Mad Monday, post season social, end of season p!ss up...call it what you like, but we’re approaching that time all rugby players look forward to. After a long, gruelling rugby calendar, it's the time when you can really let your hair down, relax with team mates, reminisce over the seasons memorable moments and make new goals for September...all be it rather drunken ones!
I make a living through educating people – athletes and the general public – on all things health and fitness, including the detrimental effects alcohol can have on the body and its performance.
However, there is something special about this particular occasion that occurrs and is accepted within most, if not all, UK rugby clubs; in my opinion, it is totally needed and deserved.
After spending months going into battle with your mates on a Saturday, risking injury by putting your body on the line and giving up your time midweek to commit to training, it is nice to be able to all come together in a different setting, away from the boggy pitches, and review the season, let off some steam and become a much closer group.
The drinking culture in rugby has received a lot of bad press in the past and has earned an unfortunate reputation (unfortunately these claims have been justified on the odd occassion).
Yet, when done sensibly and having the honesty, respect and discipline to know your limits and represent your club in the correct manor, this end of season get together can have a hugely positive impact on team camaraderie and spirit.
It can also help forge new relationships, bonds and togetherness within a squad. All of which are complete necessities in becoming a winning team.
At the end of the day, there will always be a relationship between drinking and team sports, especially at amateur level. It will never change – so instead of people jumping at the chance to highlight the rare occasions of stupidity that can occur, they should focus on the positives – then maybe sensible drinking habits will be much more adhered to.
Would love to know your views on this subject and to hear your clubs end of season plans!