How SaberCats’ Christian Dyer got ready for ‘best season’ in 2024

Mar 8, 2024 | Uncategorized

By Aaron Wilson

The way that Christian Dyer prepared for the launch of the undefeated SaberCats’ season speaks to his perspective and love for the game of rugby.
One game into the season after a victory over the Utah Warriors to get off to a 1-0 start, Dyer reflected on his gratitude.
Dyer is fully healthy again after enduring a difficult injury that led to an even greater appreciation for the sport during a tough offseason.
When the SaberCats’ center and wing tore a ligament in his wrist while playing for the national team during the offseason, he was out of rugby for several months.
Instead of allowing sadness and frustration to set in about not being able to play, Dyer leaned into other things he enjoys in his life.
He lived in Dallas with childhood friends, renewing his relationships with them.
“Being away from rugby for four months, I just figured out the other things in my life that I have a lot of interest in,” Dyer said. “It was just getting a breath of fresh air not having a sport in my life. It was really nice to be able  to live life kind of like a normal person.
“You get away from it for four months, and you realize something is missing in your life. I’m just grateful to be back playing and my body is in a good place. I’m the most energetic and motivational best place and ready to have the best season I’ve ever had.”
Since his return, Dyer has resumed his traditional training regimen under the direction of SaberCats strength and conditioning coach Jon Hood and is playing regularly again.
And the SaberCats are aiming high after making the playoffs again last season and winning 10 games overall to set a new franchise record.
“As a collective, we’re a hell of a lot more fit than last season,” Dyer said. “That’s a credit to each individual putting the work in. I feel amazing. My body is fit and my mind is in a great place. I’m really, really excited for the year and we have big goals. We want to win it all.
“For two years, we’ve been building this and got to a place that we haven’t been in the history of the SaberCats. That’s good, but that’s not good enough. Our job is to win the whole thing and grow the sport of rugby in Houston.”
Dyer is a major advocate of mental health. He’s the SaberCats’ representative in Major League Rugby’s official mental health fitness partnership with LooseHeadz. He volunteered to be a mental health ambassador with the SaberCats and was provided with a toolkit of resources to support other players.
“I think the No. 1 thing is just having the confidence to check in with yourself and your teammates and to express how you actually feel,” Dyer said. “Most people hide their feelings, if they’re not all positive. I think it’s totally okay if you’re in a slump to reach out. “What I’m trying to urge everyone in my life to do is to randomly call someone and check in on them and see how they’re doing. You never know what that random phone call could do. It could save someone’s life.”
Within the SaberCats’ locker room, camaraderie, respect and empathy are emphasized throughout every phase of the season and offseason. When players are having an issue, they’re not alone.
“We’re so big on culture here,” Dyer said. “We preach family. As much as what we’re doing is about rugby, it’s about life. It’s about family. It’s about building relationships, so we spend just as much time off the field hanging around doing stuff outside of rugby. It’s an important component of mental health in sports.”
After qualifying for the playoffs last year in his first season and competing in Dubai with the USA Eagles to help qualify the United States for the Rugby World Cup, Dyer started his own podcast called the Chase.
He has a YouTube channel and he uses these outlets to talk with fellow leaders in sport and share his lessons from the game of rugby.
“I remember myself as a young kid looking up to guys and all I wanted to do was be them,” Dyer said. “Now that I think I’m on track for being that person, I think it’s a responsibility to inspire the next generation. I’m fortunate to have a platform through the sport of rugby that I can share my message.”
His YouTube channel is devoted to positive themes of trusting the process, establishing a mindset toward success and being mindful of others.
“I bring in Olympic athletes, NFL guys, Super Bowl champs, UFC Hall of Famers,” Dyer said. “When I ask them what is their definition of success, they all say happiness. I think we’ve got to understand we’re not just athletes, we’re humans. It’s easy to forget that when we’re consumed in sports.”
“My whole goal with the Chase platform is to expose the truth, the side of sports that sometimes doesn’t get heard and get a lot of light on it. A huge component of that is mental health. If you can hear and listen to stories and experiences of guys who have done it at the highest level, that can add a lot of insight to everyone else.”