Matthew Galvin

Rugbytränare & lärare

Engage DT


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Design Technology/woodwork teacher and Rugby coach. I stumbled into a teaching career after working throughout the UK in the construction industry, I was asked if I would give teaching a try and it just seemed to fit. When you throw yourself into a difficult situation you find out very quickly whether you can sink or swim, I loved the subject and I enjoyed the company of youngsters, seeing them develop as people and improve their skills, whilst enjoying themselves, is a great feeling.

The same principles apply to the rugby field as to the classroom. I Worked in central Manchester for 12 years then I set up my own freelance education service as ‘the mainstream system’ in England was just wrong, the hierarchy were too far removed from the classroom, whilst teaching had become an administrative nightmare and political minefield. When it stopped being about ‘the kids’ and all about results, I was out.

The freedom of freelance work and reduced bureaucracy has been a re-vitalising experience and the opportunity to do work in the way I see as best for children, is priceless. After 2 years freelance, teaching and consulting, I took the opportunity to teach abroad and I loved every minute I spent in Sweden. Seizing opportunities and developing personally is, in my mind, paramount to maintaining a healthy life balance.

Born into Rugby in the North of England, the game became part of my life. The ‘rugby family’ is the envy of many sports and for me the principles of the game reflect my approach to life, and the style and character of my teaching. My coaching experiences running parallel to my teaching career, span all variety of teams including, men/women, girls/boys, Club, Community, schools and Regional.

I have taught many Pupils and coached many Players, but the Person underneath has always been my priority.

Throughout my teaching and coaching career, my approach has always been to develop the person first and to help them be the best they can be. Results are as important as you want them to be. Knowledge is only as good as the understanding behind it, paper qualifications and final scores don’t always paint the correct picture.

As a coach/teacher, You must lead by example, on and off the field, inside and outside of the classroom. Life is one big lesson/experience, and you never stop learning. If you get the development right, players and pupils can take that mindset into every situation they ever face. I honestly believe that life is all about balance, in everything that we do. We’re all equal but everyone is unique, don’t expect to get the same as everyone else. Everyone has something to offer, you don’t have to do things the way they have always been done, and formulas don’t work for everyone, all the time. Its not a question of being hard or soft, left or right. Its striking the right balance at the right time.

If you can help develop the person behind the pupil and player, everything else falls into place. Results will follow, and they will be the right results.

To me NYFA represents a shift in the mindset of both coaching and teaching. A mindset/ethos that is long overdue, desperately needed on a global scale, and is applicable to any situation. Sport is essential to people, to how we live and function as a society, if we can strip it down to what it is.

It satisfies our innate sense to interact on every level with other people, to compete and push ourselves to our limits. To win with humility and lose with grace. Honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, discipline, health and wellbeing. Sport should be fun, we PLAY sport, and in many ways, life is a game, the rest is just details.

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