Kevin has worked in professional sports for nearly 20 years and is a BASES High Performance Sport Accredited Practitioner, Supervisor and Reviewer with chartered scientist status, currently working as Head of Academy Sport Science at Leicester City Football Club. Additional to this he is a UKSCA Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach and associate lecturer at the University of Derby. During his time in professional soccer, cricket and individual sports he has studied extensively S & C and sport science practises worldwide using these experiences to consult for several international organisations including Nike, Scottish FA and currently Gamechanger Performance based at St Georges Park. He has delivered workshops and conferences nationally and internationally to help develop other practitioners in his areas of specialism such as classifying exercises in a progressive and regressive manner to target prioritising key areas of athletic development in cycles during the various stages of maturity. Secondly Kevin has been innovative in the use of physiological monitoring techniques to quantify and then classify the results to give a simplistic meaning for affecting the delivery of physical and technical training sessions to produce the desired individual specific responses within a team environment. He is currently due to undertake his PhD in force velocity curve profiling of the elite youth soccer player with a respect t classifying appropriate reactive strength based exercises relative to maturation status or physical competency assessments.
1. What book(s) have greatly influenced your life?
– Essentials of Strength & Conditioning
– Lance Armstrong Biographies (pre-drugs scandal)
– Alex Ferguson Biography
2. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
Coming from a working class background and having lost both parents to cancer as a teenager and early twenties I’ve grown up not to feel sorry for myself and always strive to take ownership of what you want to achieve in life. Vocationally, I have lived by a saying since my very early days at SUFC: “Consistency is the Secret to Success, Complacency is the Fuel for Failure”. In simple terms do the basics really well, better than others and keep doing them no matter what the environment throws at you. Yes, you should look to continually refine but don’t change for the sake of it, and the second you stop trying to improve how you do the basics you’re already struggling!
3. In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?
The 4 P’s – People, Planning, Processes and Performance.
1. How you deal with people is crucial to getting success, I prefer to say it how it is, don’t take things personally and work out how to get the best out of people without sacrificing integrity.
2. If you don’t have a plan you’re a pretender. Have a blueprint / method and stick to it, don’t change the plan just because you think that’s what you should do to fit in. ]
3. Every plan can be broken down into sections and every section sub-divided into actions. Much like programming a training cycle, every phase can have specific blocks, programmes and drills. Focus on the detail but look to work to a progression over the long term.
4. Have a system to objectively quantify if what you want to achieve is working and much like dealing with People, integrity is critical to being able to honestly admit whether you results are good or bad. Never be scared to say, this isn’t working and look for reasons why, to me this is far more impressive then trying to cover up the faults with fancy distractions.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring young coach, what would that advice be?
Coach, Coach, Coach, Coach, Reflect and coach some more with more reflection. Theory is important but practise is key to gaining a TOOLBOX capable of career success. Certificates get you an interview, experience gets you and more importantly keeps you in work!!
5. What bad advice do you hear most from your area of expertise?
Who are any of us to say what advice is bad? Its all personal opinion at the end of the day.
6. Who, in your life, has inspired you most? (and why)
Dean Riddle – applied sport scientist at Seattle Seahawks. Without Dean I would never have got into S & C. My first meeting as a rookie undergraduate ended up with me doing a warm-up in a car park, entering some data, designing a warm-up resource booklet and then taking an U13 conditioning session – all in 3 hours. I could not even begin to describe the positive effect he has had on so many individuals and all of it from a coaching and delivery skillset across a vast continuum of sports and playing levels. Only from a wide spectrum of experiences do I firmly believe you can be called an expert, although anyone who knows Dean well will be acutely aware that self proclamation is not what experts do!
7. How would you best define a coach?
Someone who gets their hands dirty attempting to improve another person. Actions speak louder than words!
8. What do you do for your own CPD?
Anything that will help me better at dealing with the 4 P’s.