Child To Champion USA – New Speakers Confirmed!


Child To Champion USA – New Speakers Confirmed!

Johnny Parkes – US Tennis Association
A truly integrated approach to Athlete Development: A case study from USTA Player Development, Team USA Best Practices

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of what a potential journey looks like for an athlete following the USTA Player Development Teaching and Coaching Philosophy.
Tennis is the sport I work in; however, this journey considers outcomes in various studies that have been conducted over the past 40+ years across many disciplines. It pinpoints key information in how we set up our environments and how children learn to become champions with modern best practices.

We will reflect what a truly integrated, wholistic approach to athlete development means and looks like, discussing barriers and constraints and how to overcome them to get to a truly integrated program that is person-first, athlete-centered. Lastly but certainly not least, it is important to discuss how we shape a child’s mind through developmentally appropriate teaching and training that lead to healthy outcomes in a performance world.

1. What does the Journey look like?

b. WHAT KIDS NEED – Coach / Parent
c. WHERE KIDS GET IN – Environment
d. HOW KIDS LEARN – Positive Pedagogy, Teaching and Coaching.

2. Diving more into the Development. Planning an athlete’s program.

a. Screening and Testing
b. Identify individual exercises that address physical deficiencies
c. Decide on integration of exercises that develop the athlete in the whole program
d. Deliver a brain-based approach through positive pedagogy, challenging decision-making, problem-solving and sparking creativity.

Practical Component:

A demonstration of incorporating Athletic Development and foundational strength principles during the warm-up following the philosophy of:
1. Eyes and Mind
2. Feet
3. Hands

Micheál Cahill – Athlete Training and Health – A targeted approach to speed development in young athletes.


Micheál serves as the Vice President of Performance and Sports Science at Athlete Training and Health (ATH), located in Texas, USA. Micheál has previously worked as the Director of Sports Science at Jesuit College in Dallas, catering for the needs of 750 athletes from 21 sports from 2013 – 2018. Micheál completed his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Ireland before obtaining his PhD at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand focusing on acceleration and resisted sprinting in young athletes, where he is currently a Research Associate supervising postgraduate research across an array of area’s in performance, fitness and health.

Talk Overview  A targeted approach to speed development in young athletes

Resisted sled training (RST) is a commonly used method of sprint specific training, however there is a lack of uniformity on training guidelines and best practice. RST can be used as a mode of horizontal strength training to compliment a well-rounded training program to improve speed. This presentation is aimed at providing valuable practical insight from evidence-based research on young athletes to better equip coaches to assess, prescribe and coach RST to enhance speed. Of particular interest to practitioners dealing with young athletes will be the interaction of maturation and training competence on the phase of targeted sprint adaptation.

Michael Jennings – Athlos – Director of Healthy Body


Michael Jennings has nearly 10 years of experience teaching and coaching at every level. He has a master’s degree in both Secondary Education & Exercise Physiology. Michael is a proponent of physical literacy, long term athletic development & the holistic development/education of all students. Currently he works with the educational service provider, Athlos, as the Director of Healthy Body. Here, he is dedicated to redefining physical education & youth sport through developing innovative curriculum & providing professional development/support for physical educators & coaches in all thing’s movement, fitness, physical activity, social & emotional learning, and youth development.

Talk Overview: Integrating LTAD into a Traditional Physical Education Setting

In this session participants will learn about the importance of a VERTICALLY ALIGNED, DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE curriculum framework for K-12 physical education.  We will discuss the crucial role physical education plays in the growth and development of all athletes.  Participants will learn about current concerns and shortcomings plaguing traditional PE and how long term athletic development can help to improve that landscape.  Participants will leave with an adequate knowledge and understanding the integration of long term athletic development into physical education, and how it can develop physically literate students while promoting a lifelong pursuit AND enjoyment of movement. We will discuss how every individual is an athlete and athleticism is a skill that can be learned and developed!

Dr. Laura McDonald & Krista Stoker – S2 Breakthrough

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Laura McDonald is a Biomechanist, Athletic Trainer, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with 15 years of research experience in the area of softball pitching biomechanics. As a former Division I pitcher at Canisius College, Laura’s own struggles with shoulder injury fueled her passion for pursuing biomechanics and injury risk reduction in softball pitchers. Prior to joining S2Breakthrough, Laura worked in higher education as a professor in undergraduate Athletic Training and Exercise Science programs. At S2 Breakthrough, she oversees the implementation of advanced technology for athlete assessment, provides injury and return to play consultation, and leads research efforts for the facility.

Krista Stoker attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she served as team captain and outfielder on the softball team which included a second-place finish in the 2007 Division III World Series. Krista received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and worked as a corporate associate at Sidley Austin LLP for three years specializing in Insurance and Financial Transactions. Krista’s coaching experience spans the youth, high school, and college levels and she currently serves as the General Manager for the Orland Park A’s and Head Coach of the 16U Premier team. She also is responsible for hitting instruction and development at S2 Breakthrough.

