My Journey So Far – Setanta Faculty Scholar Dean Lester


Making the Change

Over four years in the past, fully disillusioned with the health trade and the way private trainers have been managed, together with myself, I made the choice that I wished to work in group sport. Subsequently, I must return to finding out.

This introduced up a number of questions. The place? How? How lengthy? How a lot? I searched on-line for programs that will be appropriate for my scenario, as I must proceed working on the similar time. I had gotten to know an Ulster rugby participant on the time and found that he was doing a Masters in Efficiency Teaching with Setanta Faculty. I had met him by way of the health club that I used to be working in on the time and paradoxically, this was the identical health club that had been the icing on the cake by way of fully draining the eagerness I had for the health trade. As he had a powerful profession in skilled rugby, I knew he would have been uncovered to the best high quality of S&C coaches. I gave him a name to realize some insights into Setanta Faculty, the standard of the programs and whether or not it could be the appropriate transfer to make. He had nothing however good issues to say concerning the content material of the programs and the folks concerned within the group, so I took the leap.

The Beginning Level

Having not been a lot of a tutorial in class, I used to be nonetheless hesitant as as to if this could be the appropriate match for me. By the tip of the primary module, Useful Motion Screening, I felt I had discovered extra in simply 12 weeks than I had in another health or private coaching course. I used to be persevering with to work as an impartial coach, and instantly started making use of my new information. Once I achieved pretty respectable marks in that first module, I had a brand new discovered dedication to succeed. After simply 12 weeks, I used to be offered. Nothing was going to cease me, I used to be going to take the S&C world by storm.

Leveraging the World-Class Assist Community

For me, finding out on an element time/versatile foundation with Setanta Faculty was an ideal match. The lecturers are all incredible practitioners of their area, and wonderful educators too. I used to be by no means one to talk up or contribute in school in class or college the primary time round, a giant think about why I failed. I’m certain the employees received sick of my emails and questions this time round! (There wasn’t that many…)

On a severe be aware, nevertheless, I at all times obtained thorough and detailed replies, and it was clear that they acknowledged how a lot I wished to succeed and overcome previous failures. I used to be supported with continued encouragement and couldn’t ask for a greater group of mentors, from workplace employees proper by way of to Liam Hennessy himself. The community that the faculty provides and helps you with is totally world-class.

Dean and Craig White making ready for a coaching session.

Profession Alternatives

In 2018, I responded to a Fb submit that a possibility had provide you with Bathtub Rugby Membership in England. I believed that this was it, my probability to shine or at the least get my title on the market. I heard that I had been shortlisted with two different candidates. I misplaced out to somebody with a Grasp’s diploma and extra expertise than I had. I wasn’t disheartened – I used to be nonetheless finding out for my Bachelor’s diploma and thought my time would come.

I didn’t assume that point could be simply two weeks later. I obtained a cellphone name from the faculty about a possibility with Craig White, who had contacted them a few year-long internship, mentored by himself and dealing with Uruguay Rugby Union in preparation for the RWC 2019. My first response was “Craig who?” (I do know he’ll have some selection phrases for me if he reads that!). Joking apart, how may I say no to a possibility that will give me an opportunity to study from the most effective on the earth and work with a Rugby World Cup group. After a short session with my fiancé and her mum, each who informed me to go for it, I phoned again and mentioned I’m in.

In January 2019, I used to be headed for Montevideo, Uruguay. To say that I had some of the topsy turvy, emotional rollercoasters of a yr could be an understatement. I set to work with a outstanding group of males each single day, however then again, my father was identified and ultimately misplaced a battle with most cancers. The assist that the URU, Craig, the gamers, the backroom employees and Setanta Faculty confirmed me was unimaginable and bolstered precisely why it’s that I really like doing what I’m doing. When you find yourself lucky sufficient to get a job in a corporation like that, surrounded by folks like that, it’s not a job – it’s a household. On my return, I just about instantly began working with Landsdowne U20s and Blackrock Faculty in Dublin. I’m having fun with each little bit of it, and it’s nice having an affect on the event of their younger gamers, due to the expertise I gained in Uruguay and Setanta Faculty.


Dean on his first journey away with the senior group exterior of Membership Atlético Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires.

Key Learnings

Once I went to Uruguay, I used to be tasked with establishing the GPS know-how and gathering knowledge that, within the latter levels of preparation, we might us to find out the effectiveness of the depth of the on-pitch drills.

I had no expertise in anyway with this know-how, and simply dove into the deep finish studying what I wanted to do. Once more, this supplied the chance to attach with a few of the prime practitioners within the area. Earlier than leaving for Montevideo, I visited Ulster Rugby and Leinster Rugby to get an concept of the place to begin.

I started by placing collectively my imaginative and prescient of a database, Whole Metres, HSR, Metres per Minute, Max Velocity and accelerations & decelerations. Initially, it was about portray an image and getting a maintain of knowledge from different organisations to match and work out precisely what I used to be .

I used to be very fortunate to work with Ben Pollard for the 10 week construct as much as Japan. Ben was with England as lead Sports activities Scientist at RWC 2015, and is now with Stade Francais as Head of S&C. Two issues I took away from my expertise.

  1. Are we progressing coaching load safely with out spiking? Making certain this helps cut back the chance of harm.
  2. Are the gamers coaching on the right intensities that may enable them to deal with the calls for of competitors? Once more, lowering the chance of harm.

What I see because the very pinnacle of what I’ve discovered is that this – whereas know-how is a wonderful instrument in monitoring and monitoring coaching load and coaching intensities, it solely acts as a information on how the programme went. Constructing the relationships with gamers, the backroom employees and lengthening to different staff throughout the organisation, formed the tradition and what we have been about way over the introduction of GPS know-how. Understanding why you might be there and being very clear on what you need to obtain to set the tone for the extent of efficiency in coaching and video games.

That was very a lot pushed by Craig. We have been a household and on a regular basis our intention was to offer our greatest as a participant or as a part of the efficiency group. Exterior components could dictate that generally you don’t give your greatest. The following day when somebody isn’t at their greatest, you might be there to select them up. That’s the definition of being a group.

That’s what drove essentially the most profitable Rugby World Cup in Uruguay Rugby historical past. We could have beat Fiji, however we additionally competed in opposition to Georgia, Australia and Wales. The Welsh sport being one which I used to be extraordinarily fortunate to get to.

The Subsequent Steps

As my Bachelor of Science diploma involves an finish my journey with Setanta Faculty hopefully goes on. I’ve utilized for the Grasp of Science in Efficiency Teaching programme. Whereas I’ll not have taken the world of S&C by storm simply but, I’m trusting Setanta Faculty to proceed to supply me with studying, an unbelievable community and the assist that I’ve received prior to now four and a half years.

You may study extra concerning the programs supplied by Setanta Faculty right here, or obtain our brochure beneath.


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