Archive for December, 2007


Why Fluid Is Important For Rugby Players

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In any cardiovascular sport, fluid intake is not only recommended but essential. With that said, in the modern game of rugby (league or union) fluid intake, before, during and after activity is vital.

One of the main ways the body loses water is through sweat and therefore in order to keep your muscles working at optimum levels they need to be rehydrated on a regular basis. Electrolytes such as sodium are also lost in sweat and need to be replaced.

One of the main jobs of a coach is to always have an ample supply of water available and preferably drinks that can be mixed with water containing carbohydrates and electrolytes. This is essential for the rugby athlete as the game is both a high intensity and high endurance sport.

How Much Fluid And When?

The amount of fluid and how much varies from sport to sport and also depends on the weather conditions, but the general guidelines for Rugby Players are;

  • Always be well hydrated before training or a game. Start taking small amounts of water or carbohydrate based drinks at regular intervals (upto 6 hrs before kick off)
  • During excersise or a game, take regular drink breaks or when there’s a stoppage in play ALWAYS have at least a mouthful.
  • Immediately after excersise or a game, you should weigh yourself to find out how much fluid you’ve lost (1kg=1000ml). An important point to remember is that you will continue to lose fluids after excerise for between 2 and 6 hours and therefore need to replace these too. A rule of thumb is 1.5x your weight loss

Eg. 1kg weight loss = 1.5 litres of fluid to fully rehydrate (Less than 1Kg is preferable)

  • Thirst is not an effective indicator as to when or how much you need to drink. If you’re thirsty then you’re already dehydrated.

What about alcohol?

Alcohol is a diuretic which means it increases the volume of urine produced by the body, therefore, interfering with the rehydartion process. If you like to drink alcohol after a game or excersise then look after your rehydration first (using the Kg/Litres ratio) and drink sensibly.

Fluid Guidlines Summary

  • Dehydration definately impares pefrormance and mental skills
  • If you are thirsty then you’re already dehydrated
  • Monitor your fluid losses by weighing yourself
  • Use the weight(Kg)/Fluid(Litres) ratio to find out how much fluid to replace
  • Be aware of greater fluid loss in warmer conditions.
  • Sports drinks are recommended for rugby as it is a high intensity sport.
  • Drink alcohol sensibly After the rehydration process.

Neil Harmon

Categories : General
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Knowledge Is Power

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Hi there

Following on from my last post, I wanted to explain how and where I’m going to get my information from. I retired from professional Rugby League at the age of 36 and was lucky enough to play for some of the top Super League Clubs in the UK. I also represented GB on the Oceana tour in 1996 to Papua New Guinnea, Fiji and New Zealand. I also picked up 6 caps for Ireland and played 1/2 season for the French Champions Villeneuve in 1997.

I don’t say this to beat on my chest but to show that I’ve been involved in professional Rugby League for the biggest part of my life and I’ve had the privilige of being coached by some of the elite coaches on the planet.

Over the years I’ve been taught the basics of rubgy and how to implement them and I would like to share this knowledge with as many amateur coaches as is physically possible and I have approached two ex-professionals to help me with this quest.

The first person I asked was my ex team mate Harvey Howard who has also palyed at the highest level in both England and Australia which culminated in a Grand Final Win with the Brisbane Broncos. Harvey has also represented Great Britain.He is currently the Coaching & Development Manager in NSW and is at the fore front of rugby development in Australia.

The second person I asked to come on board is David Griffiths. ‘Griff’ has provided kicking coaching and tactical advice to rugby coaches and players over the last 8 years in both Great Britain and Australia.

He is the current Director of Rugby League Germany and is responsible for our recent coaching trip to Nuremberg with the German National squad. He is also Head of Physical Education at Mount St Mary’s College which is where the Rugby Football League hold their coaching development courses.

Griff teaches three main strands to kicking,

  • Kick to land not to hand
  • Kick to the gulls
  • Percentage Goal Kicking is Successful Goal Kicking

Utilising these three strands David Griffiths provides the leading edge in Rugby kicking development aiding all kickers on the performance pyramid.

‘Knowledge Is Power’ as they say and I think we have the foundation to provide an essential rugby coaching resource:)

Be Well

Neil Harmon

Categories : General
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