The Futures is an accelerator program is for girls aged 14 to 18, who have ambitions to play AIL, representative or professional rugby.
The program accelerates the athlete’s development at a crucial age and prepares the athlete for age-grade representative rugby and eventually be able to progress to AIL and adult representative honours.
Our experience is that the progression of the game in recent years is even the most talented athletes who graduate from age-grade, including those who have represented Ireland at U18 level, are often three or more years away from being physically, technically, tactically and mentally ready for AIL or adult representative rugby.
The program allows equity of opportunity for young female athletes, in line with what young male athletes would have at many of our elite rugby schools.
The athlete will continue to train and play with their home club. The program provides additional training and development that complements what the athlete is getting at their home club. Railway does not accept transfers of athletes from other clubs to our age-grade teams.
We focus on five areas of development:
- Technical: Focus on core skill development around catch/pass, tackle technique, ruck technique, decision making, etc.
- Tactical: Focus on game understanding, understanding of game plans, self-analysis, opposition analysis, adaption, etc.
- Physical: Focus on functional screening and ensuring the athlete is functionally sound, before progression to S&C and increasing the athlete’s strength, power, speed, resilience and agility.
- Mental: Focus on developing confidence through skill mastery, tactical understanding and competitive performance, understanding team routines, developing skills to cope with social pressures, etc.
- Lifestyle/Personal: Focus on goal setting, time management, developing personal routines, displaying patience, managing conflicting schedules, injury prevention techniques, nutrition, understanding training & menstruation, etc.
Development takes place with a mix of on-site and remote training:
- Monthly camps.
- Scheduled camps at school holidays.
- Weekly S&C sessions on our Teambuildr platform, which allows delivery of programs directly to the athletes’ phone and allows performance monitoring and remote training.
- The athlete is assessed monthly in person and the program is personalized to the athlete’s needs.
- Weekly skills sessions specific to the athlete delivered on the Teambuildr platform and to be done remotely.
- Online tactical analysis sessions.
- Lecture style talks from subject matter experts and from our Irish players.
- For athletes that are based near us, we will run a skills session in conjunction with our adult skills session on Monday evenings.
The Board oversees the design, content and the overall delivery of the program.