Training by definition is ongoing – so consistency becomes a key issue in achieving results.
Luck plays a huge part in our lives. At the age of 15 I joined a local weight lifting gym at the Kings Hall in Farnworth Bolton.
This one-time silent cinema housed some of the most prolific athletes of its time. Champion Lifters in almost every division – Triple Champions – Mr Britain competitors and experts on everything from weightlifting to bodybuilding and from gymnastics to muscle development and nutrition. All of this was available to me and I soaked it up like the proverbial sponge.
Jim Halliday, Syd Baker and just up the road Bert Loveday would be my mentors. Anatomy, physiology, weight gain, weight loss, strength, power, speed and the control of muscular development were just a few of the rich repertoire of that physical education – an education that would serve me for the next five decades.
Sports’ coaching is simple. It comes into three areas:
- Define the critical skill
- Refine and repeat the movement
- Correct and hone to the individuals capabilities
Define – Refine – and Align.
Albert Einstein said that the compound interest was the eighth wonder of the world; Training is exactly that. When you find out what works, keep repeating it, compound it.
Good coaches however, go beyond the technicalities – Man management, people skills, leadership and the ability to develop trust – all these and more were passed on to me in those early years.
That was just the beginning. The full immersion into running our club would test the resolve. Dealing with 200-300 people each day the challenges would come thick and fast. Athletes at every level would come knocking on our door. For twenty years I worked with Bolton Wanderers Soccer Team – fourteen managers and thousands of players, also future managers like Peter Reid, Sam Allardyce and Phil Brown who all went on to manage Premiership clubs.