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How rugby can benefit mental health

By Jack Tunney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Over the years rugby has gained widespread popularity around the world, with millions of players and fans alike who are passionate about the game. But beyond its physical benefits, rugby has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health as well. Let us explore some of the ways that playing rugby can improve mental health:

Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence

Playing rugby can help build self-esteem and confidence in a number of ways. For one, it requires players to work together as a team, and when that team succeeds, it can give players a sense of accomplishment and belonging. Additionally, rugby is a physical sport that requires strength and skill, and mastering those skills can help players feel proud of their abilities and accomplishments.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Rugby is a physical activity that requires focus and concentration, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. The physical exertion of playing rugby can also trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the brain that can improve mood and reduce stress.

Improves Social Connections

Rugby is a team sport, and playing on a team can provide a sense of social connection and support. Rugby teams often form close bonds, with players supporting and encouraging each other both on and off the field. This can help players feel less isolated and more connected to others, which can improve mental health.

Develops Coping Skills

Playing rugby requires resilience and the ability to cope with challenges and setbacks. For example, if a player makes a mistake on the field, they need to be able to bounce back quickly and refocus on the game. Developing these coping skills can help players better manage stress and anxiety in other areas of their lives as well.

Provides a Sense of Purpose

Playing rugby can provide players with a sense of purpose and direction. This is especially true for young people who may be struggling to find their place in the world. By dedicating themselves to a sport they love, players can gain a sense of purpose and direction that can help improve mental health.


From boosting self-esteem and confidence to reducing stress and anxiety, rugby can help players develop the skills they need to thrive both on and off the field. If you’re looking for a sport that can improve your mental health, rugby may be just the ticket.


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