"We're very happy with the opening weeks of pre-season. Players minded themselves well over the holiday period and returned to training in good condition which makes all the difference, especially when heading into a two week block with the senior squad. Our guys will take a lot from training at that level.
"Mental skills off-field are key for a player's development into a top class professional athlete, how they manage themselves off the field, their goal setting and how they rate themselves when it comes to planning. Over the last year our mental skills coach Aine McNamara has worked closely with Academy players and her work ties in well with the rugby skills development module given by Munster Assistant Coach Ian Costello last week.
"Players are very aware of what's required when it comes to developing mental skills, with each of them completing profiles in which they highlighted areas of weakness, set goals for the summer months and put plans in place to achieve those said goals. Once our Irish U20s return next week and we have a full Academy squad present, we will sit down with each player every two weeks, continue to map their season out, get their goals right and follow on from their initial performance plans."
Munster Rugby Talent Camps at Rockwell…
"There's now a split where a number of players will continue to train with the Senior team for the next couple of weeks at least, possibly into the middle of August, and another number of players are with their respective U19s and U20s squads in the Munster Talent Camp at Rockwell. Currently in week two of a five week talent programme at Rockwell, eligible Academy players join us Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week.
"Tuesday mornings we focus on a high intensity rugby session, splitting into different groups for the afternoon where we concentrate on position specific training. Wednesdays consist of another rugby session in the morning with either speed or gym training in the afternoon, finishing up with a half day Thursday and final rugby session in the morning. Team meetings are also held each evening to discuss game appreciation and other aspects of the game.
"There's a lot of work crammed into three days but we believe it's of massive benefit, not just to Academy players but to age grade players also, especially as we see the standard improve year on year at our Munster Talent Camps."