James Baker

James is an Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach with the UK Strength & Conditioning Association, and a fully qualified Physical Education Teacher. For the past 9 years James has been trusted to help athletes from a range of sports enhance their performance and achieve their full potential.

Currently he is working as a Strength & Conditioning Coach and Sport Science Lead at the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar where he is responsible for developing and delivering the S&C curriculum for the Track & Field Development phase as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Previously working for the Athlete Academy, James was responsible for establishing a number of school based strength and conditioning programmes across Gloucestershire in the UK, providing young athletes with access to high quality training as part of their weekly Physical Education programme.

Eventually this led to a full-time post at St. Peter’s R.C. High School in Gloucester where he has created and integrated a Long Term Athlete Development system – the Elite Performance Pathway (EPP) – into the state school Physical Education curriculum. The EPP is a unique programme that has re-defined what can be offered by state secondary schools as it is a complete performance programme for the “Gifted and Talented” sports pupils at the school. Athletes are provided with: high quality strength and conditioning, hands-on nutrition lessons, applied psychological preparation workshops, lifestyle and injury management. In 2017, James was awarded the UKSCA’s Coach of the Year Award for Youth Sport for his work at the school.

In addition, to his coaching work with young athletes, as a passionate educator James has embarked on a mission to create a world leading education programme through the PROFORMANCE network, with co-director Mike Young.


mike young athletic lab

Mike Young

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.