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Potomac Youth Academy This Fall

Tuesday Jun 2, 2009 in Women Youth

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June 2, 2009 - The Potomac Rugby Foundation (www.rugby-foundation.org ) has announced the launch of The Rugby Academy, an independent program for high school junior and senior rugby players in the DC/Maryland/Virginia region. The aim of The Rugby Academy is to identify and provide promising young athletes an opportunity to develop their full potential by providing a  holistic rugby development program.

Begun in November and running once a month, the Academy’s program consists of selected high school age players who were nominated by  USA certified coaches. The initial intake was 41 players.

The Academy curriculum includes:          

·         Core Rugby Skills development                

·         Position specific skills development

·         Decision making skills development

·         Tactical and game awareness

·         Fitness and conditioning development

·         Nutrition

·         Laws of the Game

·         Sports Psychology

·         Injury Prevention (pre-hab) and Recovery (re-hab)

·         Game history and culture

The Academy staff includes USA Rugby coaching specialists, regional and national select side, collegiate and USA Super League coaches as well as USA Olympic and training/conditioning professionals.

“The goal of the Academy is to provide players with the tools to further develop in the hope that the player will go on to play collegiate rugby.  We looked at different academy programs from around the world, both in rugby and other sports, and are working to develop a program which combines the best practices from these academies but one that also meets the specific needs of the players in the region.  At the end of the day what we want to do is to enhance the enjoyment of the players’ rugby experiences.”   Peter Baggetta, Academy Director of Coaching.

 “Key rugby youth leaders in the region had discussed the formation of a rugby academy for some time.” said Director of Rugby, Kurt Mockenhaupt. “The Academy provides a rugby immersion environment and the students are thriving.”

The Academy was recently invited to participate in a curtain-raiser match at the Army Navy Classic, televised on ESPNU and will play host to a touring U-18 select side from England in May.

On the growth of his player, Austin Baldea, Archbishop Spalding of Baltimore’s Varsity Coach Kevin Ruddy commented, “I have seen such a huge difference in Austin’s knowledge of the game since he started with the Academy. I want to see more of my players have the Academy experience.”

Don Ferrell, Director of Rugby and Men’s Head Coach at Penn State reflected: “I was fortunate enough to be invited to do a coaching session at this wonderful academy. The organization and set up were very professional, and the facilities they used at Gonzaga were first rate. What impressed me the most was the number and caliber of the athletes they had there and their tremendous thirst for knowledge. Most (if not all) had played the day before, but all were there fully switched on and ready to learn. USA ‘A’ Panel Ref Tom Lyons was also there that day to put on a laws session, which I thought was a great idea, and was as valuable for the dozen or so coaches in attendance as it was for the players. The attention, attitude and clear desire for improvement from everyone associated was incredible, and I sincerely hope to be able to return. I’m sure this academy will raise the level of rugby in the D.C. area and hope to see many more like it set up all over the country.”

The next cycle for The Academy will begin in September and run through June 2010.

For more information about The Rugby Academy, contact Director of Rugby, Kurt Mockenhaupt  rugbyfoundation@msn.com   703-966-5253


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