world. When playing with a local club you will be running onto the pitch with friends and other acquaintances from your town. This can be a nice way to entrench yourself into your neighbourhood especially if you are new to the area.
What Facilities Do Rugby Clubs Have?
The facilities at rugby clubs vary at a minimum they will have a field, changing room and showers. Bigger clubs will have stadiums, clubhouses, gyms, physio rooms and pools.
The facilities that you require is an important factor when selecting a rugby club. If you want access to a full gym but your club is lucky just to have a changing room then the club isn’t going to be a good fit.
Before you choose a footy club make sure it has all the training facilities that you need as there can be a big variance in the facilities that certain clubs can offer compared to others.
When Do Rugby Clubs Train?
The days and time vary depending on the specific clubs but most clubs will have training 2-3 days a week on Tuesday and Thursday in the early evening with a game on Saturday morning or in the afternoon.
Before you choose a rugby club you need to make sure that their training and match schedule aligns with yours. There is no point in finding the world’s greatest club only to discover that you can’t attend any training sessions because you are busy on those days.
If there is a chance that you can not attend practice and matches regularly due to a scheduling conflict then you should look for another club.
Navigating the minefield that is selecting a good rugby club can be challenging. However, if you focus on choosing a club that has a good coach, trains at a suitable time for you, has a good amount of active players and has a history of producing winning sides then you have likely found yourself a high quality club.