July 2018 saw the launch of the first Rookie Camp co-ordinated by Rugby Players Ireland (RPI) and delivered for Ulster, Connacht, Munster and Leinster provincial academy players. Over the two-day camp players attended a series of essential workshops and masterclasses aimed at equipping them with the foundation skills and resources needed as an academy player. Aside from the learning aspect, the value of players from different provinces meeting off the field of play was also fundamental to strengthening and growing Ireland as one of the very best places to play rugby.
The Trust is delighted to be supporting the RPI with this new initiative for the next few years and is delighted to publish the RPI’s report of the inaugural camp.
Main aim and introducing concepts
The camp started with introducing players to key concepts and current issues within high performance sport. Dr Ella McCabe introduced ‘Mental Health & Wellbeing’ and how to look after yourself as well as those around you. The workshop also introduced players to RPI’s Tackle Your Feelings Campaign and clearly demonstrated what support is available to each and every member.
Day 2 with its action packed agenda showcased a wide range of presenters. Communicating Under Pressure and How To Manage Difficult Conversations with Terra Nova Productions and Andrea Montgomery; Behavioural Awareness by Gleeson Mills; Dual Careers and Professional Rugby by Pamela Gilpin (RPI); Good Practice in Finance delivered by BDO. Undoubtedly, the Q&A panel of Joe Smidt (Ireland’s Head Coach) and former Irish International Jamie Heaslip, drew most attention as they shed light on their personal thoughts on becoming a professional rugby player and the drive and tenacity it takes. The learning that the young players took from this workshop was insurmountable. Everyone in the room left feeling energised and focused on their goals of being the best that we can and that paying attention to the small details in our day to day preparation can lead to great things in the professional rugby sphere.
Not wanting to miss the opportunity of the Academy Coaches being together, a specialised workshop was delivered aimed at helping manage difficult conversations to players. It’s no secret that on a daily and weekly basis coaches are having honest and frank conversations with their players which aren’t always easy for anyone involved. We wanted to provide some useful tools and tips for how to have these conversations in the most productive way possible. Andrea Montgomery from Terra Nova Productions ran this master class which focused on using the power of non-verbal communication.
Social media links