One of the most critical things I do when I am working with a family is helping the student to identify rugby programs that would be a “good fit.” But what does a “good fit” mean? As the pictures above clearly demonstrate, it is easy to see when clothes or shoes don’t fit but it can be difficult to envision whether a collegiate rugby program will work for your athlete’s goals. Below are a few questions I encourage players to think about in determining what type of program will be a good fit for them. There is no right or wrong answer, but it is important to be honest with yourself about what you are looking for in a program. Just like you wouldn’t buy cleats that fit your teammate, you wouldn’t pick a college just because that’s where your friends are going!
How much time are you willing to dedicate to rugby in college? Most high school athletics teams require players to dedicate anywhere from 5-15 hours per week, including practices, team workouts and games. College programs range from Social programs (requiring about 8 hours a week), to Competitive programs (10-15 hours/week), to High Performance programs (anywhere from 20-30 hours+/week).
This is obviously tied to Time Commitment. What other activities are you hoping to participate in while in college? Will you want to work or participate in research opportunities? Or, maybe you want to join a fraternity or sorority. All of these extra activities add up in addition to your classes and rugby commitment, so think this through!
Often this piece is overlooked which is why I always encourage players to try to chat with college coaches as much as possible (come meet them at our upcoming College Fair! LINK TO NORCAL FAIRS) to get a sense of coaches’ goals, philosophies, and coaching style. Many coaches are player-centered and rely on a collaborative partnership with players when making decisions, while others may be more like a dictatorship where what he or she says goes. Some are loud and some are quiet.