The Journal of Sports Science publishes alumnus Paul White's work
In 2008, Paul White graduated the University of Portsmouth with an MSc in Maintaining and Enhancing Sports Performance. Since his graduation he has worked for League One team Portsmouth FC, and Premier League teams AFC Bournemouth, and is currently working for Stoke City FC.
During his studies at Portsmouth, Paul developed his interest in the variety of training methods in sport and how it can affect the development of young adolescents. Paul has been using this interest throughout his career where it led him to become involved with the first ever Bio-Banded Soccer Tournament, and youth soccer player development with the Premier League.
The findings from the first Bio-Banded Soccer Tournament were recently published in the Journal of Sports Science. (Bio-banding is the process of grouping athletes together based on attributes associated with growth or maturation, rather than age.)
Paul spoke to us in more detail about his career which led to this achievement:
I competed my MSc in Maintaining and Enhancing Sports Performance in 2008 whilst I was teaching at Brockenhurst College and working part time at AFC Bournemouth providing Sports Science Support to their Youth Team as well as working with the Under 14’s within the Centre of Excellence.
Upon finishing my MSc I started working at Portsmouth FC as their Youth Team Fitness Coach. Within this role I was required to start up the Sports Science Support within the academy which ranged from Under 9’s to Under 18’s.
My initial task was to develop and manage all key aspects of the Physiological Support required to develop, enhance and educate all age groups in the academy. Obviously this is a huge task, so I focused upon the Under 18 scholars. Firstly I ensured that the daily practical delivery of field and gym based sessions was effective, here I also liaised with the academy Physiotherapist to aid with the rehabilitation of players and smooth transition back into training. Monitoring of players was also conducted using daily Heart Rate analysis (Polar Team 1 System) and sessional RPE analysis. This information was then fed back into coaching staff daily to ensure that scientific training principles and knowledge was applied in training sessions. Physiological testing was also structured throughout the course of the season to highlight the physical strengths and weaknesses of all scholars in regard to endurance, speed, strength & power. This information was then used to create and develop a profile of the minimum “fitness” standards required in the aforementioned areas for Portsmouth FC.
I am now working at Stoke City FC as Head of Academy Sports Science & Athletic Development and about to start my 7th season. My role at Stoke City FC is twofold, I am employed as one of five Academy Heads of Department that sit as a group called the Academy Management Team (AMT). My second role is to line manage staff working within the Academy Sports Science department. I am now in charge of Sports Science and its related departments, Sports Nutrition, Sports Psychology and Strength & Conditioning.
The main roles and responsibilities I have are ensuring that the management and implementation of the club sports science strategies and philosophies are implemented through the various age groups (Under 9’s – Under 23’s). This requires me to manage an excellent but very diverse number of staff to ensure that high level of player care is adhered to. This role therefore requires me to manage and mentor staff, oversee the design of internal and external staff CPD, implementation of an appraisal system, whilst also working daily within the Professional Development Phase (PDP) with the Under 23 players and staff to ensure that a smooth transition occurs between players crossing over from Under 18’s – 23s – 1st team.
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