The Psychological Demands of Elite Professional Rugby

The Psychological Demands of Elite Professional Rugby

Sebastian De Chavez

Sebastian De Chaves, South African 31 year old. Professional rugby player currently with Austin Gilgronis and previous clubs of Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons and Wasps. 

Currently pursuing a masters in psychology looking to be a fully qualified and accredited sports psychologist in the future. 

Today I’m joined by a South African professional rugby player, Sebastian De Chaves, who is currently plying his trade in the USA with Austin Gilgronis and has represented a number of Premiership Rugby clubs.  We discuss mental toughness in elite professional rugby, the use of sport psychology, typical challenges that rugby players and coaches face and common psychological demands of the sport.

Key Learning Points:

  • Mental toughness is being able on an individual level, to get your job done and perform to the best of your ability when things aren’t going well.
  • Mentally tough players execute under massive amounts of pressure.
  • Focusing on what you can control is essential.
  • Don’t let your emotions in the game take over.
  • Always look to learn from top performers.
  • Maintaining a balance off the pitch is important for optimal performance and well-being.

Connect with Sebastian De Chaves



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To Listen to Other Rugby Related Podcast Episodes

Podcast Ep07: Toby Flood –  How Elite Athletes Mentally Prepare

Podcast Ep21: Steve Hackney – How to Reach Your Full Potential

Podcast Ep29: Lome Faatau – How to Play Professional Rugby with Confidence 

Podcast Ep038: Taz Bricknell – Playing Professional Women’s Rugby 

Podcast Ep039: John Fletcher – How to Develop Fearless Athletes

Helpful Rugby Orientated Resources

Rugby Blogs

Rugby Podcasts



Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly.  

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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