“TEAM” – Together Everyone Achieves More!
To enable and encourage the transition of young adult players from the youth section to the senior section of the Club so that they continue to enjoy their rugby, whilst improving their skill levels and becoming an integral part of the senior set-up.
How is this done:
A Development Squad has been created and entered the Kent Shepherd Neame Leagues so that the players become adjusted to playing regular rugby on Saturday afternoons. The squad has its own dedicated coaching team who develop and implement a programme of intensive team and one to one coaching. This recognises the individuals’ natural development into adulthood, as well as having the aim of improving their individual rugby performance and helping them to gain a full understanding of their role and contribution within a team objective. Therefore individual player development strategies are drawn up and implemented to intentionally avoid a “one fits all” approach.
There is no age limit on membership of the Development Squad, although primarily it is aimed at those players leaving the Under 17s . So in addition, those senior players who need to “reappraise their skill levels or fitness and regain their confidence may join the Development Squad for agreed periods of time” as part of their own development programme.
The core group of players are in the age range 17–22.
Who plays where and when?
The Development Squad has full regard for the physical and mental welfare of the playing members. They will only be allowed to play once the coaching staff are convinced that they are competent to play and are not exposed to undue physical harm, or that their confidence and enjoyment of the game will be irreparably harmed.
For those whose development progress is good enough they will be channelled into the two senior teams in the club, again within a mutually agreed process . The latter will be done when the coaches are agreed that the player can not only play at that level but that they can also excel at that level, so as to avoid the “filling in because we are short” syndrome which discourages and stifles progress.
Playing members will be provided with full and frank assessments of their progress and development on a regular basis at training. In addition there will be a once a year private one to one meeting between the individual and the coaches. The purpose of this is to review their progress and ambitions, and the coaches view of the coming season and what their expectations for the player are, as well as the level he will be playing at next season. The findings from these meetings are used to inform the Club’s senior coaches of the “potential of our young players” so that they can be integrated into their future plans and make the next step within the Club smoothly.
Players have a personal responsibility, for which they alone are responsible, to keep the coaches and team skipper fully advised of their availability at all times.
Players are encouraged and invited to give feedback to the coaches at any time and express disquiet about any aspect of Development Squad activity. This need not be limited to just rugby and all discussions with the coaching staff about personal matters will be treated as strictly confidential. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this and players must give careful consideration as to how they should conduct themselves so as to get the best outcome.
Players are expected to conduct themselves responsibly at all times and to set high standards of professional sporting behaviour. Respect should be shown to all members of the club – non playing/fellow squad members/coaching staff as well as our opponents. Failure to do so will be judged to be a failure within their personal development. The Club’s stated ethos is for its players to be admired and respected both on and off the field.
Working as a team and accepting one’s role and duties within that are seen as a key element of the development process and players will be constantly reminded of this by the coaching staff.
Challenging match officials in an inappropriate manner, both on and off the field, will not be tolerated.
Subject to securing adequate funds, members of the squad will be provided with training/match kit. Everyone is expected to take good care of “their kit” at all times and failure to do so may result in them being removed from the squad.
These must be paid promptly to protect the club and the players themselves so that the insurance protection that the Club provides is at all times effective.