Talk Overview: Giving the Game Back – Building a Better Model of Youth Development in Softball

  • The reality for a youth softball player today
  • Growing the game through player development:
    • Prioritizing development of athleticism and fundamental movement
    • Understanding of the complexity of softball skills
    • Establishing developmentally appropriate expectations for players, parents, and coaches
    • Focusing on career longevity over short-sided success
  • Successes and struggles in aligning holistic player development within a travel softball organization


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.

#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.

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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Podcast with #HPAD16 Presenter – Ryan Horn

Podcast with #HPAD16 Presenter – Ryan Horn


We are really excited to have Ryan Horn joining us to present at the High Performance Athletic Development Clinic at Athletic Lab on the 28-29th May 2016.

Ryan is presenting on “Implementing Technology in Sport” sharing his experiences using technology over at Wake Forest University providing a detailed insight for attendees to be able to take away and improve their use of technology in their own coaching environment.

This great episode of the CVASP Podcast is a superb insight to what you can expect from his presentation at #HPAD16 where he will also be joined by a whole lineup of top coaches including Boo Schexnayder.

If you want to see Ryan and the other top coaches presenting live out at Athletic Lab you can check out the full schedule here or take advantage of one of the remaining Early Bird Tickets by booking up below.

Mike Young #ChildToChampion Podcast

Mike Young #ChildToChampion Podcast


Yesterday I had the pleasure of chatting to Mike about his upcoming presentations at the Child To Champion conference on VBT, Best Practises for Speed Development across the Developmental Continuum and Advanced Strategies for Elite Strength & Power Development.

We recorded the chat so you can hear what you’ve got to look forward to seeing if you are attending the conference. There’s a bit of an echo on sound as we didn’t have the best connection via Skype last night, but hopefully you can enjoy it all the same.

If you haven’t signed up yet but want to see Mike deliver these talks live we still have a limited number of tickets available for you to attend the conference. Including just 2 at the discounted Early Bird rate which you can purchase below.

Webinar Series #1 Dr Mike Young – Motor Learning Concepts

Dr Mike Young – Motor Learning Concepts All Coaches Should Know & Understand



Mike will be presenting on 3 areas at the Child to Champion: LTAD Conference on the 9th and 10th April in Gloucester. Where he is joined by other leaders from the field of S&C, including Dr. Rhodri Lloyd, Dr. Ian Jeffreys and Dr. Neill Potts. We are fortunate to have them all coming to present tried and tested systems and training methods that have been successfully applied at all stages of the developmental continuum from primary school right through to the elite international level. Find out more here!


kBox3 Review

kBox3 Review



For the last 6 weeks I’ve been getting to grips with the Exxentric kBox3 and kMeter ahead of the new academic year where we will begin to incorporate it with some of our athletes, who are at a more advanced level of training.

So what is the kBox?

Exxentric kBox 3

Exxentric kBox 3

The kBox is a flywheel training device that really opens up the world of eccentric training, taking many of the logistical challenges of eccentric training using traditional barbell methods and supramaximal loads which in many environments, such as ours with larger groups, you would struggle to perform safely.

When using the kBox3 you are working against the inertia of the heavy flywheels, using a variety of attachments to allow you to perform a wide range of exercises. You can adjust the number of wheels to adjust the level of overload according to what you wish to achieve, for example: strength, power or hypertrophy. The rest then is up to you, as whatever you ‘give’ concentrically to the device it gives you back eccentrically as it pulls you back down towards the ground once the flywheel has reversed at the top of the range of movement you have set.

The more flywheels you have stacked up on the device, the more it feels like it’s going to suck you down in to the ground when you really max out on your efforts, providing you with a strength training stimulus. With the fewer or lighter wheels on the device you can achieve a higher power output as you are able to execute the exercises at a higher speed.

Advantages of the kBox

At the moment are that I feel like I am really only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with this awesome bit of equipment. I’m certain the coming months will allow me to really begin to understand the longer term adaptations to training with it.

From using it in the short term I’m really excited by what it has allowed me to do and some of the initial effects I’ve seen:

#1 The device is incredibly mobile and transportable

I’ve been away from work for 6 weeks so I haven’t had access to the main gym so the kBox has been everywhere with me. It has allowed me to train at home whilst I’ve been on holiday, in the living room, in the garden, wherever I have been. It has a  range of attachments with it so you can get a whole body session done with just this single bit of kit: squats, deadlifts, RDLs, presses, pulls…the options are endless.

For travelling athletes it really is a great option to be able to get a decent strength training stimulus away from the gym.

