Tags: Coaching Manual

How Martin Wallwork uses The Coaching Manual

We sat down with Martin Wallwork for a chat about how his season is going and he uses The Coaching Manual.

The Coaching Manual: Hi Martin, thanks for joining us. Let's start with a quick introduction...

Martin: Hi I'm Martin Wallwork, the Head Coach and Director of Programs here at University High School. I’m responsible for all six teams, boys and girls, including the boys Varsity team which is the premier team here at the school.

The Coaching Manual: How’s the season going so far?

Martin: Great season so far. We were looking forward to moving forward this year and starting to implement some new programs and sessions. It’s been a superb start really, 5-0 for the year (five wins, zero losses) and also 14-2 (goals scored vs conceded).  

The Coaching Manual: You’ve been using The Coaching Manual as a resource, how do you think that’s supported you and your players here at University High School?

Martin: I hold it directly responsible for our success. My boys really pick up on the points we put out there in practice. Some of my favourite articles that I’m currently using are; the Arc of the Back Four and the Rondos. We really push it everyday in practice, when to recieve, where to receive and body shape.

We can see it from game to game. Everything that we are doing out there is working. There’s no surprise we are where we are in the rankings, number 6 in the county right now. The progression from last year and the understanding of when to receive, where to receive, is directly responsible to The Coaching Manual.

I feel like I’m a much better coach than I was two years ago, even last year. My knowledge and understanding of the game has certainly improved, resulting in my sessions improving also. This is starting to be shown with my players on the pitch.

The Coaching Manual: Great. As an experienced coach, are there any sessions that you have adapted? What’s been the outcome of those?

Martin: We really do focus on the Rondo in all forms. We adapted the Arc of the Back Four and focused on incorporating the Pivot player. We use our ‘6’ as the Pivot player, we are lucky that at the school we have some great players who can sit deep and play that role.

We adapt the Pivot role occasionally, for instance, the ‘6’ doesn’t have to go laterally all way from side-to-side, maybe the ‘8’ just drops in on the weak side of the ball and becomes that Pivot. Then the ‘6’ becomes the ‘8’ on the strong side. So we adapt things slightly, depending on the opposition really.

What we see out there, from that particular session, is so good to watch. The kids are fully understanding what we are putting into practice.

The Coaching Manual: Do you feel the session that you practice is being replicated on game day? Are the practices game-specific enough so that players can recognise those moments in the game?

Martin: The thing with The Coaching Manual is, everything is very game-specific. You can take it from us, on a Monday we have a cool down, games on Tuesday and Thursday’s, and it’s exactly what we see.

We film our sessions and I hand out papers with the sessions on them. I then show the video after the game and it’s so easy to break down what we are trying to do in relation to what we’ve done the day before or two days before in our sessions.

The Coaching Manual is a simple concept but it’s so well organised and delivered that as a Coach you get a full understanding immediately. When I pass the ideas onto my players, it doesn’t take them long to grasp what we are trying to do. When you show them game footage afterwards it’s very easy to point out what we did in practice in a real game situation.

Thanks, Martin Wallwork and good luck to University High School for the remainder of the season. 

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