A Senior Lecturer in Sport and Education at Lincoln’s Bishop Grosseteste University is not surprised by the success the Cowley brothers have achieved since taking over at Lincoln City.
Rafe Elliott, Academic Co-ordinator for the new BSc (Hons) Sport, Coaching and Physical Education degree at BGU, has worked closely with Danny and Nicky Cowley as part of the university’s ongoing partnership with the football club.
And as the Imps prepare to take on Ipswich Town in their FA Cup replay tomorrow, Rafe says the Cowley brothers have brought a revolutionary change to the way things are done at Sincil Bank.
“Danny and Nicky have made a big impact in a relatively short space of time,” he said. “They have set up a short-term strategy to deliver instant results as well as a long-term strategy.
“They come from a teaching background, which is evident from their approach. The players understand what they’re doing and, more importantly, why they are being asked to do it. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their own development.
“The Cowleys also pay attention to detail and have collected lots of data on the players which they constantly analyse to improve performance on the pitch.
“They look at every aspect of the game and try to control or manage everything possible, in order to achieve marginal gains – building a big gain by looking for lots and lots small gains.
“Sometimes the one per cent non-essentials, such as monitoring sleep patterns and mood, can be the difference between and losing.”
Bishop Grosseteste University has an ongoing partnership with the football club which goes far beyond having the university’s name and logo on the home shirts.
“I’m delighted to say that we enjoy a very close relationship with Danny and Nicky, who have started delivering sessions with the students studying sport at BGU,” said Rafe.
“Our last session with them was in early December. Danny explained their coaching principles and how they plan training and they gave the students a really good insight into how focused the sessions are.
“We hope Danny will be coming in this semester to talk to the students about the difference between coaching and managing. Several of our students have been on placement at the club and have gained experience in delivering and coaching football to young people.
“The club now also uses our grass pitch and our Sports and Fitness Centre for regular training sessions, which is a further example of the depth of our partnership, and the club’s Youth Academy Manager Damian Froggatt will be delivering coaching sessions with the first-year students in February.”
Rafe is keeping his fingers crossed as tomorrow’s cup tie approaches.
“We will all be watching the game with interest and hope the Imps can overcome the odds and make it through to the fourth round,” he said. “It will be a massive boost to the club, the city and BGU if they do.”