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Richard Allen

Coach + Performance Analyst at Nottingham Forest Academy

A 26-year-old Performance Analyst and Coach who is extremely passionate about the constraints led approach, athletic identity and the use of performance analysis. Richard has over 10 years of experience working within the game, mainly at The FA working as a 5-11s Skills Coach and as an FA Tutor. Currently at Nottingham Forest Academy as a coach and performance analyst working with U9-16s, Richard also has experience working in the women’s game as both a coach and analyst at Derby County and Nottingham Forest Ladies. In addition to being a UEFA B Licenced Coach, Richard holds the FA Advanced Youth Award, Bsc (Hons) in Sport Science and Coaching, is a qualified teacher and accredited Performance Analyst.

Interview Questions

1. What book(s) have greatly influenced your life? (max 3)

The Chimp Paradox

Jamie Vardy; From Nowhere

2. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?

Probably when I was 16 having just 3 GCSE’s it made me feel like school was a wasted period in my life! This spurred me on to coach at a young age and gain a 2:1 in my coaching degree… So, I can probably say that failure inspired me to do better!

3. In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

Most definitely reading and listening to podcasts. I used to think I could only gain knowledge by listening to people within football, but now I’m fascinated to hear stories and best practice used in other sports. This has allowed me to reflect more often and make better habits every day.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring young coach, what would that advice be?

It would probably be to know what they’re looking for. When I was in the same process as a young coach, I watched a lot of sessions but didn’t absorb much because I didn’t really know what to look for. When observing sessions and trying to get ideas, I would suggest specifically looking for things such as technical detail, practice design, coach behaviours, interventions or the environment.

5. What bad advice do you hear most from your area of expertise?

Probably that we can’t be honest with players. I think if coaches aren’t honest with players, they’re doing a disservice to them. Players always appreciate honesty, even if it’s not in the short term!

6. Who, in your life, has inspired you most? (and why)

Those closest to me including my dad; for being honest (brutal at times!) and for how hard he worked to give me the best opportunities in life.

7. How would you best define a coach?

Probably someone who builds fantastic relationships, a great environment and who encourages people to perform the spectacular! It’s really important to see the potential in everyone they work with and allowing them to be creative.

8. What do you do for your own CPD?

I tend to watch a lot of games, listen to podcasts, go for meals with work mates and try and watch coaches in other sports. I tend to find most of my ideas away from a working environment!