Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: Dr. Mike Young

Mike Young Athletic Lab

Means and Methods for Eccentric Training 

The eccentric capacities of an athlete are increasingly being recognized for their importance in injury reduction and sports performance. Coach Mike Young will present a variety of options for developing eccentric strength and power that he has used over the years. He will provide progressions that can be employed depending on the capacity and development of the athlete and discuss how eccentric training fits in to the annual and long term development plan.

Employing a Newtonian Model for Plyometric Progressions

In this talk, Coach Mike Young will discuss the importance of understanding the basic physics of plyometrics. Coaches will be provided an easy-to-digest mechanical model that can be applied to the development of plyometric progressions. Using this model, coaches can take the guess work out of jumps training and provide a safe and pedagogically sound training stimulus for athletes across the developmental continuum.


Mike brings the unique qualities of being a nationally recognized researcher, coach, and educator. His depth of knowledge and experience in the field of athletic development is evidenced by his stays at all three U.S. Olympic Training Centers as an athlete (Lake Placid), sport scientist (Colorado Springs & Chula Vista), and coach (Colorado Springs).

Mike has an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology, an MS in Athletic Administration and a PhD in Biomechanics. Mike has earned NSCA’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, is recognized by USA Weightlifting as a Club and Advanced Sport Performance Coach, a Crossfit Level 1 Certified Trainer, is one of less than 20 USA Track & Field (USATF) Level 3 coaches in the country and has a USATF Level 2 certification in 3 event areas.

Mike has served as the primary coach for national or international team qualifiers for several disciplines in Athletics, as well as Bobsleigh, Skeleton and Weightlifting. In the sport of Track & Field, he has coached or assisted multiple Olympians, National Champions, Masters National and World Champions and Collegiate National Champions. Additionally, he has served as the Strength & Conditioning coach for professionals in a wide range of sports including the NFL, MLB and MLS. He served as the Fitness Coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS for the 2012 & 2013 seasons. Prior to that, Mike was the sport performance coach for the 2x NASL Champion Carolina Railhawks. Previously, Mike coached Athletics at the NCAA level at 4 Universities, most notably coaching 4 years at LSU where the team won 6 National Championships.

As an educator, Mike has been an instructor or professor at 3 universities and regularly guest lectures for academic institutions around the world. He is one of the most sought after speakers in the world on athletic development having spoken in Korea, the UK, Ireland, China, Japan, Jamaica, Canada in addition to the US. He has developed and taught curriculums for US Police Forces, USA Track & Field, and USA Weightlifting. Additionally, Mike is a prolific author, having written 2 book chapters, 2 books, and over 20 articles published in nationally distributed publications ranging from Maxim to Runner’s World.  He is regularly featured on websites as far ranging as ESPN, BBC, WebMD and Greatist. Mike is equally qualified as a sport scientist and coach educator. His research on sprinting, stretching, balance and throwing activities have been published and presented in Regional, National and International journals and conferences and he is an invited editor for the Journal of Sports Sciences and Sports Biomechanics.

Book tickets for Child to Champion 2017 and meet Dr. Mike Young

If you want to be there to learn, share and connect with our speakers like Mike you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to the pre-conference workshop on Friday 7th for the first 20 people that book.

Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: Ed Archer

Evolving Foundation Movement Skills: The Theory of the Pouncing Cat (60 minute Practical)

Tools for Developing Acceleration Skills in Young Athletes

In this practical Ed will share a progression of exercises; from floor-based challenges to explosive locomotor patterns.

This session will be a summary of the movements he has found to be most effective in coaching young athletes to develop good acceleration mechanics; improve starting speed and provide a coherent framework for lesson planning.

Speaker Bio

Ed has worked in professional Strength and Conditioning for 20 years. He has significant experience in a range of high performance settings, including Premiership Rugby and Formula 1.

For the past 10 years he has run a youth athlete development programme that in 2010 became the Athlete Academy.

He is a tutor and assessor for the UK Strength and Conditioning Association and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the organisation. Ed is committed to increasing opportunities for young people to access accredited S&C Coaching.


Book tickets for Child to Champion 2017 and hear from Ed Archer

If you want to be there you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to the pre-conference workshop on Friday 7th for the first 20 people that book.

Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: Kevin Paxton

Kevin Paxton

“Working through a continuum of progressions to challenge movement skill”

Through working in professional youth sport continually for the last 19 years Kevin has seen a huge variety of young athletes ranging in movement skill ability. By utilising a concept of progression of controlled change of direction drills moving into guided discovery style movement games he has found a formula for educating and linking specific physical drills to sport specific actions whilst having variation to stimulate the young inquisitive athlete, reinforce the growth spurt anxious athlete and challenge the older more developed athletes.

