Nino Severino: Always looking for that unique development edge!
PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:10 16 November 2018
In past columns I have talked about a divide between athletes that earn large amounts of money, and those that do not, and how there is a movement in Ipswich to bring this sporting diversity together.
I am so very pleased to say, that Ipswich Town Football Club and The Hub at the University of Suffolk are leading the way in this quest.
As director of the Hub, I was tasked with the project of developing a collaboration across ITFC and The Hub, this took shape as a programme fusion of sports science and football specific training.
It initially started as an idea that came from a brain-storming session, I had with Dr Gavin Devereux at The Hub, and also at ITFC with Head of the academy Lee O’Neil.
When tackling innovative and unique ideas, it is really important to work with open minded professionals, this is what I found with Gavin and Lee, who both were very excited about this project and embraced it totally.
And for me, this is how things get done, working with individuals who are willing to back something that is, just that little bit different!
So, what does the ITFC, Hub collaboration programme consist of? The programme is about giving local junior and senior football players the taste of a high-quality support programme in the surroundings of a Premiership standard set up, and although, presently, ITFC are not in the Premiership, I can tell you, without doubt, the facilities are of Premiership level.
I can talk from experience, as during my time as programme training developer, I travelled to many football clubs, including the world-famous training set up at Carrington, the Manchester United Training ground.
Inspiration and motivation are a massive part of development, and I thought that the training environment was key, with this in mind, as a member of staff at the ITFC academy, I approached Lee and asked if he would consider giving the football community access to the multi-million-pound training facility on Playford Road.
He said yes, and now fully supports this project.
So, between us, we had organised the venue, now I needed to put together the team, and I am pleased to say, that we have an outstanding team supporting the delivery of this project.
Heading the football specific area of the programme is the ex-professional Premiership football player, Jason Dozzell. Up until the end of last season, my relationship with Jason, consisted of a polite hello and goodbye as we passed each other during our duties at the training ground, but over the closed season this changed quite dramatically, unfortunately, not for the right reasons.
I was asked by the ITFC first team physio Matt Byard to work with our young rising star Andre Dozzell, unfortunately, this was because he was coming through the phases of rehabilitation, and the club wanted him to include progressive movements drills in his programme.
This meant over a period of six weeks I worked very closely with Andre, and I’m very pleased to say that Jason, played a big part in this process, attending all the rehab sessions with him. These two have an incredible relationship, and it truly was a wonderful experience as a sporting coach, to see the process of a seasoned footballer, supporting his son, in a very thoughtful and valuable way.
So as many things in life, the beginning starts with a point of ignition, and the relationship I have built with Jason, started around his son Andre
For me, when I took into account my relationship with Jason, his football background, and the standard of his coaching, I was 100% sure who I wanted to head the football specific area of this project.
I approached the ITFC senior coaching team, and asked if I could offer Jason this opportunity, and to my utter delight, they were fully supportive and gave it their blessing. The other members of this project are Team Hub, and they overlook all the nonspecific sports science areas of the training session.
Confirming the venue, team and programme, we could now deliver our first pilot session, with the aim of increasing power, speed, agility, reaction, mental toughness and the footballing skills of the football community.
This meant that we needed a football team to attend, this came in the shape of Ian Brown’s Under 15-year-old Suffolk football team. After an incredible session, I am pleased to say that I believe we have a programme that could massively benefit the junior and senior football players out there in the footballing community, that are looking for that unique development edge!
If you are a football club and interested in this exciting programme, please contact me... firstname.lastname@example.org