The Team

The PDS team are amongst the most skilled and experienced practitioners you can find anywhere. All our coaches are PDS trained and have a proven track record working with national and international athletes.

Mark Bennett MBE – Consulting, Training, Mentoring & Public Speaking

Mark-Bennett-MBE

Mark has been training, coaching & mentoring individuals and teams since the early 90s. He joined the British Army in 1983. Mark passed the world famous Commando course in 1990 and while posted with the British Commandos experienced the stresses of operations during the first Iraq Conflict (Operation Haven).

While serving with 29 Commando Regiment as the senior instructor, running the Commando Training Wing, Mark was the first person to initiate structural change to the way soldiers were trained for the commando course.

While serving on operations with British Commandos

While serving on operations with British Commandos

His work in this field cumulated in the design of the Performance Development Systems; a holistic and robust approach to maximise real world performance for organisations, coaches and athletes.

Following several years of running, designing and quality controlling “train the trainer” courses for the Military, Mark turned down promotion in order to leave the forces commit to working on PDS full time.

He has spent over 20 years researching and developing effective learning and adherence systems to help coaches and trainers maximise the performance of the individuals and teams they are working with.
In 2006 Mark was awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE) by her Majesty the Queen for his work in developing the system.

Being awarded the MBE in 2006

Being awarded the MBE in 2006

Mark believes in a “practictioner” based approach. He soon identified that many theories that may look good on paper or in controlled environments are not so effective in the “real world”. PDS is all about providing a positive sustainable performance impact on the “shop floor”.

Clients have included:

  • English Golf Union – coach training & mentoring
  • Premiership Rugby Union – coach & player training
  • The Super League – coach & player training
  • Primary & Secondary Schools – teacher training
  • Health Clubs – staff training & mentoring, integration of member retentions systems
  • Personal Trainers – coach training & mentoring
  • British Military – coach training & mentoring
  • Special Forces – Solider training (preparatory training for SAS selection)
  • Emergency Services – Fire Fighter training
  • University of Washington – coach training & mentoring
  • Oklahoma Thunder (NBA basketball team & 2011 NBA finalists) – full coaching team delivery
  • Dame Kelly Holmes – delivering coach & athlete training & mentoring on her behalf to County, National & International level coaches on numerous contracts

Within PDS Mark has developed specific courses & performance mentoring systems to meet the needs of performance driven managers, coaches & athletes.

Mike Ford - Consulting, Training, Mentoring & Public Speaking

Mike Ford has been involved in elite sport since 1983 when he signed for Wigan RLFC as a 17 year old.  He is currently 1st team coach at Bath Rugby.  After a 20 year playing career, which included representing his country, Mike took the natural step into coaching having become a fully qualified Rugby league coach at the age of 24.

Mike first started professional coaching in 1999, being player coach for Oldham rugby league taking them the 2001 grand final before switching codes and becoming the first defence coach for IRFU. He would stay there for four years including the 2003 world cup and winning two triple crowns.

In 2005 Mike was part of the British and Irish Lions coaching team that went to New Zealand and on his return he became head coach of Saracens rugby Club taking them into Europe in 2006.

In May 2006 Mike would join the RFU as an assistant coach and stay there for the next 5 years.  He helped coach the team to the Rugby World Cup final in France in 2007, won the 6 nations in 2011 and later that year was involved in his third world cup tournament in New Zealand.

Mike helped develop his two eldest boys who are now involved in professional rugby, Joe playing for Leeds and George playing for Leicester. George won the IRB junior player of the year award in 2011 being the first English player to do so.

Rob Watts - Training & Mentoring

Rob Watts is a PGA Head Professional, based in Berkshire at Castle Royle Golf & Country Club, also home to Rob Watts Performance Academy.

Having established a strong playing career, Rob decided in 2006 to embrace his natural ability and passion for coaching and his credentials now include CHECK exercise, nutrition and lifestyle coaching, a diploma in sports hypnosis.

