Motivation is understood as a key force which determines our behavior, impacting how we feel, think and interact with others. It is known to be essential in getting individuals to fulfill their potential.

At Play Rugby USA, our Academy program helps to develop and inspire youth to become more focused, confident and engaged on and off the field as we work toward helping players to realize their full potential. Within my first week here at Play Rugby, I wanted to get right among the action to understand why our students are so motivated to actively participate in our Academy program.

Coming into my first Academy practice at Pier 40, I couldn’t help but notice the buzz of energy that was around me. Despite the chilly weather conditions and situation whereby our training fields were double booked (leaving us with half the anticipated space), our players were in cheerful moods and eager to get training.

I spoke to a bubbly young man Brennen, who detailed his recent struggles to commit to regular trainings, and discussed how happy he was to be back. With a background in basketball, he said he’s always wanted to be part of a High School sports team, and inspired by the “High School Musical” movies, Brennan was motivated to find himself his own sporting sweet spot. Play Rugby USA was keenly identified as an avenue to live out his High School sporting dream, and he told me how being warmly welcomed by team members and coaches really helps with his motivation to attend trainings and be part of the program.

It is apparent that kids like Brennen have a strong intrinsic motivation to attend our Academy programs, which stems from the rewards that they gain through participation. This motivation is reinforced by the environment in which these kids are growing –  our players are motivated to commit as they are provided with these rich opportunities for learning and self-improvement, and they receive family like support at the same time.

We help our players stay motivated and energized through intentionally designed curricula that cultivates character, builds skills and develops lifelong habits of the mind and body. At Play Rugby USA, we are more than just a few coaches who run rugby drills after school. We are a group of trained and dedicated mentors who take the time to stop and ask, “how are you today?” and regularly check in with genuine interest and intent. We run through skills in detail without singling players out and we focus on making everyone feel welcome, by treating all players as equals. We foster respect and participation, and supplement everything we do with the values that we are built upon.

With its role in helping us to get things done, the notion of motivation is strongly aligned with Play Rugby’s underlying value ‘switch on’. Switch On is centered around preparing for and focusing on the task at hand, and it propels us to reach our goals. 

When you spend time at an Academy session it quickly becomes apparent that Play Rugby is about transformation and progression through, and through and tapping into that ability to ‘switch on’ is key for success. A genuine care for our players is coupled with an environment in which there is no space to plateau – we challenge our students in ways that generate good results and it is easy to see why our kids want to be there.

At Play Rugby, we do rugby right.

Our players lining up to begin training at Pier 40