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.


PE Teacher Training with Youth S&C Specialism


Physical Education Teacher Training with Youth Strength & Conditioning Specialism

Course duration: 2 years Full Time
Contract: 0.4

St. Peter’s R.C. High School is very excited to launch a new Physical Education teacher training programme that offers the opportunity to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) via School Direct along with developing a specialist skill set in Youth Strength & Conditioning.

The course is completed over 2 years with elements to prepare you fully for a career in education.
Throughout the course you will be required to perform the following roles:

• Teaching Assistant (paid 0.4 contract)
• Pastoral support
• Youth S&C coach within the Elite Performance Pathway
• Core PE lessons
• Extra-curricular fixtures and coaching



• Promote the safeguarding and welfare of children with whom you come into contact.
• Maintain regular consistent and professional attendance, punctuality, personal appearance, and adherence to relevant Health & Safety procedures.
• Attend all relevant department and whole school staff meetings
• Contributing to the development of resources and curriculum in the above areas
• Pursue personal development of skills and knowledge necessary for the effective performance of the role.
• Develop and maintain a good working relationship with the staff, pupils and other guests.
• Carry out any other duties which may reasonably be requested of you by the Head of PE.

Academic/Teaching Practice

• Perform the role of Teaching Assistant providing support to classroom teachers and pupils across a range of subjects.
• Delivery of core physical education lessons across key stages 3 and 4.
• Delivery of youth strength & conditioning through the Elite Performance Pathway across key stages 3, 4 and 5
• Support with the delivery of extra-curricular clubs and fixtures including some evenings and weekends.


• Provide support to an assigned Head of Year and their Year Group
• Cover for absent staff

Person Specification

• Have a genuine interest in a career in Physical Education and a desire to work with youth athletes.
• Willing to embrace all the responsibilities that come with being a teacher, in academic, pastoral and extra-curricular activities.
• Undergraduate degree in Strength & Conditioning/Sport and Exercise Science or related field.
• Coaching experience preferably within S&C and various sports with youth athletes
• Graduate qualifications in Sports Science, Strength and Conditioning Qualifications.
• Sound knowledge of S&C principles and methods of training (including
Speed, Agility, Strength training, Olympic lifting)
• Ability to work in a team sport environment, controlling and disciplining large groups.
• Excellent ability to communicate with, and develop, young people and other members of staff
• Willingness to learn and develop as an S&C coach and Physical Educator
• Desire to complete UKSCA accreditation
• Computer literacy, including MS office, especially Excel


To apply: Please download the following form: PE and S&C Teacher Training Application Form and send it with a covering letter explaining why you are suitable for the course to James Baker on –

Start date: November 2016

Closing date for applications: Thursday 20th October 2016

Interviews: Week commencing 31st October 2016

Simplifaster Blog: Eccentric Training & The Younger Athlete

Over the past year I’ve been using the Exxentric kBox3 with a number of athletes in the Elite Performance Pathway LTAD programme at St. Peter’s R.C. High School.

One of the common questions I’ve had about using it is how we’ve introduced it with the younger athletes and where eccentric training in general comes in for our athletes.

So when I was asked by Simplifaster to contribute an article for their blog I decided to provide a detailed overview of the progression of eccentric training in our system and where it fits in the larger training puzzle as the athletes develop and earn the right to progress along through the pathway.

Like with any form of loaded resistance training you need to start by ensuring the athletes has control of their body through basic tranges

You can check out the full article here – Eccentric Training and The Younger Athlete – and if you are interested in incorporating the kBox3 into your training environment whether that is professional sport, a private S&C facility or physiotherapy clinic we are now working with a number of different organisations to help them get set up with the system. Please contact us and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

#HPAD16 Highlights Video


High Performance Athletic Development Clinic @ Athletic Lab from Proformance Network on Vimeo.

Check out the highlights reel from ‪#‎HPAD16‬ at Athletic Lab back in May – you can hear what some of our speakers thought of the clinic and the concept behind it from Dr. Mike Young. The full video series from the clinic is coming soon which you’ll be able to find along with more great video content here on our website.

The clinic featured a phenomenal group of speakers including: Boo Schexnayder, Bob Alejo, Ryan Horn, Greg Gatz, Mike Young, Alex Carnell, Chad Workman, Keith Scruggs, John Grace and Nate Brookreson that covered a range of topics relating to High Performance Athletic Development.

Child To Champion 2016 Online Videos

Back in April we ran the incredibly successful Child To Champion 2016 LTAD Conference which brought together some real leaders in the field of S&C to discuss all things related to the topic of Long Term Athlete Development. Speakers across the weekend presented their work from various stages of the developmental continuum right from primary & secondary schools through to professional academies and elite international sport.

Now you can catch up on a fantastic set of lectures from the conference from Mike Young (Athletic Lab/Proformance), Simon Brundish (UK Strength Lab), Tom Rusga (EIS), Kevin Paxton (Leicester City FC), Shayne Murphy (Manchester City FC), James Baker (St. Peter’s High School/Proformance) and Neill Potts (Scottish Rugby Union).

The video series is now available to purchase online here:

Below you can check out the trailer and what a few attendees had to say about the conference:

“Huge thanks to the Proformance team for collaborating leaders within long term athlete development. Child To Champion 2016 was exceptional CPD” – Tulshi Varsani

“Child To Champion 2016 conference did not disappoint! One of the best CPD events yet!” – Mark Read, Academy Conditioning Coach. Malmo FF, Sweden.

