Before Dave Nicholas arrived at the Riverhounds Development Academy (RDA) as a Director of Soccer Specific Training, he acquired coaching experience from numerous clubs across the country and internationally.
Over a nine-year period, Nicholas coached in Ashville, North Carolina; Syracuse, New York; Decatur, Illinois and Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also served as a Sheffield Wednesday FC (SWFC) coach in England for six years. With SWFC, he absorbed multiple different coaching philosophies and methods while watching managers and academy coaches during sessions with elite talent.
“I went into coaching for the pure love of the game,” Nicholas said. “I enjoy watching athletes grow and develop as players.”
Nicholas has worked with Grassroot Soccer players as well as full-time professionals, who have had international playing experience. This has helped the coach adapt his training sessions to suit different players, age groups and playing styles.
“During my time with RDA, I have been fortunate to work with great coaches who share the same passion as me,” Nicholas said. “We spend a lot of time discussing coaching methods and sessions to develop our RDA players. “
Family has been a major influence for Nicholas’ coaching aspirations. His father, a physical education teacher, has provided Nicholas with encouragement throughout his coaching career.
Nicholas met and worked closely with another mentor during his time at SWFC. Darren Howe, his “best mate,” taught him how to interact with differing types of players during different situations.
“I think what makes a successful coach is having a philosophy and believing in it,” Nicholas said, “and getting the best out of the players I work with.”