His session will focus on the group exploring the concept of:

1. Simple variation of a Change of Direction pattern drill through direction
2. Simple variation of a Change Of Direction pattern drill through repetition
3. Combination variations within a drill
4. Partner variations
5. Team variations

Attendees will be encouraged to participate irrelevant of fitness level as active participation is key to understanding the movement progressions and stimulating the coaches imagination and experiencing the concepts.


Kevin has worked in professional sports for over 18 years and is a BASES High Performance Sport Accredited Practitioner, BASES registered supervisor and reviewer, UKSCA accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach and NSCA course tutor. During his time in professional soccer and cricket he has studied extensively S & C and sport science practises worldwide using these experiences to consult for several international organisations including Nike, Scottish FA and delivered to universities and conferences nationally and internationally. His areas of specialism are firstly in classifying exercises in a progressive and regressive manner to target prioritising key areas of athletic development in cycles during the various stages of maturity. Secondly Kevin has been innovative in the use of physiological monitoring techniques to quantify and then classify the results to give a simplistic meaning for affecting the delivery of physical and technical training sessions to produce the desired individual specific responses within a team environment. Kevin possess well practised skills on developing individual player and squad relationships and fosters a low ego, collaborative personality combined with a dedication to continual professional development and strategic mind-set is a recipe for aligning to and developing any organisation he has been employed with to date.

Book now for Child to Champion 2017 and hear from Kevin Paxton

If you want to be there you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to the pre-conference workshop for the first 20 people that book. **Please note there are now only 9 Early Bird Tickets remaining**

Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: James Baker


Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: James Baker

Integrating Multi-Directional Movement Skills to Physical Education

In this combined theory and practical session James will be introducing the curriculum of movement patterns used for developing agility at the Foundation level of the Elite Performance Pathway system.

This session will cover the range of movement patterns he uses for starting and stopping, lateral movements, non-linear movements and various cutting actions as well as a range of games that are used to set the context for more basic closed drills; as well as providing a more engaging, reactive environment that challenges the perceptual-cognitive components of agility.

Eccentric Training and the Younger Athlete

In this talk James will be providing an insight to the practical application, integration and progression of eccentric training across the Foundation, Development and Performance phases of the Elite Performance Pathway programme at St. Peter’s.

James will provide specific details around how eccentric training fits in to the overall training and session planning, along with a variety of methods of eccentric training including the use of the kBox flywheel training system.


James is a UKSCA accredited strength and conditioning coach and qualified PE teacher. He has created and directs the Elite Performance Pathway (EPP) at St. Peter’s R.C. High School a state secondary school in Gloucester. The EPP is a 7-year athletic development pathway integrated into the school PE curriculum that currently supports over 140 gifted and talented young athletes aged between 11-18 years old competing in a wide range of sports.

Book tickets for Child to Champion 2017 and hear from James Baker

If you want to be there you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to the pre-conference workshop for the first 20 people that book.

Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: Dr. James McCarron

Dr James McCa

Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: Dr. James McCarron

“Implicit & Explicit Aspects of Athletic Development”

Understanding the cognitive architecture underpinning implicit and explicit processing within the brain helps the strength and conditioning coach to link athletic development training with desired sports performance. Assessment, maturational development and the utility of such information will be discussed in the context of motor skill development within a premier league football academy.


James is the Head of Academy Performance at Sunderland AFC having previously worked as a sports scientist/strength and conditioning coach for the past 8 years in a diverse range of professional and university sports. James studied towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Kinesiology and Exercise Science at the University of Texas before completing a PhD examining implicit and explicit cognitive processes during athletic performance at the University of Lincoln. James is currently investigating how contemporary motor learning principles can optimize athleticism in professional football.

Book tickets for Child to Champion 2017 and hear from Dr. James McCarron

If you want to be there you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to the pre-conference workshop for the first 20 people that book.

Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: Pete Atkinson

Child To Champion – Speaker Focus: Pete Atkinson

“An Insight to the ECB Pace Programme – Preparing the next generation of International Fast Bowlers”

This is an opportunity to hear about how the ECB S&C team deliver a bespoke programme geared at developing the physical qualities necessary to thrive as an international fast bowler. The aim of the talk will be to identify the assumptions and principles which underpinned the physical aspects of an entire winter of training. The presentation will include:

  • The diagnostics and monitoring methods used to assess each of the bowlers
  • The approach taken to develop athleticism and general motor-coordination skills
  • The approach taken to enhance running skills and expose the players to consistent high-speed running
  • The use of velocity-based training in the weight room
  • The use and prescription of coordination and problem-solving tasks in the weight room
  • The development of mobility and general muscular conditioning

The presentation will be illustrated by extensive video footage. An analysis of the overall effectiveness of the programme will be underpinned by data collected throughout. The presenter will actively seek to stimulate critique and insightful questioning from the audience in order to generate feedback and critical thinking.


