Samantha Miller speaks to Back 2 Action owner Rayan Wilson
Samantha Miller, a mentee from our Raise Your Game series, visited Back 2 Action, a specialist performance centre that also helps with rehabilitation, to find out about how they have helped some of the best athletes in football recover and improve following injury.
I travelled to Bristol to train alongside professional footballers in a Back 2 Action (B2A) summer training camp.
B2A was hosting a series of performance sessions which enabled players to work on all aspects of their game in pre-season before returning to their respected clubs, in addition to an all year round service help with injuries.
The clinic has recently helped Chelsea Ladies players Fran Kirby and Bethany England perform on the big stage, with the Blues winning the WSL Spring Series.
I spoke to the founder of B2A, Rayan Wilson, about the setup and the method behind the intense training.
How did B2A start?
“It started off with a conversation between myself and one of my very good friends. We were deciding what college course to go on.
“I said I wanted to be a sports physio and when I did my undergraduate degree, I thought this isn’t good enough. I’m not going to influence the players as much as I want to with just these sets of skills. I didn’t have enough tools in my toolbox, so I went off and did more studying.
“I did my masters and then I felt more aware, more confident and more knowledgeable in other means of enhancing players whether they are fit or injured. It didn’t matter to me, I wasn’t channeled to one side of performance and that’s when I realised what I wanted to do and from there I said I was setting up the business.
“It started on my own and now there are 13 which are made up of strength and conditioners, football coaches, sports psychologists, performance analysis, sports scientists, physio, sports therapist and two masseuses.”
How has B2A evolved and developed since it started?
“The team has grown and the status has grown as the team has got bigger. The players we work with have also started to play higher levels of football. The family atmosphere of the organisation has started to spread not only regionally but nationally and into other pockets of countries.
“The overall goal is to be known as a performance centre that really produces fresh talent. We’ve got Glenn Murray at the moment. He’s only 33 but in his eyes he’s old – he’s far from old!
“We also work with some young talent for example Andre Coker from Crystal Palace Under-23s. I allowed him to mentor one of our 16-year-olds because he can relate more to him because he’s only just come out of that age period.
“I want to find ways and means of utilizing the players that we have around us to help other players, you have to remember they are all coming here for the same reason. They all want to be better; we use each other, the team of staff plus the boys and girls that come to the camp.”
Who have been the biggest success stories?
“Watching and seeing Bobby Reid grow, from the fringes of the Under-18s probably being released, because of his physicality, to growing into a first team player at Bristol City.
“Many people know about the Yannick Bolasie story, who similar to Bobby, was sitting on the bench at Bristol City and not being able to get in the team to a multi-million pound move to Everton. That’s a great story in itself.
“We’ve also had referrals such as Gareth Bale. Gareth was referred to me at a much younger age when he was at Southampton.
“I was working with him when he was at Wales and Tottenham, before this superstar Gareth Bale that we see today. He embraced where he wanted to go and put his head down and worked hard for it and I was fortunate to see and be a part of it.
“Danny Rose came to me through a good friend of his that I coached about three years ago. He was on holiday and came to visit us in Bristol and said that he wanted to do some additional training.”
To find out more about Back 2 Action, visit their website.