Giving Back to the Game - Nate Augspurger

For the first time in my career, I know where I’m supposed to be. I’ve decided to stay in San Diego and play with the Legion. So much of my career has been spent with the question, “Where do I need to move to?” Or, “What team am I going to be playing for?” But God has made it clear to me that I am to build upon the foundation I’ve started here. 

Major League Rugby isn’t scheduled to start until early 2021. Everyone’s fingers are crossed that our U.S. national team will be able to go on our European tour in November. And I hope that I can start to coach rugby with private lessons soon, at least. Rugby is close to my heart, I feel connected to the game and I want to give back to it as much as I can. 

Ever since I can remember, God placed ambition on my heart. I always wanted to be a pro athlete growing up. I played football, basketball, you name it, but I was always undersized — short and light. I was quick though not very fast, but one thing I was, I was a competitor. I believed in myself and once I began playing rugby, I knew I could do something special with it. My height and size never disqualified me from having a dream, nor achieving those dreams. Rugby was the sport which provided me an avenue to pursue those dreams and become the person I am today. 

When I was growing up, there wasn’t much in place for American rugby. I see it as our responsibility to put that into place so rugby can provide much more for those who pursue it in the next generation. 

Rugby has allowed me the chance to travel to 20 different countries, giving me the career to do what I love to do, introduced me to my wife, and required me to lean on God in ways I never had. Rugby is a part of who I am. I believe this sport can serve the people who are a part of it — from professionals to those who play just for recreation. Rugby isn’t my game, but I love playing it so I want to do my part to advance the game and give to the game what I would have loved to gain from it. 

God’s hand has always guided my career. Whether I found myself in a challenging situation or intimidating scene — such as stepping onto the field in my first international competition, or learning to trust God when I didn’t get to play as much as I would have liked — God has brought me through and shown me more of Himself along the way. Whenever we find ourselves in situations where we don’t know how to handle it on our own, we need someone greater to guide us. So now, every time I step on the field, I pray to God that His will would be done. When I do, it lightens my load and allows me to play to the best of my ability, out of my love for the game, with the purpose to bring glory to God.

He’s always guided me along in my career. He’s the One who has given me the dream to be where I am at today, and I know He will continue to guide me as I follow His lead. 

— Nate Augspurger, USA Rugby and San Diego Legion player

Nate Augspurger is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Nate’s Increase profile here.

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