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Amy HeerenMar 26, 2024 2:58:51 PM4 min read

Meet James Collins

We are excited to announce our newest Hawkin team member, James Collins, Special Markets Account Manager for Soccer.   

James hails from Dublin, Ireland, and brings vast experience from the soccer world to our team. Growing up with a love of sports, he was obsessed with finding ways to become stronger, faster, and fitter. This obsession led James to university where he studied Sports Science at TU Dublin. Eager to apply the information he was learning in the classroom, James volunteered at his old secondary school (high school) to train their rugby team. At that time, having strength and conditioning coaches and sport scientists in Ireland wasn’t that common, particularly at the high school level. James stepped up and acted essentially as the head S&C coach at the age of 20. 

James pursued a Master's degree through the MS program at Springfield College and made the move to the U.S.  At Springfield, he gained valuable experience as a Graduate Assistant.  

After Springfield, an opportunity presented itself in the Major League Soccer with Sporting KansasSupporters shield City. James worked with SKC for two seasons with their Academy and Second team before moving to Minnesota United FC as the Head S&C Coach. James spent a season with Minnesota and then moved back to New England to become the Head of Sport Science with New England Revolution. James was a part of NE Revolution when they won the Supporters Shield in 2021 and broke the all-time regular season points record. He moved into the Director of Performance role in 2022 where he managed all S&C, sports science, nutrition, and end-stage rehab for the entire club. In 2023, James started a PhD from TU Dublin in Sport Science focusing on training load in elite soccer. 


We asked James to tell us about his transition to Hawkin in his own words and provide some insight into force plate testing in soccer. 

James New Blog Post Instagram Post (1)

“I was a very happy Hawin Dynamics customer for a long time! I used Hawkin plates for my entire time in professional soccer and I have a great respect for the company’s culture and their dedication to science. I have gotten to know Ben and Oliver over the past 4 years and they are simply great people first and foremost. As I decided to step away from professional soccer, I got in contact with Ben and the rest is history I guess you can say! 

I have used force plates extensively throughout my time working in professional soccer. At every club I’ve been at, force plates played a big role in helping the respective performance and medical teams make key decisions around Return to Play (R2P) and training load. From my perspective, the two most practical uses within soccer are neuromuscular fatigue monitoring and R2P.  

Most professional soccer teams have GPS units that measure how much a player runs and at what intensities (dose). But it can be very difficult (if not, maybe impossible) to truly understand how the players are reacting to such stimulus (response) using those technologies. Understanding your players’ fatigue status is crucial to truly trying to make sure they are at their peak physical condition for matches. In my experience, this is where neuromuscular fatigue testing on Hawkin force plates came into play. We used a CMJ with the mRSI metric to help establish our player’s fatigue status. We generally tested our players on MD+2 and MD-2 before training. If we noticed an individual player was experiencing high levels of fatigue, we would have conversations with the coach to try and alter their training on that day. The players became self-sufficient and tested themselves after a while (Hawkin’s user-friendly software helps big time with this!). This allowed the staff to accomplish other tasks while testing was going on.  

Force plate technology was also a massive part of my R2P protocol. I generally used a criteria-based approach to R2P and irrespective of injuries, one of those criteria was a return to baseline on specific metrics on the Hawkin force plates. The Hawkin plates have helped me successfully return players from a multitude of injuries, from ACL repairs to Achilles ruptures to hamstring strains. The software makes it so easy to make quick data-driven decisions. If there was a big field session planned for the player we would get them on the plates before the session and be able to get instant feedback on how the player performed. This then allows for quick informed decisions and any alterations to the field session ahead.  

I look forward to helping Hawkin grow in the Soccer Market (even though it's actually football!). My goal is to use my experience using Hawkin Dynamics in the professional soccer setting to help our current clients get the most out of the product and ultimately help them win! "


You can connect with James directly at jamescollins@hawkindynamics.com