So over here I haven't completely neglected rugby (thankfully). I'm currently training with the New South Wales Malaysian students rugby team, and we've got THE tournament of the year coming up, which is the National Conference Games (NCG) 2011 that'll be held in Melbourne. It's basically a sports carnival type event where Malaysian students from all over Australia come as representatives of their states and compete against other states. The rugby games will be on the 6th of July.
The current NSW rugby team is pretty good in my humble opinion.We've got some good players who have had substantial experience in rugby. It's good fun playing with them. Plus, they're cool guys, so that's always great.
However, I do feel that the team does need to work on its communication. This has been an issue in any team I've played. Since rugby is very much a team sport, communication plays a huge role in the game. But when I say communication here, I'm not saying that we need to talk about what we had lunch yesterday on the field. I mean meaningful, in the moment, specific communication like "I'll take the scrum-half!", "That's your man!" and "Ruck it out!"
Here, I'll list down a few reasons why meaningful communication is THAT big a deal to me while playing rugby (or any team sport, for that matter):
1. It helps the team get organized. Especially when defending, when we let our team mates know who we've marked, they can mark another guy instead of having two guys marking the same person, increasing the chances of the opponent of getting an extra man on the wing. When attacking, we can know exactly how much support we have and the options that are available to us in order to make an informed decision of how to play the ball.
2. It helps the team focus. When we're voicing out what we're doing and what we're going to do, we're actually reminding our team mates and also ourselves about what we're going to do, so we'll focus more on the task at hand. If we were to stay silent, it would be very easy for us to stray in our thoughts and lose focus in a game. We don't think about how we're going to perform then and there, we'll start thinking about the result, about a cute girl standing on the sidelines rooting for his boyfriend, wondering why she even bothered to come because they're not even married yet. (No I don't think about these things. Because I communicate in games.)
3. It intimidates the opposition (why does a certain de-facto leader spring to mind? Oh well, never mind.) When you're up against a team that are frequently communicating with each other, you can't help but feel a little unsettled. You just get drowned by their meaningful noise, as they sound confident and fit. Yes, when you communicate a lot, your opponent will think that you're fit, even though inside you're panting more than a dog on heat. So communicate, it'll make you fitter (in your opponent's eyes, at least).
So those are some of the reasons why I think communication is integral in rugby or any other team sport. Of course, there are several other reasons, but those are more situational (is that even a word?) and can only be said on the field with the ball in hand.
I'm praying that all will be fine in Melbourne and that our team will do great. Think about your performance first, and the result will come. Think about your results too much, and your performance shall suffer. Wise words from a wise man (my Bapak).
May peace be upon all of you.