#ChildToChampion: Ian Jeffreys’ Effective Movement In Sport Overview

Ian Jeffreys


#ChildToChampion – Ian Jeffreys – Effective Movement In Sport: What is it & How To Coach It.

Effective movement is a critical element of elite sports performance, allowing an athlete to maximize their technical and tactical capabilities. In S&C this capability is normally encapsulated in the terms speed and agility, but do these terms actually convey what an athlete needs to develop.

As our academic understanding of the fields have developed there is a danger that we miss the big picture and our practices become removed from the tasks an athlete has to perform in a sport. Adding further complexity is the complex nature of agility, with effective performance being steeped in multiple disciplines, with none able to fully explain agility performance.

This presentation will look at the challenges facing the development of effective agility, and how this needs to be viewed as a journey towards effective movement; a journey with a clear destination and facilitated by the delivery of effective practice at all stages.

For those of you that have had the pleasure of seeing Ian present, you will know this is going to be an unmissable presentation, crucially he is also delivering a practical component to give you plenty of movement training ideas to take home and use in your own coaching immediately! 

If you’d like to be there for Ian’s presentation along with the other top speakers you can book  using the ticketing system below and if you want more info you can see the full conference schedule here

The Impact of S&C In Schools – An Athlete Case Study

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The Impact of S&C In Schools – An Athlete Case Study

There is no doubt in my mind that all schools should be working towards implementing a long term athlete development pathway. In schools, we have the more time than anyone to be able to positively impact up on young athletes.

We are at a point in time where the physical capabilities of young people are much lower than they used to be in a large number of cases.

Whilst many are actively playing in sport and developing sport specific skills, most are not being exposed to high quality movement training that enables them to develop a high level of athleticism to support their technical tactical development.

The Elite Performance Pathway

We have just completed the second academic year where we have delivered an in-curriculum Strength & Conditioning programme at Key Stage 4 (14-16 years old – Year 10 & Year 11).

Athletes on the programme receive 5 hours support across a two week timetable and are exposed to high quality training. We have developed a curriculum / pathway that covers movement preparation, strength training, jump/plyometric training, linear acceleration and top end speed, change of direction speed, agility and energy system development. In addition, they have completed psychological preparation workshops.

What the time in the school timetable provides is an incredible level of consistency, they have to turn up like they do to English & Maths. So what we’ve got is consistency beyond which I’ve ever been able to achieve with young athletes before.

When working as an external coach in schools previously, attendance at after school sessions was always variable due to other commitments in the evening, issues with travel getting to & from the sessions and clashes with sport specific training/fixtures.

The Impact

So people can understand the positive impact this type of programme can have I have included a real athlete profile of one of our 15 year old Rugby Players from this academic year.

Pre-training (Sept 2014)

Weight 64.1kg
10m Sprint – 1.96sec
Squat 10RM – 30kg
Bench 10RM – 30kg

Squat Jump* 35.8cm
Countermovement Jump* 47cm
Depth Jump (12″)* 39.4cm

*March 2015 measured with a Jump Mat

Post-training (July 2015)

Weight 64.5kg
10m Sprint – 1.81sec (-0.14sec)
Squat 10RM – 90kg (+60kg)
Bench 10RM – 65kg (+35kg)

Squat Jump 47cm (+11cm)
Counter Movement Jump 51.3cm (+4.3cm)
Depth Jump (12″) 46.7cm (+7.3cm)

There is still a long way to go with this athlete but what we have managed to put in place over the last 10 months is a foundation of strength to build up on over the next couple of years he is with us on the programme.

Another exciting development is that we are moving towards having a similar amount of time in the timetable at Key Stage 3 from September. We have been worked with an 11-14 year olds already but with much less time and consistency due to it being an extra-curricular session but we are really excited to see what the next academic year brings.

You can check out a more detailed insight to our school based LTAD system here with the full article featured in the UKSCA’s Professional Strength and Conditioning Journal.

Interested in joining other coaches to discuss LTAD? Check out the upcoming conference Child To Champion where a wide range of practitioners are coming together to present from different stages of the developmental continuum.

Mike Young Speed & Power Video

Mike Young Speed & Power Development Video

Back at the end of May we were fortunate enough to have Mike Young join us to deliver a two day workshop – An Integrated Approach to Speed & Power Development at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire.

We were joined by coaches from some of the leading sports organisations across the British Isles including Scottish Rugby Union, England Rugby, Wales Rugby Union, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, Exeter Chiefs and the English Cricket Board.

Across the two days Mike shared an incredible amount of information and provided real insight into how he develops speed and power with his athletes both in team sports and for his track athletes.

This included five different lectures and a series of field based sessions on the Saturday looking more specifically at Speed & Agility development followed by the Sunday where the focus shifted to Building A Bigger Engine for Speed & Power in the weight room.

There were lots of take home messages but here are three of my favourite points I took away:

1) Do the basics really well

What came across really clearly from Mike was that great coaches go about doing the basics extremely well, consistently over a long period of time. They also understanding what it takes to make athletes faster, and then specifically what the athletes’ need at a given point in time to help them get there.

When your athletes stop making progress from the basics, that is the time to ‘fire the gun’ and break out the more advanced training stimuli to get the extra speed and power your athletes require.

