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RISE Rugby League Development Program

RISE Rugby League Development Programs

In partnership with the Kangaroos, Jillaroos and Griffith University, 2018 saw the initiative trialed on the Gold Coast and Coffs Harbour. The programs were delivered by highly experienced NRL Development Officers, alongside qualified and vastly experienced coaching, welfare and athletic performance staff and provided the opportunity for participants to improve their Rugby League skills, physical conditioning and overall personal development.


Average rating of enjoyment from program participants.


Identified an improvement in Rugby League competence from both a skill and physical point while 77% felt an improvement in their confidence.


Percentage of parents who identified an improvement in their son's character in regards to mental and moral qualities.

Supporting Research

RISE RLDP aims to transition and nurture performance through providing an introduction of the aspirational pathway for 13-15-year-olds via an “Open” program accessed by nomination/application. “Around the end of primary school (or early years of secondary school; about age 13), children should have the opportunity to either choose to specialize in their favourite sport or to continue in sport at a recreational level” (Hancock and Côté, 2014).

The DMSP indicates that balancing the deliberate play and deliberate practice in the early adolescence is the beginning of the specialising years. Baker, Côté and Abernethy (2003) supported the delay in specialisation and discovered that the relationship between sport-specific training and undertaking additional activities was of a negative nature, thus encouraging diverse involvement in activity and adjourning sport-specific practice beyond the age of 12. Doing so was found to be more beneficial for the development of expert athletes.

The Galatea and Pygmalion Effects, which focus on expectation and understanding the effects of effort, typically have a crossover period between that of the parent, coach/selector and moving into the expectation and understanding of the athlete during the early stages of adolescence. By minimising the Pygmalion effect through delaying specialisation, removes the parental, coach/selector determinations of talent based on physical maturation and allows the player to develop a better understanding of their true skill or potential.

Around 16 years of age is an appropriate time to begin increasing deliberate practice hours in one sport and limiting involvement in other sports (Hancock and Côté, 2014). The significant transfer of learning from previous years contribute to the acquisition of required skills that allow for specialisation during the late adolescence. It is at this stage that participants have developed the selected domains (physical, cognitive, social, emotional and motor skills) that are often identified as necessary, to invest their efforts in highly specialised training in one sport.

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