“Amazing weekend at the Child To Champion 2o16 Conference, lots of exciting stuff to put into play. Time to start the revolution” Ben Weaver.

Child To Champion 2016: LTAD Conference from Proformance Network on Vimeo.

We are busy working on pulling together the conference for 2017 be sure to keep an eye out for details of the conference in the coming months.

Historic Performance Podcast #62 – James Baker

This past week Proformance S&C’s James Baker was interviewed on the Historic Performance Podcast with James Darley about his work in Youth Athletic Development at St. Peter’s R.C. High School in Gloucester, England.

At the school 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 program that has re-defined what can be offered by state secondary schools. Athletes are provided with high quality strength and conditioning, hands-on nutrition lessons, applied psychological preparation workshops, lifestyle and injury management.

In this episode, James talks about the EPP philosophy, performance testing for development stage athletes ranging from 14 to 16 years of age, and annual strength & conditioning planning.

Overview of Podcast Episode

Here is a brief outline of what they covered in the show –

  • James’s Background + S&C Journey
  • Creating the EPP program at St. Peter’s R.C. High School
  • The EPP Philosophy
  • Annual planning and structure for development athletes (14-16 years)
  • Performance testing & evolution of the process
  • Data collection to validate programs
  • Future of PE in England
  • Recommendations of PE Teachers + S&C coaches wanting to work with high school athletes
  • How to contact?

You can listen to the full episode of the podcast here and if you have an interest in learning more about training young athletes you may also want to check out the online video series from the 2016 Child To Champion LTAD Conference.



PUSH Band - Velocity Based Training Device

Train with PUSH in the UK

Train with PUSH in the UK


We are excited to be able to confirm our partnership working with PUSH to supply their velocity based training device, the Push Band, in the UK as part of a new consultation service launching in the coming weeks providing tailor-made solutions for individuals, teams, universities and private facilities looking to maximise their athletes’ strength, power and speed potential using some of the latest technology including the Push Band.

The service will ensure that you get the most out of products such as the Push Band as soon as you receive them by helping you to understand how the products work best and ensuring you achieve a seamless integration of the products to your training environment to maximise adherence and return on your investment.

Full details of the services and products will be available on the Proformance S&C website soon. 

If you are based in North America and want to learn more about Velocity Based Training, PUSH are running The High Powered Performance Tour with Dr. Dan Baker across four locations, click the links below or the image for more information:

10th July: Athletic Lab, Cary, NC home of Proformance’s Dr. Mike Young

15th July: North Eastern University, Boston, MA

17th July: North Western University, Chicago, IL

23rd July: Texas A&M, College Station, TX

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S&C Internship – EPP @ St. Peter’s High School


Strength and Conditioning Internship – EPP St. Peter’s R.C. High School


Role Description

Purpose: To support the strength and Conditioning coach and other members of the sports department with the delivery of the Elite Performance Pathway, a school based Long Term Athlete Development programme at St. Peter’s R.C. High School and Sixth Form Centre in Gloucester.

This is voluntary unpaid position

Responsible to: James Baker – Strength and Conditioning / Stuart Crabb – Head of PE

Duration: Until the end of the 2016-2017 academic year

The internship will provide you with:

  • Hands on coaching experience operating within S&C in a multisport environment
  • Knowledge within S&C principles to assist in obtaining a job
  • CPD including in-house workshops and networking opportunities.
  • Mentorship through UKSCA accreditation
  • Experience/knowledge of how to implement S&C in a school setting
  • Opportunity for research for dissertation/thesis.

General Responsibilities:

    • Improve athletic performance through the programming and delivery of athletic development sessions.
    • Test, monitor and review of pupils competing in a variety of sports during in season
    • Assist in the design and delivery of year round training programmes for individual athletes
    • Undertake a variety of projects including research to maintain consistent progression throughout the internship.
    • Assist in the delivery of S&C sessions during school hours and after school sessions for athletes across different sports with a view to eventually leading your own sessions.
    • Promote the safeguarding and welfare of children with whom you come into contact.
    • Maintain regular consistent and professional attendance, punctuality, personal appearance, and adherence to relevant Health & Safety procedures.
    • Pursue personal development of skills and knowledge necessary for the effective performance of the role.
    • Develop and maintain a good working relationship with the staff, pupils and other guests.
    • Carry out any other duties which may reasonably be requested of you by the Head of PE.

The ideal candidate will possess:

      • Coaching experience preferably within S&C and/or with youth athletes
      • Graduate qualifications in Sports Science, Strength and Conditioning (or working towards these) and/or REPS Level 3 Personal Training Qualifications.
      • Good knowledge of S&C principles including speed/agility/Olympic lifting
      • Comfortable in a team sport environment, controlling and disciplining large groups.
      • Excellent ability to communicate with, and develop, young people
      • Willingness to learn and develop as an S&C coach
      • Desire to complete UKSCA accreditation
      • Computer literacy, including MS office, especially Excel


To apply: Please download the application form: S&C Internship Application Form and send it with a covering letter explaining why you think you are suitable for the post to James Baker on –

Start date: September 2016 (some CPD sessions in July 2016, if you are available)

Closing date for applications: 30th June 2016

Interviews: 4th July 2016