Darren solidified his ability to increase performance levels amongst players and progressed quickly. Within two years he went from U18 to GB level and became the first sports psychologist to work in the sport. His achievements opened doors. He went on to work with a number of professional clubs; Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Coventry City and Huddersfield, bringing success to each team, leaving them in a higher league position to where he found them and often providing pathways to the first team for academy players.
Despite his success, Darren still feels he has plenty to learn, a humbling sentiment from a man who has 25 years of experience within professional football. He is continually expanding his knowledge by completing his LMA Diploma in Football Management and he has also started his Level Two in swimming. He feels the need to test himself “applying the generic principles of coaching in a new environment.”
This enthusiasm for learning places Darren in a unique position, evidently preparing him for the future because he believes that “we are on the verge of the next era in which we will see a more holistic and scientific approach to player development and management” and his goal is to be at the forefront of these developments.
When reflecting on his own career we asked Darren what advice he would give a player who is considering continuing their education? His response was forthright, “why wouldn’t you? It’s possible; it’s about commitment, time management and making sacrifices. Top performers do this anyway. The rest find excuses.”