NRL Development

Ambassador Program

Frame of Mind: Life on and beyond the football field (Education program)

Mind Challenge has been one of the main training and education providers at Penrith Panthers Rugby League Club for the past four years (working alongside the Welfare and Education Team). During this time, Mind Challenge have mentored and educated Penrith Panthers players and as a result, we have developed:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the complexity and rigidity of managing player’s playing/training schedules, their contract duration and insecurity against demands on education and career engagement.
  • First-hand experience, navigating the transient nature of the professional sportsperson’s career, physical and mental fatigue and the challenge of managing study (education) with their full-time training and playing commitments.

In 2021, Mind Challenge is excited to be launching this education program and offering the NRL Clubs, junior rugby league Clubs and individual players the opportunity to get involved. This education program provides you all with great insight into the world of becoming and being an ‘elite/professional sportsperson’; the highs and lows, challenges and achievements, strengths and weaknesses and other key components within this profession.

Program Objectives

  • Education and life skills program for NRL players (who become mentors and facilitators of this program).
  • Individual players become accountable, responsible for their behaviours/actions (i.e. reduce the number of indiscretions during the season and off-season) and engages them to pay their learning forward to other players, sporting codes, junior rugby league players.
  • A key differentiator in the Mind Challenge approach to player education, rehabilitation and welfare.
  • Ensures players’ wellbeing and education are consistently maintained alongside their playing/training schedules and personal commitments.
  • Facilitated in blocks (i.e. long-term/on-going basis) to ensure players are continuously building on their life and employability skills throughout their football career in readiness for their career transition post-football.
  • Players obtain lifelong knowledge and skills that will enrich their personal character, develop their professional mindset and support their career plan.

FRAME OF MIND_ Life on and beyond the football field_Education Handbook

FRAME OF MIND_ Life on and beyond the football field_Participant Journal

To find out more information 

Should you wish to discuss this education program and how Mind Challenge can customise it for individuals or Clubs, please contact Claire on 0410 568 872 or or complete the Enquiry Form available on the website.

Ambassador Program (Rugby League)

This program was initiated through Mind Challenge’s partnership with a small group of first grade and U20 Penrith Panthers rugby league players. The Ambassador Program has been co-developed with Mind Challenge and is facilitated by the NRL players; it is an elite development program for junior rugby league players (boys and girls) pursuing representative opportunities. The NRL players have captured the importance of becoming an outstanding young person as well as an accomplished sportsperson (i.e. rugby league footballer) through the following key domains:

  • Personal Development: growth/development, attitude (coachability), nutrition, mental capabilities, communication capabilities
  • Skill Development: positional development, fitness
  • Education: discussing a range of key current topics that supports the knowledge of mental health, building key relationships and networks, communication, social media, becoming an elite sportsperson, playing in a team, coachability, accountability.

Each session is divided into two components – 45 mins focused on skill development and 45 mins focused on education. We cover a range of key education topics which provides young rugby league players with a better understanding of the challenges that now confront elite and professional sportspeople and requirements to be followed within this business:

  • Mental Health
  • Social Media
  • Nutrition, fitness
  • Performance and peer pressure
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Decision-making and control
  • Coachability
  • Accountability
  • Team, Club and NRL culture (Code of conduct, professional and business standards)
  • Plan B: Life beyond the football field
  • Parenting: Creating a true champion. – if you are aged between 14 and 17 years and registered in your local junior rugby league competition, please complete this Expression of Interest form.


Sample Participant Workbook (Education Sessions)

To find out more information 

Should you wish to discuss these programs and how Mind Challenge can customise it for individuals or Clubs, please contact Claire on 0410 568 872 or or complete the Enquiry Form available on the website.

Testimonials (Oct/Nov 2020 Ambassador Program)

I participated in Mind Challenge’s Ambassador Program for junior rugby league players. At the beginning, I was really nervous and unsure what to expect, but I loved this program and everything that Ben and Zac (facilitators) taught and showed me. I have learnt heaps from the combination of skills and education sessions so I can’t wait to use the skills and knowledge when I start pre-season training with my Club. Thanks to the Mind Challenge coaching team for running this program and for letting me participate.

Jack, Ambassador Program participant (junior rugby league player)

My son Blake, participated in the Ambassador Program. Thank you so much for the effort Claire, Ben and Zac put into the kids. Blake really took a lot away from the theory (education sessions) in particular and has had a maturity change as a result of the process both as a footy player and in general character with a clear focus on what he really wants to achieve with his footy. We hope to have further opportunities with you all in the future.

Collette, Parent of Ambassador Program participant

Course Content

Time: 6 weeks

Curriculum is empty



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