The founder of Life Sports Performance (LSP), Blaine McKenna, has witnessed the approach of different coaches, clubs and governing bodies in 11 countries, across five continents. During this time he noticed a number of gaps in provision that aren’t currently being provided for in sports coaching practice worldwide. This led to the development of LSP which can be broken into three key areas of Life Skills, Sports Coaching, and Performance Programmes.
LSP aims to:
- Inspire & upskill children, enabling them to live their passion everyday
- Provide a range of education & sessions to coaches & players enabling them to get better faster
- Turn athletes’ negative thoughts into positive ones that simplify & improve performance
Life Skills Programmes & Education
It is well established that the majority of children playing sport will not progress into the professional game. Knowing that, we need to find ways to make sports sessions meaningful for those who become professional, those who play for fun and those who don’t play at all further down the line. This can be achieved by including life skills in our sports programmes which will give children and adults the skill set needed to excel in sport and all other areas of life. It can help improve grades, career prospects, develop positive relationships, have a more positive mindset and help professional players transfer their skills to other careers.
Blaine developed a life skills programme which 121 coaches subscribed to around the world. He has implemented life skills curriculums at a professional academy and has developed a 40-week programme which has enabled players to succeed on and off the pitch. Blaine has also developed a range of other educational resources, many of which he has been able to share during the life skills workshops he has delivered to players, PE students and coaches. He keeps up to date with the research, having started a PhD in the area, which he hopes to return to in the coming years.
LSP Life skills offers:
- Individually tailored life skills programmes for all ages
- Life skills curriculums with pitch-based sessions to embed it at your club
- Coach & player education workshops on life skills
sports Coaching & Education
LSP’s coaching philosophy puts individuals at the centre of the process with the aim of developing awareness, creativity and decision making in a positive sporting environment. A constraints led approach is used for player development with games being as realistic as possible to ensure optimal transfer to the performance environment. This approach was developed through studying athlete development, motivation and skill acquisition during Blaine’s MSc degree. It has been implemented and fine-tuned through working with different cultures and footballing levels around the world. The result of this work has seen players progress from youth football into the senior game with a number earning deals at professional clubs.
Blaine brings a range of experience having coached from grassroots to professional academy level and has been flown in to academies in various countries to deliver coaching sessions and coach education. He is the former Academy Director of a topflight professional Thai League club, where he was responsible for all recruitment and academy operations. Blaine has a following of over 58,000 coaches and sports professionals which has enabled him to assist clubs in the recruitment of players and coaches. He has recruited over 100 players for clubs in Asia including 15 girls in Kuwait when there were none before and 71 players after holding Ubon UMT United’s first ever open trials, which 548 players attended. Other highlights at the club include:
- Implementing a philosophy throughout the academy and creating four new teams to provide a clear pathway, which resulted in players breaking into the first-team
- Developing a scholarship programme which encouraged academic achievement, road safety and saw the academy’s first residential programme, with players living and going to school together
- Delivering the club’s first community projects including the schools programme which benefitted over 300 local kids.
- Bringing a national coaching course to Ubon Ratchathani for the first time, delivering the club’s first internal coach education programme and holding workshops in a local university which benefitted over 100 coaches across the region
LSP Sports Coaching offers:
- Workshops based on a range of coaching topics for players, students & coaches of any sport
- Football coaching visits to your club
- Assist your club in the recruitment of coaches & players
performance progammes & workshops
Despite the evidence highlighting it’s value, Blaine’s MSc research showed sport psychology is still massively undervalued at all levels of football. This is owing to a lack of knowledge and exposure to it which can seriously impact upon a player’s career. His research provided a range of ideas to overcome the barriers which LSP has successfully put into practice. This has been achieved by developing individually tailored performance programmes for a range of professional and elite athletes, both at youth and senior level, and developing pitch-based sessions which embed sport psychology into the team’s principles of play.
Blaine has also delivered a number of workshops on performance techniques and sport psychology to players, PE students, fully qualified PE teachers and coaches from various sports. His deep understanding of the performance process has enabled him to simplify and harness the thoughts of athletes, enabling them to take their performance to the next level. The result of this work has seen a professional footballer go from scoring one goal in six games to four in the next six with two assists. This led to a move to a bigger club and a recall to the national team. A gymnast was also able to go from being unable to perform under pressure to winning a medal at a national competition. The programmes are not solely responsibly for the upturns in performance but the athletes noted the positive impact they had.
LSP Performance offers:
- Individually tailored performance programmes developed one-to-one online
- Sports Psychology curriculums, techniques for creating an optimal team environment & pitch-based sport psychology sessions
- Workshops for coaches & players on embedding sport psychology & performance techniques into sessions