A massive element of top professional and amateur sporting performance, including in rugby union, revolves around mental wellness and preparation. For young players, who are often having their first real introduction to this area, our programme is an ideal educational vehicle. Delivered by ex-Munster player Cathal Sheridan, it will give an excellent level of overall awareness around the key principles involved. We are also delighted to partner with Rugby Players Ireland (RPI) for their ‘Tackle Your Feelings’ campaign and with Noggin Sport to sell their merchandise in aid of mental health charities associated with rugby.
With a range of ages, abilities and backgrounds, our Summer Academy players will all be given the opportunity to set their own simple goals and objectives for each Academy programme. This allows them to take ownership and put the first important build block in place for a successful learning experience. Our coaching team and staff will encourage the players to actively review their progress against these goals during camp. This helps reinforce self-organisation and effective goal setting/tracking important as underlying principles for both our C.A.R.D.S. philosophy and effective performance. The learnings that come from other programme modules like Nutrition, Injury Prevention and Recuperation will also have an important influence on a player’s mindset and mental health.
An active and successful sports life is something that we are looking to develop and build for our young athletes. However, there are many other aspects of pre-teen or teenage life that play a vital role in the development of players. School, home, social lives, social media, computer gaming and many other areas contribute to how happy and effective they can. Even in the Academy setting, our staff are very much focussed on creating an inclusive, safe, fun and engaging environment for all of our players. This will allow them to get the absolute optimum from their PSA Rugby Academy experience.
Our quality interactive sessions with Cathal are really important sessions. These opportunities help educate young players on simple principles, tools, good behaviours and practical steps that top professional athletes use to maintain a healthy state of mind to aid their sporting performance. These sessions will cover what to do and what to avoid, how to approach areas like social media, online screen time, communicating with others, how to deal with disappointments on the field and more. The intention is that players and their parents themselves will continue to build on this through future learning in their educational, home and sports playing environments.