RAF visit to talk to players and coaches about elite teamsShrewsbury Town manager Micky Mellon is always looking for new ways to help improve his management style and to improve his players.
As well as striving to improve how things are done on the training pitch, he is equally keen to help his players develop mentally.
Micky recently invited Squadron Leader Bob Northway from RAF Shawbury to the club to talk to the players. The focus of the talk was to hear about how leaders of elite teams work with their people.
Squadron Leader Northway spent over an hour talking to the squad and the club coaches about his experiences and how the RAF work.
"I just thought that it would be interesting for the lads to hear about elite teams and what it takes to be an elite team," said Micky.
“We are fortunate that we have an elite team right on our doorstep at RAF Shawbury and we have really good links with them. We can use their training facilities and their instructors and they can use the Greenhous Meadow for their big games against the Army among other things.
“I thought about seeing if we could get one of the experienced RAF guys to come down and talk to the lads. Bob asked me what I'd like him to talk about and I said if the RAF was a football team what would its values and principles be and how would it operate.
“Bob is a big football fan and a fantastic guy and he spoke to the lads for over and hour about what it takes to be an elite team.
“There wasn't a person in the room that didn't enjoy the talk and come away from it knowing what we have to do to keep the club moving forward.”
The talk was about the experiences that Squadron Leader Northway has had during his career. The players enjoyed it and Micky will continue to implement similar ideas throughout the season.
"Bob was telling stories of what had happened to him and situations he had been in," said the manager. "He spoke about leadership and about how a team stands up under pressure, and to hear this from someone who had been part of these stories was good for the lads.
"It is good to get other people to talk to the team and give their views on leadership rather than it always coming from me.
"We will continue to do things like this throughout the season because the boys really enjoy it and I think it's great for them to meet these guys.”
Since becoming Town manager, Micky has continued to improve things out on the training pitch. He is now looking at helping to improve the mental side of the players game to give Town that extra edge.
"The mental side is massive and when you look at the training side of things pretty much all clubs do similar types of things.
"When I go to other clubs and observe things there is never really much difference in the training sessions that go on.
"What you can see is the mindset of the football club is the big definer at times, certainly between clubs who are in the same leagues.
"At the higher levels you will get the better talented players than in League 2 but mentality is something that you catch up on, match and go beyond.
"It's also about the variety of training that keeps the lads stimulated and we are coming into a different season now weather wise with different challenges so it's important to keep focused."
Part of the UEFA Pro Licence is to look at different managerial styles outside of football and to see how that can help a manager develop.
Micky has passed his Pro Licence but continues to visit other managers in football and outside of it to continue to learn and develop.
"I was with a boxing trainer last week who has five or six champions in his stable and I had around four hours with him," he added.
"I go and see other managers, go to other clubs and see how they do things and anything I can use to help us.
"If I can bring anything back that can help me speak to the players and to make Shrewsbury and myself better then I'll continue to do that to help move us forward."