My Job in Connacht: Aidan O'Flynn, Personal Development, Connacht Academy
Aidan is a native of Castlerea, Co Roscommon. He holds a master's degree in Art Psychotherapy having trained in New York and Ireland and has additional training in Mindfulness and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). He has a huge interest in rugby and coaches his local team in Oughterard where he lives and has a private therapy practice.
What do you do?
I run the personal development programme for the Academy. The programme is primarily there to support the development and well-being of the player. It covers the areas of counselling, psycho-education and performance.
What does a typical day involve?
One-to-one meetings with the players. These meetings are confidential. The players might be working on psychological areas of performance that we have identified, or work might focus on aspects of their personal life. Early intervention is a key focus.
What's the best part of your job? Working in such a positive environment and seeing these young players develop and transition into adulthood and professional rugby is probably the best part. Also being in the privileged position to make a difference in these players' lives is very special. I am looking forward to seeing the future international caps!
Most memorable match?
Any game where a player you have worked with gets a cap for Connacht is memorable! The Leinster match at the Sportsground this season also stands out.