What Gamblers Can Teach Rugby Players

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International rugby games are characterised by rolls of the dice, as is the case with most other sports at the elite level. It is a good idea for the players to learn some lessons from professional gamblers about taking risks to gain chances. If Robshaw and the rest of the England team knew of these lessons, they may not have lost to Wales in the Ruby World Cup in the way they did.

Understand your strengths and stick to them

Professional gamblers can enjoy immense success by engaging in activities that involve some level of skill, such as poker, blackjack and betting on horse racing. They understand where they have an edge and work that angle. Rugby players, in the same way, should engage their specific talents and avoid allowing emotional stress to make them forget what they are good at. Patterns of play that favour a team will likely lead to their success, and vice versa.

Avoid gambling without a properly thought-out plan

The key to professional gambling is to decide on ones’ overall goals ahead of time, including working out the possible outcomes that would be unacceptable. In the case of England, the best goal would have been to avoid a loss. Focusing on avoiding losing a place at the World Cup instead of winning that one game, would have led to a better decision-making process by Robshaw, and would have saved his girlfriend from a whole lot of fan abuse.

Avoid chasing losses

Most losing gamblers make the mistake of diverting from a winning formula and chasing their losses when the pressure is on. This was what England did in the last 20 minutes of the game. England was well ahead in the game at one point, but, as Wales closed in, they began chasing their losses. They did this by changing personnel and approach. This did not help then fight off the Welsh resurgence; instead it made the Welsh gain more ground.

Research is vital

Professional gamblers do their homework by working out every variation and possible outcome. This ensures that they are primed to battle at the very best odds possible. Rugby players, in the same vein, should ensure their game is influenced by what they know about the opposition. Proper understanding of the enemy will ensure very little is left to chance. We have seen this increasingly in cross-field kicks to target short players, but the opportunity to push home an advantage is all over the pitch and in every minute of the game. It’s just about working it out.

Avoid overexcitement

Allowing the excitement of gambling to get to your head is dangerous. When gamblers get too absorbed in the action, they become irrational. This causes them to make poor decisions and abandon their well thought-out plans. In a high stakes environment like the Rugby game between England and Australia, decisions should not be made in the heat of the moment. Players must always stay emotionally grounded while keeping the bigger picture in mind. As the old rugby saying goes “Keep your hearts on fire but your heads in the fridge”.

Whether you are gambling on poker, playing the new bingo sites games that offer an edge, or taking part in a game of rugby, these lessons will protect you from costly mistakes, whilst increasing your chances of success. England’s loss was just one out of the fails at this year’s Rugby World Cup, but they may have progressed further if they had deployed simple lessons.

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