We frequently meet parents who allow their children to avoid sport because “my child is just not into sport” or “he is just not a team player”. While there is nothing wrong with these statements, there’s more to playing sport than just making a team, in fact their long-term health relies on participating in organized sport from a young age. We take a look at why, and how, you can incorporate some rugby into your son’s schedule.

Firstly, it is important to note that if he’s never tried a particular sport, he can’t surely know that he doesn’t like it. It is important to help them find their preference or just participate in a sport that they enjoy – regardless of whether they make the “A” team or “G” team.


Rugby is a great sport to get your son into from a young age as it includes basic ball skills like kicking, aiming at a target, throwing and catching. If you are concerned about safety, rest assured that touch rugby is the predominant form at a young age. These simple skills do a world of good for important human reflexes and mental processing including:

  • Hand-eye coordination,
  • Planning and sequencing abilities
  • Dribbling and bilateral skills (the ability to control and coordinate both left and right sides of the body)
  • Improved health and physical development

Between 7 to 14 years of age, the sport changes to focus on:

  • Improving flexibility
  • Accuracy
  • Agility
  • Speed of movement



Rugby is also a great partner to academic performance – players develop “physical literacy” from rugby too, including:

  • Better focus at school.
  • Positive sleeping patterns.
  • Better confidence.
  • Social skills development – he needs effective communication habits to work in a team environment, and develops friendships through interacting with his teammates.
  • Team-work – he must work with his teammates to score a goal.
  • A stronger sense of achievement and an understanding of disappointment – winning and losing are part of the game and life.


Parents can get involved by spending time practicing ball skills with their son through play. There are a whole host of games on the internet that make throwing, catching and kicking fun at home. Try not to take this activity too seriously as it’s not about achieving results, it’s about allowing him to experience a sense of achievement and success, promoting his development in the relevant skills, establishing a positive mind-set towards these skills in future and building self-esteem.

Send him on fun holiday sporting activities that incorporate socialising. At The Investec International Rugby Academy, our Prestige and Intermediate courses focus on developing these foundation skills in your son’s game so that he is also set up with necessary life skills. On our courses, he can enjoy meeting new friends in the school holidays and will have new stories to tell his friends in the new school year. Give him the holiday experience of a lifetime and take part in his personal growth and development – book his spot here