As a head coach I am always looking to gain that edge on all of my opponents, that's why for the past 2 years I have used A.T. Training Solutions. The company are really proactive and innovative in creating leadership qualities within a group setting and we have really shot above and beyond all expectations as a club over the past 24 months. A.T. Training Solutions give the opportunity of being a leader to each member of my squad and it really enables me to watch each person take a task and deliver an outcome based on their qualities, we can then assess each person and set some short and long term goals to achieve throughout our season. The course also gives me the chance to pick a leadership team to carry us through the season evaluating and being accountable throughout. Team cohesion and togetherness is created over the weekend and it really helps us become united as a group. It has been nothing but successful for our club reaching 2 cup finals and gaining promotion In the past 12 months alone. We will certainly be using A.T. Training Solutions next pre season.
I was elected to the position of Chairman of Rugby for Wigan Rugby Union Football Club in May 2015. I knew from the onset that I was undertaking a major role in the development of the club and the players. I immediately decided to give the players a different experience away from the normal training environment; to take them outside of their comfort zone and to develop their leadership skills that would stand them in good stead for the 2015/16 season.
I contacted Archie, as I’d been involved in a Leadership and Team Building Camp that he delivered to Wigan Warriors Academy in 2014/15. Our needs were similar. We were looking to expose the players to problem-solving, physical activities and practical tasks that would challenge them to think as a team, lead each other towards a common goal and develop a skill set necessary for the gruelling challenges of a rugby union season.
Archie visited the club and planned a bespoke weekend programme that would include everything that we were looking for. The lads turned up in numbers and entered the unknown. They initially received some instruction on Leadership and Team Building and then agreed on some core values that would underpin the rest of the season. The squad was broken down into three teams that were pre-selected to spread experience and youth. They then set about completing 15 leadership tasks over the next 36 hours. Every individual had the chance to lead their team at least once during the training.
The first 10 tasks were designed to test the teams problem-solving skills, physical endurance and resilience. The teams bedded down for the night! The last 5 tasks put the teams against each other to test their competitiveness in a mental and physical environment. The finale brought together the whole squad to galvanise and form one cohesive team. The squad is now full of leaders and emerging leaders that have the skill set and knowledge to lead!
We’ve had a very difficult season in terms of injuries to regular players, however, it’s no doubt that the leadership and team building camp has seen us win games that we should have lost. We've witnessed players dig deep for one another and embrace the times they have been outside of their comfort zone. I’d highly recommend A.T. Training Solutions to any organisation that wants to build a team from within. The high level of training outcomes has greatly assisted our club.
Head Coach - Swinton Lions RLFC
Chairman of Rugby - Wigan R.U.F.C
Managing Director - AKONA Ltd
Akona has worked with AT Training Solutions Limited over the past year and have found their training service extremely professional. The company makes every effort to tailor their services to needs of the individual and this proved to be invaluable when Akona ran a programme for Balfour Beatty’s Junior Railway Engineers. His knowledge and experiences, enhanced the Akona course and had great reviews from the client. I would highly recommend their services to any individuals or companies interested in personnel development of their staff in any leadership and team leading.
Head of Youth - Wigan Warriors Academy
A former member of the British Armed Forces of 25 years, Archie Taylor is now a Leadership & Team Building Coach who works with both the private and public sector delivering workshops to develop leadership skills and enhance team cohesion.
Archie has worked with the Club for three years in an advisory capacity and will partner with the club going forwards.
Warriors Head of Youth, Matty Peet, said: “Archie originally linked up with us after meeting Keith Schmechel, who at the time was our Scholarship Manager and each year he has become more and more involved.
“At Wigan we’re big believers in helping the players develop both as rugby players but also as people. It’s very important, especially with such a young squad, that the players are given every opportunity to develop their leadership skills and this appointment will only improve that.
“Archie is an outstanding leadership coach who plays a large role in helping develop young leaders.”
Archie, who is also associated with the Ashton Bears ARLFC Club, said: “The Warriors’ focus towards leadership development has evolved over the last few years.
“At first I came in to work with the Under 16s and I’ve done that for three years now. That then developed into working with Matty Peet and the Under 19s team and more recently I assisted Shaun Wane and the First Team on their pre-season leadership camp.
“Leadership is essential in any team environment and none more so than Rugby League. It’s very important for a young player to be able to progress through the Academy youth structure into the Wigan First Team with the knowledge and skill-set to be able to lead others, irrespective of their position. I echo Shaun Wane’s ethos that every player should have the ability to lead.
“The Wigan Warriors’ Leadership Pathway will compliment the already highly successful player development structure.”
Whilst working with the Academy teams at Wigan, Archie will also assist community coaches and will be delivering a Leadership presentation as part of the Wigan Warriors Coaching Education Programme on the 9 May 2016.