The Inside Track
Meet our Team
Managing Director, Global Sports Innovation
Richie Gray is the founder and sole owner of GSI. Gray studied Physical Education majoring in Skill Acquisition at Heriot Watt University after which he went on to work for The Scottish Rugby Union for 12 years where he was involved in all aspects of rugby development and coach education. He set up the first Professional Rugby Academy in Scotland linked to The Border Reivers professional team.
Gray has played and coached all over the world and has been on development trips to New Zealand, Australia and South Africa throughout his career to specifically look at Long Term Player Development, Academy Development Strategies and Specific Skills Coaching. In 2007, Gray became one of the key drivers in the creation of The Borders Academy of Sporting Excellence (BASE) at Borders College. Today, as well as still lecturing at the college, Gray is also Rhino Rugby’s International Specialist Skills Coach, which sees him delivering specific skills sessions to both clubs and countries all over the world. In 2013, Gray became a consultant to The Springboks for The Rugby Championship and Northern Hemisphere Tour concentrating on the breakdown/collision area (see our news section).
He is regarded, through his innovative work with specific training equipment for Rugby Union, as one of the foremost thinkers of coaching methods relating to the breakdown area. As well as this, Gray still finds time to be the rugby analyst for BBC Scotland for all RaboDirect and 6 Nations games.
Gray’s company GSI is at the forefront of changing the mind-set behind technical training aids for collision sports. Gray’s highly effective training aid principles are:
- You must create training aids that make the athlete replicate the key movement patterns that happen within the chosen sport to improve his/her performance.
- The training aid must give the athlete feedback.
- The training aid must challenge the athlete physically and mentally at all times to be accurate in execution. This can be achieved through the specific weight, design and function of the training aid.
- Training aids cannot be seen as an easy option, they must always hold a degree of difficulty related to key movement patterns – remember if it does not challenge you, it won’t change you.
- In many ways you can’t beat “live” practice but as coaches we also have a duty of care to our athletes, in this way you can use training aids to work to a level of fatigue first before going “live”.
- As a coach, to move your athlete forward, you must be able to coach and perfect the key principles of technique detail that relate to the specific movements within that sport.