With every line breaking run, scrum and big tackle, rugby players put their health in the hands of both the opposition and the referee. There is a deep-set belief that we will not only look to beat each other on the scoreboard and physically, but also look after each other to avoid injuries.
Scrums collapse and suddenly sixteen heavily aggressive players back off. Slowly releasing the pressure from the front row’s necks and helping them to stand up. The switch from controlled aggression to kindness towards our fellow players is instinctive and instant.
There’s the unwritten set of rules in rugby, which mean we all carry a responsibility to each other. Thirty players walk onto the pitch and we all want to see thirty players walking off the pitch.
There is no better feeling than turning up for work on Monday morning with the war wounds inflicted over the weekend. Perversely there can be no worse feeling than having to miss work because you are lying in a hospital bed, injured from an accident during the game.
Players are covered by the club’s medical insurance and that will deal with some rehabilitation costs and some physiotherapy. However, what happens when it’s a long term issue or even worse. Should rugby players have life insurance to cover for these unexpected circumstance.
The implicit trust in fellow players is the best start to planning for walking through the office doors on Monday. When best laid plans do fall apart, the back-up plan needs to be secure and all encompassing. Ensuring that you have life insurance will provide cover for all eventualities. Financial protection for the family, covering legal costs, medical costs and if needed funeral expenses.
Whilst we might not like to think through the worst case scenario when we walk onto the rugby pitch, there is a responsibility we have to our loved ones, to ensure that whatever the match result, they will be looked after.
Rugby is a sporting event that consumes approximately 80 minutes on the pitch. During this specific exercise there are low-intensity and high-intensity activities as well which include running, tackling, and competing for the ball. These activities consumes around 15% of the total on-pitch playing time. During competitive games forwards usually cover between 4,000 – 5,000 meters and backs tend to cover between 5,500 – 5,750 metres. With such intense characteristics coupled with change in movement patterns every 5-7 seconds, speed and acceleration have been found to be crucial aspects towards successful performances in any game.
With perceived energy consumption during rugby activity it is therefore recommended that athletes should consume well balanced diet that comprises of all the food groups. Professional players should consume around 5-6 small meals in a single day.
Carbohydrates are very important part of a rugby player’s diet because they provide the required energy to fuel training and matches. This implies that foodstuff such as potatoes, rice, fruits, vegetables, wheat bread and pasta should be used during the day, before and after training, and carbohydrates should be strictly controlled in the evening. Players should focus mainly on unrefined carbohydrates. For instance, unrefined whole grains comprises of all the parts of the grain including germ which is nutrient rich, the endosperm which is the middle part, and the bran which is the fibre rich outer layer.
Players are also required to consume high level protein because their training focuses mostly on personal strength. This requires that protein should be available in all meals that are consumed throughout the day. Most focus should be on post training due to the rapid number of collisions when playing the game. When it comes to proteins it is recommended that both animal and plant sources should be combined and players should focus on low fat protein.
When players consume well balanced diets blood flows throughout the body in the right manner hence the players body is able to withstand rigour associated with the physical game.