The IRFU’s High Performance Unit recently held a seminar at the Aviva Stadium for coaches, management and support staff working with young players within the high performance pathway.
The seminar which was entitled, ‘Building Resilience & Psychological Flexibility’, and was facilitated by the Sport Ireland Institute’s Dr. Paul Gaffney, High Performance Sport Clinical Psychologist, and Phil Moore, Director of Performance Services.
In attendance were Academy Managers and coaches, IRFU Talent ID Officers, the IQ Rugby team as well as a host of Academy and National Talent Squad support staff from the medical, nutrition and S&C disciplines.
The aim of the seminar was to help support IRFU staff working with adolescent players in the high performance stream to understand and address the psychological pressures on players within the environment.
Supporting young players and helping them with coping mechanisms was a key element of the seminar, while also establishing best practice protocols for dealing with issues that may require professional assistance.
Colin McEntee, IRFU Head of Elite Player Pathway, commented: “This was an incredibly beneficial investment in our staff and will enable them to better support the young athletes they are working with on a daily basis. There are pressures inside and outside of high performance sport that affect these young players which in turn can affect performance and need to be understood and addressed.
“The skills that are being acquired by our coaching and support staff in this area will help to build mental resilience and flexibility in our young players while also providing access to a network of professional practitioners where required.”