2) The Importance of Eccentric Strength & Power

Certainly one of the major eye opening areas for me was the importance of eccentric strength and power to creating super fast & agile athletes. I spent a lot of time chatting to Mike about this area over the four days he was with us and he had lots of creative methods of enhancing eccentric strength & power such as stiffness landings & jumps, release RDLs and rhythm squats. But he also introduced us to the Exxentric kBox3 which has made creating an eccentric overload a whole lot simpler and safer than traditional eccentric training methods using a barbell. Along with the kMeter to measure eccentric and concentric peak power, this bit of kit has added a completely new dimension to our training system from both a training and monitoring perspective. A big thanks to Mike for hauling it over from the states and introducing us to it!

3) Change of Direction in 4 Dimensions

When training to improve change of direction and agility for team sports, such as Rugby, Football and Basketball, as well as considering the usual forward, backward and lateral movement requirements we need to think about movement combinations that incorporate jumps.

For example, a defender in football jumps to head the ball away and then lands and has to close down a space/player or a basketball player jumps, blocks a shot, lands and then needs to accelerate to collect the ball down the court.

It seemed so obvious when Mike said it first, but it was an element that was missing from my sessions!

Check out the video for some more great info from Mike, we are working on the full video series being released soon! 




Nick Grantham Q&A Session

imageNick Grantham – Q&A Session

OK so we’re just 2 weeks away from Nick Grantham’s workshops in Gloucestershire, and to say we’re excited is an understatement!

At the end of the Physical Preparation for Performance on the Saturday we are running a Q&A session where you will have to opportunity to ask Nick any questions you have about what has been covered through the day and any other S&C related questions.

Nick’s career spans 17 years and 4 Olympic cycles where he has been trusted to prepare elite athletes from 35 different sports. So you don’t want to miss this opportunity to have your S&C questions answered by one of the country’s leading coaches!

So… what we want to know is what are YOUR questions for Nick?

Send us your questions either via twitter to @proformanceteam using the hashtag #NickGQandA or by posting your questions to the comments box below on this page and we will get Nick to answer them on the day.

If you’ve still not booked your place on the workshops, now is the time to do it as we only have a couple of places left available for both Physical Preparation for Performance and the Speed, Agility & Change of Direction we look forward to seeing you there! 



Nov – Dec KS4 EPP Programme


November – December KS4 EPP Programme

Theme: Multi-Directional Speed & Agility & Strength Development

Foam Roll – Issue areas: Quads/Glutes/Calves/Hamstrings


Lateral Mini-Band Walk x 10m
Monster Walk x 10m
Hip Flexor Activation x 10/leg
Shoulder Taps x 10/arm

Movement Prep:

x 10 reps per exercise

Glute Bridge / Cook Hip Lift
Overhead Squat
Full Spiderman + Press UP
Forward Lunge
Side Lunge
1 Leg SLDL
1 Leg Squat


Leap & Stick (In Place) 1 x 5/leg
Leap & Stick (Linear)  1 x 5/leg
Leap & Stick (Lateral)  1 x 5/leg

Hop & Stick (In Place) 1 x 5/leg
Hop & Stick (Linear) 1 x 5/leg
Hop & Stick (Lateral) 1 x 5/leg inside & outside

Multi-directional Speed & Agility:

Week 1: Cutting

Lateral Shuffle x 3
Rehearsed Cut x 3
Random Cut x 3
Spin Cut x 3
Speed Cut x 3

Strength & Power Development:

Clean from Thigh 2 x 6
Squat or Deadlift variation
DB Bench Press or DB Overhead Press
Split Squat or RFE Split Squat
Feet elevated TRX Row or Pull Up

Year 10 = 3 x 10 reps
Year 11 = 3 x 6-8 reps

Plank Combo – Left, Right & Front
Skydiver (Prone AW – Scap Retractions)


Full Chain Glute
Hip Flexor Lunge Sequence
Prayer Stretch
Pec Stretch
3D Calf Stretch


Wall Drives for Acceleration

Wall drives are an excellent drill to develop the correct posture and leg action for acceleration.

Key points:

1) Body at 45 degree angle
2) Straight line body position through out
3) Low heel recovery with toe pulled up (dorsi flexion of the ankle)
4) Focus on driving back with foot, your contact point should be behind the hips

Recommended Progressions:
Move into the Tall & Fall drill or harness resisted accelerations (from a 45 degree angle start) to allow the opportunity to incorporate the arm drive and forward movement.

Do you want to learn more effective speed, agility and change of direction drills to make you or your clients/athletes faster? Join Nick Grantham at this Speed & Agility Clinic Feb 22nd 2015. Limited spaces available.

Wall Drills to improve acceleration technique

This is one of the most simple yet effective tools for coaching the correct position for acceleration and to begin getting strength gains made in the gym to transfer to actual movements.

The focus should be on quality execution of single repetitions to begin with and then you can to progress to executing ‘doubles’ & ‘triples’ when you are able to maintain the technique.

Start by using 2-3 sets of 8 single repetitions (4 on each leg) and take about 90-120 seconds between sets. I often use it at the end of a Movement Preparation sequence before heading into the main body of a session.