Get to know Huddersfield Town’s First Team and Academy staff
- ‘Know Your Role’ series continues
- Today we speak to Academy Physical Performance Coach Paul Bower
- Paul works to ensure continued improvement of Academy players
With the coronavirus currently postponing Town’s fixture list, we’ve decided to introduce you to some of our First Team and Academy Staff – today we look at Academy Physical Performance Coach Paul Bower!
Paul got into the industry having aspired towards a career working as close as possible to professional athletes.
His role as a Town Academy Physical Performance Coach sees him work with across a range of different areas to ensure that the Young Terriers can continue their physical development in the best possible way.
“I lead the physical performance provision for all the Academy players. My main tasks include helping plan training with the technical coaches, designing and delivering strength programmes, and ensuring that the players recover well enough to go again the next day!
“The role includes working with coaches, analysts, nutritionists, chefs, and operational staff to make sure that the players get better each day, irrespective of age!”
Working in the role sees Paul work with a range of people at PPG Canalside, but what does an average day look like for him?
“It’s carnage! In a nutshell and in no particular order, it involves planning training numbers with respective coaches (Under-17s, Under-19s, and any needed to train with the First Team).
“Planning daily programmes for all individual Academy players with the Performance Team (Lee Mellor, Dom Rae, Stella Zhang and Otis Thorne).
“Leading a gym session, helping session planning for the squad training session, leading pre-activation before training, leading the warm-up before training and debating with coaches.
“Making sure the players know where they need to be and at what time, and finally assisting the coaches during training to ensure that the session has maximum benefit to the players.
“I then have to download all GPS data and try to work out what is needed for the next day before we repeat the process again!”
The busy nature of the role presents its share of challenges, both logistical and managerial, for the Academy’s Physical Performance Coach.
“Every day is a huge test from a logistical perspective, however the overriding challenge of dealing with young athletes and their changing circumstances, both in and away from football, will always be top of the list.
“The initial academy change in October 2017 was also a testing period for everyone involved, but the staff within the Academy quickly turned that situation into a positive and created a unique and exciting Academy as a result.
“The players also embraced that change and we are starting to see the fruits of their hard work with First Team appearances and successful loan moves.”
With all challenges come rewards. It’s no different for Paul who has his fair share of pluses to working in the Town Academy.
“Working with the staff and players is one, as well as seeing people reach new levels, they didn’t think they could achieve at the beginning of their journey.”
If getting into physical performance coaching, or even just the sporting industry itself, is something that you’re looking at, Paul has some words of advice for you!
“Start working/coaching with varying populations and seeing what makes people tick.
“Everyone is different, so you have to strike a balance between stretching people, making them comfortable enough to want to do it, and showing them you care enough that they believe you in the first place!”