Tignes Rugby Academy Week 3 Day 1 saw the new group of players and their coaching team forced to make the best of some unseasonal wet weather in Tignes.
Tignes Rugby Academy Week 3 Day 1 started off with a light breakfast in the UCPA dining area, with the players sporting their navy Impact Gumshields branded training t-shirts. The morning schedule is tight so the group headed straight to the team meeting room for their Rugby Programme induction with Philippe. He spoke of the philosophy of PSA Academies, the core skills that are the development focus for the week and the expectations of the players, individually and as a group. He also introduced the PSA Academies Coaching team comprising of Johne Murphy, Johan Taylor and himself.
After Philippe’s induction, the players headed to the Tignespace for their opening physical assessment with Strength & Conditioning Coach Cathal Murtagh. This is an important element of the player report, benchmarking the individual against their peer group and recognised standards from across the rugby community.
The rain had not relented by the time the players headed for their opening pitch session, incorporating their videoed passing assessment (expertly filmed by multimedia marketing intern Seán Hayes) and some continuity ball handling games. In cold and damp conditions, the focus and determination (and skill, particularly of the advanced group) was admirable.
The players and coaches were glad to head back to the UCPA for a hot shower, change of gear and delicious lunch (steak and fish bites as hot mains). The spirits were good as the players refueled and got to know each other better.
With the prevailing conditions, the programme was shifted to indoors for the opening afternoon, with the playing group enjoying two separate high performance clinic sessions. The first covered the definition and key factors involved in high performance including physical and mental preparation, sleep and recovery, nutrition, hydration and much more.
The second session focused more on the players themselves, introducing them to the importance of goal setting in their high performance approach. Here they identified and expressed their motivations and objectives for their Tignes Rugby Academy experience.
With the effects of the altitude and intensity of the first day kicking in, the players were happy to head back to the UCPA dining area for a delicious dinner (chicken chasseur was the fans favourite here). A rest and recovery break followed before the group were back into the team room for a cultural session were the players from each of the eight nationalities represented produced a poster and sang their national anthem. It was a great ice breaker for any of the more shy members of the group and helped to further bind the growing bonds.
Unsurprisingly, after a long and active Tignes Rugby Academy Week 3 Day 1, everyone was happy to ‘hit the hay’ when lights out came.