Pete studied at Loughborough University between 1990-5 completing a BSc in Sports Science & Recreation Management, a P.G.C.E in Physical Education and an MSc in Information Technology. Between 1996-1998 he was a semi-professional rugby player and Fitness Coach at Nottingham RFC. He returned to Loughborough in 1998 to undertake an MSc in Sports Science. On finishing his playing career he worked as an S&C Coach at Leicester Tigers RFC from 1998-2003 during which time the team won four domestic titles and consecutive European Cups in 2001 & 2002. From 2003 he became Head S&C Coach at Saracens RFC for two seasons.  He joined the EIS in 2005 as a Senior S&C Coach and took over the leadership of the South S&C Team in 2007. During this time he worked with an array of sports including Rowing, Hockey, Athletics, Cricket, Sprint Kayak, Judo, Badminton and Netball. Prior to departing the EIS in 2012 he worked as part of UK Sport’s R&I team. In August 2012 Pete joined the ECB as National Lead for Strength & Conditioning. He continues to enjoy this role and its blend of strategic management with hands-on coaching delivery.  Pete lives near Loughborough with his wife Karen and their two young boys.

Book tickets for Child to Champion 2017 and hear from Pete Atkinson

If you want to be there you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to the pre-conference workshop for the first 20 people that book.

Child To Champion – Conference Overview

Conference Overview

After many months of planning and discussions with speakers we are now very close to a complete line up for the Child To Champion LTAD Conference 2017 running April 7th-9th in Gloucester at St. Peter’s R.C. High School.

Our concept for the conference remains the same as last year, in that we wanted to bring practitioners together  with experience working at different stages of the LTAD continuum in a range of different environments and sports. We have again brought in coaches with experience right through from primary school aged kids right through to elite international athletes.

From my experience working with young athletes and implementing a LTAD programme in a secondary school environment, I’ve always felt I needed to understand what the athlete had been exposed to from a physical development perspective and then what they were going to need to be able to do to be able to make the transition to the next stage up from us.

We want attendees who join us to leave with a complete picture of what has been successfully applied and delivered in the wide variety of environments in which we find athletes during their developmental journey including schools, professional clubs and international teams.

The weekend is planned with a mixture of theory and hands-on practical sessions across a range of topics as you can see outlined by the talk titles below. More details will be available soon about all the talks, keep an eye out for the ‘Speaker Focus’ series that will be released through social media in the coming weeks.

Please note that these are working talk titles and the schedule may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances between now and the event in April.

Friday 7th April – Eccentric Training Pre-Conference Workshop (6pm-8.30pm)

Dr. Mike Young – Means & Methods of Eccentric Training

Alex Natera – The Development of Discrete Muscle Action In The Running Based Athlete: Eccentric & Isometric Training Options (Practical)

James Baker – Eccentric Training and the Younger Athlete

Saturday 8th April 2017 (9am -5.00pm)

Ed Archer (Athlete Academy) – Evolving Foundation Movement Skills – The Theory of The Pouncing Cat (Practical)

Paul Caldbeck (West Bromwich Albion FC)– Carpe Diem – Are Academy Players Fit For Purpose?

Alex Natera (Aspire Academy) – Strength & Power Development in the Elite Student Athlete

James Baker (St. Peter’s High School) – Integrating Multi-Directional Movement Skills to Physical Education (Theory & Practical)

Dr. Mike Young (Athletic Lab) – Employing a Newtonian Model for Plyometric Progressions

Sunday 9th April 2017 (9am-4.30pm)

Alex Natera (Aspire Academy) – From the MSSD Programme to Rio – Filling the Physical Literacy Gap – Training To Training and Training To Compete the Aspire Academy Way

Des Ryan (Arsenal) – An Insight to The Arsenal FC Physical Development Framework

Pete Atkinson (England Cricket) –An Insight to the ECB Pace Programme – Preparing the next generation of International Fast Bowlers

Kevin Paxton (Leicester City FC) –  Controlled Change of Direction Progressions underpinning Reaction Games (Practical)

Dr. James McCarron (Sunderland AFC) – Implicit and Explicit Aspects of Athletic Development

Future Leaders (To Be Scheduled)

Matt Depledge (Southampton FC) – The Application of Growth & Maturation in Academy Football

John Radnor (Cardiff Met) – The Influence of Growth & Maturation on Muscle Architecture and Physical Performance

Shane Fitzgibbon – Training the Trunk from Elementary to Elite

Book tickets for Child to Champion 2017 and hear from all of these great speakers

If you want to be there you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to last years video content (worth £150) with the PUSH Early Bird Special Offer.