Rob was one of the first golf professionals in the country to achieve PDS Performance Coach qualification and contributes editorial regularly in his role as Today’s Golfer Elite Professional.

Enjoying an impressive clientele ranging from Worldwide PGA professionals to County teams and top European tour professionals, clients include Darren Clarke whom he has enjoyed an ongoing relationship with since 2008, having worked alongside Darren at The Open Championship 2011.

In 2011 Rob was selected to become an England Futures coach, enabling Rob to further his commitment to the future of professional golf in the UK, a role which compliments his ongoing commitment as County coach to Bucks, Berks & Oxon.

Benefiting from working alongside fellow world class performance coaches, Rob is now considered one of the leading modern day Coaches in the country, and works with national and world standard players and teams from across the globe.

Marc Finney – Training & Mentoring

Marc Finney is a Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach for Northampton Saints RFC, and holds an Honours Degree in Sport and Exercise Science from Nottingham Trent University.

Following five years of lecturing to Further and Higher education students, and as manager of Human Performance Laboratories at Lincoln College, Marc began his Strength and Conditioning career as Fitness Coach for Lincoln City F.C. A former semi-professional footballer himself, Marc was able to begin applying Sports Science theory into
practice, and this is the driving force behind his career to date.

He then spent four years working as a Training Director for SAQ International as the company Sports Scientist, where he had the great fortune to work with numerous world class athletes and coaches.

For the past four seasons Marc has worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Northampton Saints RFC, where he has worked within a Performance Department that has helped the team achieve several honours including European Challenge Cup winners (2009); LV=Cup winners (2010); Heineken Cup Quarter finalists (2010) and Guinness Premiership semi-finalists (2010 and 2011) and Heineken Cup Runners up (2011).

During this period Marc has developed enormously as a practitioner and has had the great pleasure to work closely with world renowned sprint coach and biomechanist Frans Bosch, and complete professional development visits to learn from some of the best practitioners  in the business including time at Cressey Performance (Hudson, MA) and Mike Boyles facility (Lexington, MA) in the U.S.. In the summer of 2012 Marc attended the GAIN (Gambetta Athletic Improvement Network) Apprentorship. During this prestigious course, Marc worked with leading strength and conditioning specialist including Vern Gambetta, Jimmy Radcliffe, Frans Bosch and Bill Knowles but to name a few.

Always keen to continue to develop his own expertise and keep ahead with bestpractice, Marc has a great appetite for self-education. Marc is currently working towards his MSc in Strength and Conditioning and accreditations with UKSCA and CSCS.

Although well versed and practiced in all areas of athletic performance enhancement, Marc specialises in Maximal Strength development and Sprint mechanics. Over the years he has developed a no-nonsense approach to training and uses intelligent planning and programming with sensible integration of corrective exercise to push his athletes to achieve optimal performance – and keep them healthy along the way!

Jaine Lock – Training & Mentoring

Jaine Lock has come from an elite sports background spending 4 years in the Women’s England rugby squad from 1999 to 2003. The pinnacle of her career was leading her country on the very first tour of women’s rugby to South Africa in 2003.

Jaine has been a motivational, determine and friendly fitness instructor for 10 years and personal trainer for 7 years. An experienced, quality and trustworthy group exercise instructor and Sports massage therapist (IIHHT).

Her skills and qualifications include Body Balance, Body Jam, Body Attack, core stability training, Pilates, aqua aerobics, circuit training and Zumba. She always maintains a positive and supportive approach in every session, installing knowledge and quality of movement beliefs into her clients.

Jaine believes it is very important to live by her core values and always makes time to train smart and hard, eat effectively while being a mother to her two active children. She constantly strives to develop her own knowledge and skills towards the pursuit of excellence, which she likes to pass on to her clients; ensuring they have an effective learning experience in each session to maximise their own potential.

Jaine has delivered training on behalf of Dame Kelly Holmes to some of the athletes she is supporting. She is also assisting Mark to develop new group exercise classes for Schools and Health Clubs.