Are you a Rugby Player who Focuses Too Much on the Opposition

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Rugby Psychology Tips: Are You a Rugby Player who Focuses Too Much on the Opposition?

You may not be the most confident rugby player in some situations

May be you sometimes focus too much on the size or quality of the opposition you are up against?

If you do – you will likely be intimidated on occasions.  You’ll compare yourself to other players and in your mind think they are better that you.

This is one quick way to destroy your confidence.

Some rugby players try their best to intimidate the opposition, looking for a chink in their armoury or a mental edge. Other players do it because they know it will give them a better chance of winning.

However, self-intimidation is the big thing that stands out as a problem for many rugby players, they go on to actually psych themselves out – on their own.  The pay far too much attention on the opposition.  An example, I’ve come across a number of times is when a rugby player has had a bad game or run of games at a certain ground, they can then fearful and think far too much about the end result.

What can happen in the mind is:

– Worry too much about the quality of the opposition

– Compare their skills against the other team’s

– Big the opposition up

–  Imagine past poor performances and mistakes on that ground

– Criticise themselves

– Think about all the things you cannot do

All of these things are a fantastic way to start a game 10-0 down and with very little confidence.

Solutions – Self awareness is key

Tip 1: Notice in the build up to a game if you place too much emphasis on the ability of the opposition.  It’s very easy done – in today’s obsessive world of video analysis.

Tip 2: Again in the build up to a game, notice if you are studying the recent record of an opponent too much.

Tip 3:  In the warm-up, if you feel you are paying too much attention to the opposition – stop.

Tip 4: Focus on you, make a Confidence CV listing your strengths as a rugby player and your achievements in the game.

Tip 5: Visualise when you are at your best, what you look like making a break, scoring a try or making a crunching tackle..

All in all, comparing yourself to other people is not a good thing to do.  It’s very easy to then go on and forget other rugby players are humans too and are far from perfect.  Let’s be honest, at the highest level in the Premiership how often do you see top, top players make mistakes – it happens every week!

So I challenge you to focus on you and the skills that have got you, where you are today.

Feel free to get in touch if you want to play your best rugby more consistently with a more confidence attitude or sign up to “The Mental Edgefor regular Sport Psychology tips for Rugby players.

One 2 One coaching with a Leading Sports Psychologist, David Charlton, near Newcastle Upon Tyne is available.   Face to face, via the telephone, SKYPE or online via email.

David Charlton Sports Psychologist

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Rugby Mental Performance Coach and Sports Psychologist to many Rugby Players around the world from UK and Ireland, to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand using ONLINE Video Conferencing (Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp).    

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence, Host of Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast, and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over a decades’ experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, faster. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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