Leeds Beckett students help to develop Bantams of the future
Five Leeds Beckett BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching students have been working with Bradford City’s academy this season to provide detailed match analysis information. The students are responsible for filming matches and training sessions, editing footage and presenting feedback to both players and coaches.
As Dave Alder, Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching and lead coach U14 at Bradford City explained: “Five of our most promising first year Sport Coaching students have been providing performance analysis support to the u14 academy side at Bradford City where I am the lead coach. The students have been professional, reliable and shown a real desire to produce high quality work. This is a great opportunity for our students to gain valuable experience within a professional club and it is enabling them to implement the material we cover on the BSc Sport Coaching degree in the real world.”
Warren Rayner, Head of Development phase at Bradford City academy, added: “Through the work of the five Leeds Beckett students the players in our u14's Academy age group have been shown clips of game footage and this has proved to be a very powerful tool in terms of highlighting technical and tactical issues. The students have been very professional, committed and enthusiastic in carrying out this project and have been well received by the players and our coaching staff. Based on the work undertaken so far, we would be happy to extend the project to our other Academy teams.”
First year BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching student Sam Jackson said: “Being a local Bradford lad and a season ticket holder at Bradford City from a very young age, this was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss. I’m passionate about the game and in particular coaching and have loved every single minute of my involvement with the academy.
“I’ve been really impressed with the professionalism of the coaching set up at Bradford and it’s been inspiring to see the methods and communication techniques used by the coaches as well as their coaching behaviours. I’ve taken so much away from it already and it’s been of great benefit to me in my own development as a sport coach.
“Our work with the academy at Bradford has been very well received, the players we have worked with have completely bought into our approach. I’ve been able to learn how to adapt how I communicate with players in order to provide feedback and this is something that has been integral to my studies at Leeds Beckett as well. Being able to put into practice with what I’m learning in the classroom has been fantastic and has been of great benefit to my studies and pursuing my overall ambition to establish a career within sport coaching in a professional environment.”
First year BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching student Thomas Hawkins, added: “I think when starting the internship I knew it was going to be an extremely different setting from which I have coached and played a role within from previous sporting environments as I have only been involved with local Sunday league clubs. So from the outset I expected Bradford City to be of higher standard but also a more disciplined one. So it was a very exciting time for me going into this new challenge. In terms of analysis when starting I thought it was going to be fairly simple however, as the weeks progressed it showed to be more complex, as we had to identify the most beneficial clips for the players to see in order for them to effectively progress and develop.
“The best part of been involved with the academy is been able to observe coaches and managers that possess a great amount of knowledge and expertise within this domain, so been able to work alongside elite coaches has probably been the best part as I am able visually see what particular practises and behaviours they use in order to create successful athletes. Also working alongside the athletes themselves has been great as they're all eager to learn and as a coach you can't ask for anything more than that, if your athletes have the motivation drive to want to succeed. I think seeing the attitudes of the players has enthused us even more to want to help them to get to an elite standard.
“The biggest challenge we have encountered is how present the data to the players. As we needed to select a method that would keep them engaged and want to learn from their mistakes to become better footballers, so we choose to present it in video format as we felt that if we just offered statistical data it wouldn't be as beneficial as they can't visually see themselves performing. Another challenge was how to give the feedback because sport is a lot the time is opinion based so finding points which we could all agree on was particularly difficult. But we have managed to effectively overcome these challenges and provide some good evidence for the players and coaches to view.”