The Rugby World Cup Final is not long away and it has been a popular tournament. One of the things that always stand out when watching rugby is the physicality and skills involved in the sport, and the same can be said of the this tournament.
Being a provider of massage courses we naturally always see ways in which massage can benefit different people and in different scenarios. That leads us onto the topic of discussion in this piece, can massage make you a better rugby play?
The case against
As with a lot of things in life there is not a simple yes or no answer, there are a few different factors to consider. To some people you can seriously claim that massage can make a rugby player better.
Rugby is a game of rules and technique. You need to know your role to thrive and you need to know how to perform your duties. As well as that you need a specific skill-set to play well, a skill-set such as catching, throwing, kicking and all the dirty dark arts of a forward.
Massage will not help you with technique, it will not help you with your natural ability to know the game, and it will not help you become a better rugby player alone.
However, there are quite a few points to make that suggest it can make you a better player.
The case for
Rugby is no doubting a very technical game. You do need a wide skill-set and an understanding of it too. It is also a very physical game.
Massage to keep you going – Rugby players take a battering on a regular basis, just look at New Zealand fly half, Dan Carter, in a match. These 15 stone monsters of men will crash into each other and create some impressive impact. This will put all kinds of pressure on their bodies and not surprisingly often leads to injuries.
The players not only come under huge forces on the field but in the gym as well and massage plays a key role in keeping these players going.
How does that make them better players? If a player gets injured and faces substantial time out of the game, this will obviously have a direct impact on their ability to play and improve as a player.
If you use massage as part of your exercise program you will not only prevent injury but you can plan quicker recovery times. The players will feel fresher and you will be able to train more and improve your skill-set, so making you a better rugby player.
Massage to improve your athleticism – It is not just about injury prevention and recovery either. With the right nutrition and exercise program you can actually use sports massage to make you faster, stronger and fitter.
It is linked to recovery time of muscles but can form a part of your routine that will be just as important as the exercises themselves.
Other considerations – Whilst there is no doubting massage can help with the physical side of the game there can be a mental gain too. This all comes down to the individual and how they react to a massage but a player under stress can really use regular sports massage as a chance to think and get their mind in shape.
To us the answer is to the discussion 'Can massage make you a better rugby player?' is a yes. It might not directly affect how skilful you are, it might not teach you the rules and get you rugby ready but it can help. It can help you build power, pace and stay injury free. It can help you train for longer and improve your skills. It can make you a better rugby player.