Paul Caldbeck

Child to Champion – Speaker Focus Paul Caldbeck

Paul is a Strength and Conditioning Coach currently working for Premier League Football Club West Bromwich Albion. He holds a Masters degree in Strength and Conditioning, a Bachelors degree in Sport and Exercise Science, and is due to commence a Doctorate in Applied Sport and Exercise Science with Liverpool John Moores University focusing on sprinting ability in Premier League football.

Alongside his work in football he also works with elite junior tennis players and a University American Football team. He has strong interests in strength and power training and particularly how these lead to improvements in sprinting.

Carpe Diem: Are Academy Footballers Fit For Purpose?

As 1st team S&C coach at West Bromwich Albion FC Paul’s presentation comes from the latter stages of the athlete development continuum. Paul will be asking the question – do these LTAD systems create the desired response when they are required? Are they producing Academy footballers that are ready for professional football in the English Premier League?

Paul will be examining the imperfect nature of the long-term approach when it is applied in the football setting. Using examples of players who have stepped up to the first team this pre-season (aged 16,18 and 19), Paul will look at where they are in their long term development and how this helps, or hinders, them in terms of seizing the opportunity presented to them by being in and around the first term; noting how fleeting and brief this could potentially be.

Are we doing our best for these players when they turn up on day one of pre season, with one chance of creating an impression on the manager? And how can we approach the issue of producing Premier League footballers outside of a textbook model?

Book tickets for Child to Champion 2017 and hear from Paul Caldbeck

If you want to be there you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to the pre-conference workshop for the first 20 people that book.

Alex Natera

Child to Champion – Speaker Focus: Alex Natera

When we began planning Child To Champion 2017 one of the first people I spoke to was Alex Natera, we are really excited to have him join us to present on 3 topics across the weekend which will now also include a pre-conference workshop on Friday 7th April 2017, full details will be confirmed this week.

I’ve been fortunate to spend quite a lot of time over the last year talking to Alex and his colleagues out at the Aspire Academy in Qatar as we’ve been sharing ideas around LTAD and Talent Identification.

If you’ve not heard Alex talk yet, I’d highly recommend checking out the two podcasts he has done with Rob Pacey on the Pacey Performance Podcast – Episode 44 (Part 1) & Episode 45 (Part 2). There is some fantastic content in the discussions and the episodes will give you a great insight of what to expect from Alex at the conference this year alongside the overviews of his upcoming talks below.

The development of discrete muscle actions in the running based athlete- eccentric and isometric training options (Practical Session)

Traditional resistance training, where the successful execution of the concentric portion of the lift is the primary focus, can often under train and therefore under develop the isometric and eccentric muscle actions associated with many sporting demands. In this practical we’ll look at how to emphasise these discrete muscle actions in the development and physical preparation for running based tasks. The technical considerations, progressions and why, how and when to implement each exercise will be discussed throughout this workshop.  The content within this practical will include video, live demonstrations and an opportunity to perform the exercises.

From the MSSD Program through to Rio- Filling in the Physical Literacy “gap” – Training to Train and Training to Compete the Aspire Academy way (Presentation)

In this presentation the Aspire Academy youth development model will be explained from pre-Academy entry to Olympic Games qualification. The world over is facing similar issues in the growing “gap” in youth physical literacy. The presentation starts by looking at the ways we try to bridge this gap in primary schools through our Multi Sport Skill Development Program. An overview of the successful Aspire Academy development model will then be explained from inception to graduating into the scholarship system, and our unprecedented representation at Rio. Specific reference to our philosophy on strength & conditioning and the model that we follow will be discussed along with the many lessons learnt and the continual reflection that has changed our “model”- to be less of a “model”.

Strength and power development in the elite student athlete- the practical application of strength programmes in an elite youth academy (Presentation)

This presentation examines the real life application of programming strength and power development in elite student athlete, with a particular focus on the speed, strength, power athletes. A thorough look at the decision-making processes around programming through the later adolescent stages and how to balance holistic development with performance training. An in depth looks at the KPI’s and strength and power targets are discussed and a look at what happens when targets are met or surpassed. Case studies and the results of various programmes are presented and discussed throughout.

I’m sure you’ll agree the proposed talks sound fantastic and both myself and Mike are really excited to hear Alex presenting.

If you want to be there too you can book on to Child To Champion 2017 here and take advantage of the early bird pricing which includes FREE access to the pre-conference workshop for the first 20 people that book.