7 Reasons Why You Should Play Women's Rugby

7 Reasons Why You Should Play Women's Rugby

Yes Ladies, I'm looking at you.
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Okay, hear me out. You probably see "Women’s Rugby" and are instantly thinking two things: either we are a group of large, manly, ugly girls who run around a field hitting each other, or we play some form of lingerie rugby. I can tell you right now that neither of those is true. We are just like any other sports team (well, except we’re better). We are a group of strong individuals who sign up to play one of the hardest sports in the world, and we love it. Everyone who plays can agree that there is nothing better. But, just in case you need some more convincing, here are some of many reasons why you should take up the sport.

1. It's empowering

I can't even begin to describe the feeling you have when you are on that field. Playing rugby makes you feel fast, agile, and strong. It's physically and mentally straining, but the ability to push yourself to the limit is an incredible accomplishment. In women's rugby, you do tackle each other. It's scary at first, that much is true. Sometimes I still get scared and I've been playing for four years. But you go on the field, and you feel powerful. You feel like you have total control of your body, of your mind, and of the game. There is nothing like the feeling of tackling a girl, running with the ball, or scoring a try.

2. There are positions for everyone.

Believe me, there is literally a spot for any person regardless of their shape or size. Rugby teams are always a mixed bag. Our front row players are solid and powerful. Our locks are tall and strong. Our flankers are fast and tough. Our back line is quick, resilient, and have crazy endurance. I swear some girls could run forever. Even our scrum half who is 4'11 (and 3/4, but who's counting) found her niche. I am 5'4, relatively fast, and a good decision maker. That makes me perfect for my spot at #10, fly half. We don't care where you come from, what you like, or how you look. I promise you, there is a place for you.

3. It is fast paced.

I have to be honest with you. Some sports are really, really boring. The games last forever, and nothing really happens. Rugby, however, is never boring - and it is nothing like football. People always assume it is, but it's actually a lot harder. In rugby, there are no timeouts or dumb commercial breaks. It's 80 minutes of nonstop contact. The only time you get to rest is after somebody scores and it is for two minutes, maybe. You run, you tackle someone, you get up, you ruck, you run, you hit someone again, you ruck again, you run some more. Sometimes you scrum and it's a tangled mess of body parts, and you get up and do it all again. It doesn't stop. And, some people may tell you that "in football you get hit harder so they need a break." They clearly never got tackled by a 6'0, 300-pound girl and then had to get up and keep playing. It's awesome.

4. Rugby is hard work.

Rugby is a mental and physical game. It's tough, I'm not going to sugar coat it. You have to be prepared to put in hours of hard practices and training, ready to be tackled and to tackle, and always be supporting your players. You play in all conditions - rain, unbearable heat, even snow. You will feel sore and pain in places that you didn't know existed. You will get cuts, cleat marks, and bruises. Ice baths become your best friend. You get injured and you keep playing until they forcibly remove you from the field. But all of that feeling is so satisfying. The marks on your body become trophies that you show off. Knowing that you put in the work and pushed your body to it's limit is worth every moment.

5. The team.

Every single sport is going to say that they have the "best team in the whole world," but they're lying. You get very weirdly close to your rugby team that you really do become a family. You tackle each other at practice hard, and then tell them it was a great hit. You have team dinners where 50 pounds of food is consumed, but you're all still hungry. You party together and dance your hearts out. You tell each other everything and make friends you will keep forever. There is just something about beating people up on the field together that makes you closer than any other team ever will be.

6. The community.

Regardless of where you go, if you say that you play rugby you will instantly make friends. In another state, country, or continent, it doesn't matter. You will bond over your experiences, tell stories about your best games, and compare positions and strategies. The community that is built over this game is one that you will always be a part of. Once a rugby player, always a rugby player.

7. The sense of pride.

"Wait, you play rugby?" is probably my favorite question in the whole world. Hell yes I play rugby. Yes I tackle people. Yes I ruck. Yes I'm stronger than I look. But yes, I am still a normal 18 year old girl. I don't "look the part," but that doesn't mean as soon as I am on the field I won't kick your ass. I have so much pride for my sport, and I never fail to tell people that I play. Their reaction is what pushes me to be better. People I meet don't always believe me, but as soon as they see me and my team play, they gain instant respect for us. Women's rugby players are a large group of badass females who will have your back forever.

So there it is. The reasons why you should play the greatest sport to ever exist. You don't need any experience and you don't need to fit any mold. My teams have had former soccer and basketball players, cross country stars, a boxer and a wrestler, some dancers, and people who have never played a sport in their life. Yet, we all come together and we make a force to be reckoned with. The girls I have played with have changed my life. And that is by far my favorite part.

Cover Image Credit: Val Keefer

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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MLB Releases Finalists For Major Awards

Best of the best go head to head one final time.

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This past MLB season revealed the greatest of the sport through extraordinary pitching, hitting, defense, and all-around performance. Players from various teams, positions, and skill level are recognized for grand performance throughout the season. Every year the greats are recognized through awards such as Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year. The MLB has finally released the top three candidates for each of these awards in each league (National and American). Here is an overview of each award and the top three candidates for each.

Cy Young Award

This award is given to the all-around best pitcher from each league. It is given in honor of the great pitcher, Cy Young, who passed away in 1955. Pitching statistics such as strikeouts, innings pitched, and ERA is among the stats that are analyzed in order to determine the winner of this award.

American League Finalists

Corey Kluber- Cleveland Indians

Blake Snell- Tampa Bay Rays

Justin Verlander- Houston Astros

National League Finalists

Jacob DeGrom- New York Mets

Aaron Nola- Philadelphia Phillies

Max Scherzer- Washington Nationals

The winners of these awards will be announced Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Blake Snell seems to be the favorite for the American League over 2017 World Series champion, Justin Verlander. Snell is a stand-out pitcher with an insane ERA of only 1.89. In the National League, Max Scherzer is sitting at the top with an impressive 300 strikeouts on the year.

Rookie of the Year

With a self-explanatory title, the Rookie of the Year award is given to the all-around top performing rookie from each league. Stand out offensive statistics are often the determining factor of the winner of this award, but defensive production, stolen bases, and many other things are taken into consideration.

American League Finalists

Miguel Andujar- New York Yankees

Shohei Ohtani- Los Angeles Angels

Gleyber Torres- New York Yankees

National League Finalists

Ronald Acuna Jr.- Atlanta Braves

Walker Buehler- Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Soto- Washington Nationals

The winner of these awards will be announced Thursday, November 15, 2018. This has been one of the closest race in a while due to the extreme amount of talent these young players have brought to the league this season. Ohtani has been the talk of the American League all season, and Acuna Jr for the National League, but this award could go to any of these incredible athletes.

Manager of the Year

Another pretty self-explanatory title, this award is presented to the overall best manager in each league. Wins, quality of wins, and many other things are taken into consideration when the winner of this award is being decided. Many believe that the World Series winner is a shoo-in for this award, but with the level of talent at manager position these days there is never a sure winner.

National League Finalists

Bud Black- Colorado Rockies

Craig Counsell- Milwaukee Brewers

Brian Snitker- Atlanta Braves

American League Finalists

Kevin Cash- Tampa Bay Rays

Alex Cora- Boston Red Sox

Bob Melvin- Oakland Athletics

The winners of these awards will be announced Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

Alex Cora obviously holds the favorite for the American League Manager of the Year because of his recent World Series victory, but Melvin also brought his team farther than the club has been in years. As for the National League, Snitker led his club out of a four-season dry spell and won the NL East, but Black won the Wild Card shocking the Chicago Cubs.

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