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IRFU’s Inaugural Performance Coaching Course

IRFU’s Inaugural Performance Coaching Course

A new Performance Coaching Course has been rolled out at the IRFU High Performance Training Facility at the Sport Ireland Campus.

Over 50 coaches from across schools, junior rugby, Energia All-Ireland League and Energia Women’s All-Ireland League gathered in Blanchardstown for three days of classes, shared learning and practical workshops.

National Coaching Development Manager Jamie Turkington says it’s part of a wider realignment of the IRFU’s suite of coaching course offerings.

“It’s more reflective of the demographic of both the coaches and the players that we’re trying to develop,” he explained. “The performance element is aimed at players that are experienced within the game. They’re starting to specialise in their own positions. They’re looking to enhance their own skills and investing more time in the game.

It’s about how our courses relate to the audience that we’re trying to attract and to the players that are going to be operating under those coaches.

This is the first course that we’ve run under that realignment. Within this season, we’ll also look to run a Children’s Coaching Course, a Youth Coaching Course and our Senior Coaching Course will roll out later in the year.”

This year’s topics and course facilitators of the Performance Coaching Course included:

  • Creating and Using Space – Adam Griggs (Irish Rugby High Performance Women’s Coach)
  • Leadership and Culture – Claudine McMahon (Vodafone Ireland Head of Talent & Organisational Development)
  • Kick Restarts/Kicking – Declan O’Brien (Leinster Rugby Coach Development Officer) and Emmett Farrell (Leinster Rugby Kicking Coach & Head Analyst)
  • Ruck and Maul – Hugh Hogan (Leinster Rugby Contact Skills Coach)
  • Phase Play and Transitions – Mark Butler (Munster Rugby Provincial Talent Coach)
  • Lineout and Counter Attack – Jimmy Duffy (Connacht Rugby Forwards Coach) and Jonny Gillespie (Ulster Rugby Talent Development Officer)
  • Team Defence – Kieran Campbell (Abbey Insurance Ulster Rugby Academy Manager)
  • Scrum/Backline Attack and Defence – Peter Smyth (Leinster Rugby Academy Manager) and Simon Broughton (Leinster Rugby Elite Player Development Officer)
  • Performance Management – Eamonn Molloy (Connacht Rugby Coach Development Manager)
  • Skill Development – Matthew Wilkie (Irish Rugby Head of Coach Development)

The coaches also complete ongoing course work and undertake mentoring sessions as part of the course.

“We challenge the coaches to take on board the information, apply it and be reflective in their own current practises, beliefs and knowledge,” says Turkington.

“We’ll challenge them to think hard about how they integrate their players, how they build their environment, their culture  – how they lead from the front or build leadership within their own group.”

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