Kevin Paxton

Job title Head of academy sports science

Employer Leicester City

What does your role entail? And could you talk us through a typical day?

I line manage the provision of sports science and strength & conditioning support to all players and multi-disciplinary staff responsible for the age ranges of U9-U21, and liaising with all relevant senior team staff to ensure a seamless transition of academy player to senior team level. I co-ordinate and review the delivery of holistic fitness and personal lifestyle development educational program across all ages. I also provide a structured system of objective player and staff development to executive level management.

Talk us through a typical day...

7:30 pm Drive to work double-checking upcoming day/week/monthly events in head 8:30 am Departmental daily planning meeting 9:00 am Daily training prep 9:30 am Daily multi-disciplinary support planning meeting 9:45 am Daily pre-training preparation session 10:30 am Training 12:30 pm Post-Training Analysis 1:00 pm Lunch ------------ 1:30 pm Additional support training / strength & conditioning 3:30 pm Post-day administration 4:30 pm Evening training meeting / in-service CPD session 5:00 pm Various evening training sessions running through depending upon weekday 7:30 pm Staff feedback/reflection on specific weekdays 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm (depending upon if late finish) Get home and change nappies, bathtime, bedtime story, eat dinner & attempt to live on minimal sleep!!

Minimal sleep but worth it, right?

I love the outdoor lifestyle and individual athlete challenges. The variety of work undertaken in a day, week, month, season, fixed term is rewarding.

What qualifications do you need?

You'll need an undergraduate degree – be specific with choices if possible (learn what matters to your job not what fills a course outline) and maybe a post-graduate degree – choose a practical application course (know the in’s and outs of work). Vocational Personal Trainer Awards (industry tricks of trade & people skills), High Performance Accreditations (earn your stripes) and coaching qualifications (to gain respect of peers but not question out of your subject area) are also very useful.

What other experience would you recommend those studying a sports science degree?

Work experience and internships are useful, but only if a reputable qualification and CPD positive experience (need to learn delivery skills). Paid personal training/coaching work (whatever the level) to show personal interaction and coaching skills (not just a bookworm who lands on a job). All CPD events/conferences relevant to vocation (don’t be afraid to ask questions – you won’t improve knowledge base if you don’t tap into people’s past experiences).