#2 It appears to have a post-activation potentiation effect

One of the first experiments I did with the kBox3 was to examine the effects of a 5RM effort with across a range of different flywheel loads (0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.00 and 1.25) on an 18” depth jump using an electronic jump mat. It was interesting to see that following the 5RM at 0.5 inertia there was an increase in jump height of over 2 inches following a recovery period of 2 minutes post jump.

This is definitely an area that needs more investigation as if you consider this with the portability of the device it could be a very useful bit of kit for competing athletes on the road looking to gain a PAP effect pre-competition. I am also very keen to see the effects on other tasks such as sprinting and changes of direction, which we will be exploring over the coming months.

#3 Hypertrophy

For momentum based sports where added mass is an advantage, this device has some serious potential to add lean mass. During my initial chat with Fredrik at Exxentric back in July, he warned me that I’d need new shirts before too long. He wasn’t wrong! Particularly after hitting Fredrik’s recommended overloaded eccentric rows!

#4 Instant Feedback from the kMeter


All the time you can monitor whether you are achieving the desired outcome via the kMeter and associated app to your iPad as it gives you instantaneous information relating to Concentric and Eccentric Peak Power, Average Power, Peak Force, % Overload to name just some of the variables. The data from the app can easily be exported via email for further analysis in Excel/Numbers.

The instant objective feedback allows you to immediately see where you are at, and provides a real added stimulus to work maximally, when that is desirable, much like can be achieved with Velocity Based Training devices such as PUSH bands.  If you know your typical watts or newton’s produced over time you can target those levels again in your next session.

I know the guys out at Athletic Lab have also been using it to monitor readiness to train combined with some other measures such as HRV which I think could be another really useful application. Likewise I think it could be used in Return To Training / Return To Play protocols examining force capabilities pre & post injury using exercises like the Lateral Squat from the data that is coming from the kMeter.

Future developments

I am excited to see the impact regular exposure has on some of our key performance areas such as change of direction and speed. Of particular interest to me at the moment is how it can help improve the athlete’s ability to hold optimal positions in maximal velocity running where some of our guys have previously demonstrated an inability to control the eccentric forces and appear almost ‘seated’ when running. I think with some clever use of specific joint angles and positions when training with the kBox3 we could really begin to see a difference in this area.

The kBox3 has really added a new dimension to our training options and from my initial experiences I can’t wait to see what long term impact is for our athletes.

If you are keen to find out more about the kBox3 the guys at Exxentric are super helpful and always keen to chat about training ideas and how to get the most out of the kBox, they’ve been awesome in helping me understand it. You can follow them on Twitter @fredrikcorrea or @go_exxentric 


Mike Young – An Integrated Approach to Speed & Power Development

mike young athletic lab

Mike Young – An Integrated Approach to Speed & Power Development

Be part of a unique & exclusive event that sees world renowned fitness coach Mike Young deliver his first UK workshop over two days with Proformance Strength & Conditioning at Hartpury College.

Mike will be walking you through his integrated approach to developing speed and power with his athletes.

Workshop 1: An Integrated Science Based Approach to Speed Development 

  1. Fundamental concepts of speed (90 min lecture)
  2. Motor learning based drills, cues and strategies for a powerful acceleration
  3. Motor learning based drills, cues and strategies for maximizing top end speed
  4. Fundamental concepts for enhancing deceleration, change of direction and agility (60 min lecture)
  5. Drills & skills for deceleration and stopping efficiently
  6. Learning to change direction at speed
  7. Considerations for developing sport appropriate speed, reaction and change of direction training
Workshop 2: Building a Bigger Engine for Speed and Power
  1. Fundamental considerations for strength & conditioning for athletes (60 minute lecture)
  2. Squat, press, pull teaching progressions
  3. Olympic lifting teaching progressions
  4. Understanding the role of strength and power development for speed (45 minute lecture)
  5. Special and specific strength methods to enhance accelerative power
  6. Plyometric methods to enhance low end power for acceleration
  7. Specific exercises and methods to enhance eccentric power for top speed
  8. Plyometric methods to enhance leg stiffness for top speed
  9. Modifying olympic lift movements for speed development
  10. Specific plyometric exercises to enhance accelerative and lateral power
  11. Using complexes to enhance neuromuscular stimulus
  12. Designing the session (could be lecture or workshop style)

This really is an unmissable event for any S&C coaches working in Europe.

A rare opportunity to learn from a world leader when it comes to power and speed development. 

If that’s not enough… check out the VIP package which includes access to the VIP dinner on the evening of Saturday 30th May with Mike Young and the other VIP coaches which will offer your an incredible learning and networking opportunity (venue TBC).

We look forward to seeing you in May!


If you’ve not seen any of Mike’s phenomenal slideshares check out the links below: