21 players from 6 counties traveled to Kilkenny College for the inaugural Minis Rugby Academy Kilkenny, a 4 day/3 night residential camp that represented a first chance for most of players to experience a top end high performance rugby development environment away from home.
And what an experience these young players had! The programme centred on exceptional rugby sessions coaching and testing core skills in the game (passing, rucking, tackling and more). However, a unique aspect of the RugbyCamps.ie/PSA Academies experience is the high performance sessions in Speed Development (with Olympic coach Jim Kilty), Resilience Training, Sevens Rugby (with Irish International Fionn Carr), Sports Psychology (with leading expert Dr. Eddie Murphy), Strength & Conditioning, Nutrition and more.
With all that hard work and focus, it is also important that the Minis Rugby Academy Kilkenny players get to have fun and the additional activities led by Camp Manager Cory & his assistants Cathal & Sean covered this in spades. The core principles revolved around developing the C.A.R.D.S. (Creativity, Awareness, Resilience, Decision Making & Self Organisation – see more here about how England Rugby U18s are using the approach) of the players as individuals and a group. To achieve this the players were kept on their toes with regular sport checks and mini tasks during the day, before taking on group based team building challenges in the evening. The highlight of each day was invariably the Kangaroo Court where players need to show their mettle in defending themselves against charges (mostly fun but the odd serious one!) made by the staff and presided over by Judge Cory.
The group showed themselves to be talented, well rounded and exceptionally resilient over the 4 days of the programme and played a full part in proceedings, especially the Tag Tournament on the last night.
We are hoping the thoroughly enjoyed their stay and will bring all that they learned into the new season ahead. Suffice to say, we hope to see many back in 2018 (and maybe even in Tignes at the Tignes Rugby Academy) and for the years ahead.
Click here to see all the best images from the Minis Rugby Academy in our Gallery section