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Our Academy is recognised nationally as one of the best & in a 2017 media review, it was published that we sit second in the table of developing players who progress to a professional career in the Premiership. However, we believe that we can top that table & we are on track to do so by delivering a clear & efficient regional player pathway to develop the hotbed of talent that we are blessed with in the North West. We recognise that the work, effort, commitment & skill in nurturing our young people carried out by our schools, clubs, CB’s, coaches, parents & volunteers is invaluable in our quest to be the best & we are committed in our collaboration with all the stakeholders of the game to effectively deliver our regional player pathway.

The Clubs’ vision, under the new owners & board, is to invest in the North West & develop the people & players from our region. The target is for 75% of the Sharks first team squad to have come through the Academy regional player pathway to further strengthen the identity & connection with the North Wests Team. Using a sustainable approach & working together we can future proof high-level rugby in the North West & provide the best opportunities for our players.

Click here to download the Academy Strategic Plan

Click here to download the Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Plan

Click here to download the Matchday Safeguarding Plan

Message: A World Class Rugby Academy for the North Wests Team

Purpose: Growth

  • Create a World Class Academy
  • Develop Academy players to achieve 75% of the senior Sharks squad from the NW by 2020
  • Aim for 5 players in England age group squads annually
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Vision: Opportunity

  • World Leading Player & Coach Development Model
  • A fully comprehensive Player Development Model based on Sharks DNA to produce the best possible players & people for Sale Sharks & England.
  • An Academy Coaching Model to enhance delivery throughout the pathway & to ensure the best possible Talent Development Environment.

Mission: Gold Standard

  • Gold Standard Academy Model
  • A robust framework to drive the Academy process & transcend the seven strands of the audit requirements as a consequence. A high-performance talent development environment to support the holistic development of players throughout the pathway.

Key Principles:

  • To create the best possible Talent Development Environment for players and Academy staff
  • To promote and develop all aspects of the Sharks DNA
  • To support and sustain high-level rugby in the North West
  • To check and challenge everything we do to ensure that no gaps are left in our mission to constantly get better

Cultural Principles:

  • Challenge and support
  • Develop the person
  • Embrace opportunities
  • Constant self-improvement
  • Links to our programmes: DPP , SDG, Junior Academy, Senior Academy

There are three main focuses for the player’s development: – Rugby, Education & Life Skills:
Rugby Development

Holistic, Integrated and Systematic Programme: Schedule inclusive of rugby, S&C, player education and parent education allowing a balance across the programme from 15-18 years old and planned at appropriate points of the season (preparation phase, recovery phase, competition phase etc.)

Long-Term Aims and Methods: The schedule builds on the proposed outcomes of the DPP to support longitudinal development from ages 13-18. This includes a layered curriculum across the rugby, S&C, mental skills, life skills & education strands. This is evidenced through proposed transitions between the programmes at ages 14-15 and 16-17.

Wide-Ranging Coherent Messages and Support: The schedule will additionally reflect the 4C’s of the player development model. This will focus mainly on control, confidence, commitment and challenge. These messages will allow coherence through all staff in contact with players (coaches, S&C, education officer and physio) providing a focus on these areas in their delivery & help inform selection, progression & retention decisions.

Individualised and Ongoing Development; A layered curriculum is evidenced by each area of the curriculum to support progressive development. The schedule supports individualised learning in a scheduled regular review as well as the curriculum for each area supporting the balance between individual player development and team preparation.

Emphasize Appropriate Development NOT Early Success: Player environment around the schedule is based on development as opposed to prioritising success. This is through the application of the 4C’s, the limited positional specific elements to the curriculum and the balance between practices to competition. This is finally achieved by the schedule considering the age-grade playing calendar/county programme/school/club programme to ensure player development is at the centre of good practice.

We provide ongoing educational advice & support with continuity from SDG to Senior Academy.

Fully comprehensive education partner links providing potential scholarship opportunities for bespoke FE & HE learning, combined apprenticeship schemes & vocational opportunities with effective use of the Apprenticeship Levy.

A scheduled & collaborative process driven by the Education Manager, the RPA & Academy staff.

Life Skills

Holistic development of the individual to grow the whole person in readiness for life & employment beyond rugby. Better people make better players.

A scheduled programme of workshops, vocational opportunities, charitable events & community engagement.

Senior Academy players are engaged in a voluntary contract to deliver position-specific coaching to their peers and younger players throughout the pathway.

A scheduled & collaborative process driven by the Education Manager, the RPA & Academy staff.

Working closely with parents of young people within the Academy system is vital to creating better players and better people, a philosophy fundamental to the core values of the club’s Academy. To help engage with the parents of players at all age groups (from DPP to Junior Academy) the Academy has devised a series of parent workshops. These take place at various points during the season with content that is specific, sequential and relevant to each of the age groups:

A curriculum of support workshops for parents throughout the pathway to educate & promote their involvement in the player development process. To include information on nutrition, recovery, skill development, goal setting, concussion, psychology, mental toughness, self-organisation and educational options.

Click here to download the Academy Strategic Plan

Click here to download the Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Plan

Click here to download the Matchday Safeguarding Plan

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