Scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet hopes to have a big impact for Leicester Tigers in the upcoming season after working on his mental approach to the game.
He played 16 times in 2020-21, scoring two tries, having made his debut as a teenager in the previous campaign.
“I really enjoyed last season, but I want to keep pushing on,” the 20-year-old told BBC Radio Leicester.
“We’ve had a psychologist come in who has really helped me. That’s definitely an area I think I’ve grown in.”
“As soon as you string some games together your confidence increases and I’ve definitely got more comfortable and more confident when I am playing.”
Leicester finished sixth in the Premiership last season and reached the final of the European Challenge Cup before losing to Montpellier, but the summer has seen changes in the squad and backroom teams, and a change of captain with Ellis Genge replacing Tom Youngs.
Van Poortvliet – who helped Leicester’s Under-18s to back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019 says head coach Steve Borthwick has given the players a “clear focus on each area of the game” but has not burdened them with expectations of success before the new season has even begun.
“Steve hasn’t set us any targets of where we want to finish, things like that,” he continued.
“We want to win every game we play in and it starts with Exeter next week. The boys are really looking forward to having that challenge…and there is definitely an excitement and energy building within the group.”