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Jody Rivers, Matt Le Tissier, Pep Guardialo

Meet Jody Rivers: Matt Le Tissier Natural Coaching, director of coaching 

The football coach and respected writer of coaching techniques and philosophies, Jody Rivers, has written an introductory biography about his experiences, beliefs, achievements and what he ultimately hopes to achieve and inspire through coaching. Meet the man charged with delivering Matt Le Tissier’s coaching philosophy (and, no, that doesn’t mean teaching kids to stand around for 80 minutes before scoring three goals from 40 yards to win a game).

I have been coaching since 2005 and have gained a whole host of experiences and knowledge over the years.

My role at Matt Le Tissier Natural Coaching (MLTNC) Academy and MLT in the Community includes coaching children on a daily basis and overseeing the coaches to provide them with the knowledge and confidence to deliver Matt Le Tissier’s philosophy at the academy and in local schools. Our aim is to enable children to improve their football skills and to give them confidence and life skills.

Prior to this role I coached at AFC Bournemouth Academy for four years, working with the Under 9s through to Under 21s. In 2014 I moved to focus on MLTNC, and since then we have helped numerous children improve their basic football education, and coached a number of players who have gone on to sign for professional football club academies.

To further my coaching knowledge I have visted FC Barcelona’s world famous academy, La Masia, as well as visiting Sporting Lisbon, Athletic Bilbao and Liverpool FC’s International Academy in Michigan, where I was recently a special-guest speaker at a fundraising dinner.

I’m fortunate my role gives me the opportunity to work with Southampton FC Academy players and I visit the Staplewood Campus [the Club’s training facilities] on a regular basis as the relationship between Saints and MLTNC grows.

I publish my own blog, and have received positive feedback, most notably with my insights on Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and the former Saints and current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. The article on Guardiola was nominated for an award at the Amateur Writers Awards in 2017; and, of this I am very proud, my Pochettino blog was quoted by the Tottenham manager himself in “Brave New World,” a multi-award winning book by the Spanish journalist and author Guillem Balague.

With regards to my coaching philosophy, I adhere to advanced thinking [applying progressive and contemporary philosophies], technical coaching and a desire and passion to encourage players play with “freedom” and express themselves. Standing still is not an option for me, I am constantly looking to improve my knowledge and grow as a coach and a role model to young children and adults alike.

I am a Saints season-ticket holder and have been watching them since I was fours years old, and as I child I preteded to be Matt Le Tissier when playing football. Ultimately, through coaching, I hope to inspire children and adults to follow their dreams.

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