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Rugby, school of life? A magnificent tribune by Serge Collinet. 

Shaken by the acceleration of professionalism, heckled lately by the rooming attitudes of childish males, the values ​​of rugby are restored in this magnificent platform signed by Serge Collinet, former first division player, recognized educational coach and author of numerous rugby training books (technical “best sellers” as he says with a smile).

Team spirit

“When I was little, I already had the feeling that I was practicing a sport different from the others with my friends from school. Wednesdays and Saturdays were special days. The day before, I prepared my rugby bag diligently. In the morning I got up excitedly. The Welsh of Gareth Edwards then dominated the Tournament and Roger couderc his voice echoed through the television: “Go kids!” “. The Blues led by Jean-Pierre Rives were our heroes.

At the stadium, our teacher was talking unusual words mixed with words that seemed sacred to him: altruism, courage, solidarity, tolerance, respect. By I do not know what process all these notions, very abstract for the little ones, were to lead us to the finality. She wasn’t about winning but in the end to have team spirit.
The victory was second and the “way of being” first. Curious message in a society where performance and competition reigned supreme.

Jean-Pierre Rives, admirable captain of the XV of France from 1978 to 1984

Learning from the collective

It was much later, having taken up the torch of transmission, that I realized how lucky I was to have been able to practice rugby. A funny sport where you have to move forward by sending the ball behind, facing opponents who have the right to catch you and tackle you to the ground. This specificity leads to many hardships for those who hold the ball to their hearts.
He wears, in the name of his family, what the adversary wishes to take back from him, a very precious oval machine which has been conquered by the efforts of the team members. Alone, he is nothing, worse, he is in danger.

In the team, the small rubs shoulders with the tall, the fat, the lean, the agile, the clumsy and the very fast, the slow. There is a place for everyone even if it is always a tour de force for the coach to compose a coherent whole with all these particularities. So everyone tries to bring the best to the collective. In rugby the star is the team. You can run the 100 meters in less than 11 seconds, alone you will never score a try. Without the work, sometimes the sacrifice, friends to conquer the ball, to put the team in motion and to send you a good ball you will never do anything.

The maul, illustration of a collective work that helps a whole team move forward
The maul, illustration of a collective work that helps a whole team move forward

From action to transmission

In short, it wasn’t until later that I understood that the sacred words my teacher was saying are not just vague notions. These are values. Ingredients of an alchemy whose match is the crucible.
They constitute the solid base on which all the educators who have integrated them build their project for young people who come to learn rugby.
It is often said that rugby is the school of life. It is in fact the school of what it should be in a society where altruism, courage, solidarity, tolerance and respect take precedence.

Rugby school, the school of life?
Rugby school, the school of life?

There is a place for everyone in a rugby team but not room for everyone because being a rugby player, being recognized as such by his brothers on the team, is to prove, in the events, that we respect the values ​​of the great family of those who have one day carried to the front a oval balloon. It is not a question of sporting level because there are competitions for all physical potentials. It’s a matter of state of mind. Here the theory is not possible. We do not learn the values ​​of the oval in the books, we incorporate them on the field of play. We make them our own and then we are faithful to them. In this sense, entering rugby involves.

So when the body no longer allows you to participate in the weekend games, there remains the spirit and the possibility it offers to become a conveyor of values.
So that our little rugby players, who have become just good men, in turn disseminate the values ​​of this sport like no other.
“Go kids! “.

Serge Collinet

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