Simon Brundish is the 2018 UKSCA S&C Coach of the Year for Youth Sport. For the last 4 years He has been developing and implementing the StrengthLab Superheroes programme, arguably the most engaging and innovative Fundamental Movement skills programme for primary aged children. This programme has been adopted by many primary schools, professional sports academies and sporting national governing bodies worldwide. Simon is also an alumni of the University of Birmingham and Loughborough University. He has 21 years of experience in Sports Science and Strength and Conditioning, working within professional and amateur Basketball, Football, Cricket and Athletics.
1)What has led you into youth sport?
Probably being a father. That and the fact my wife is head of PE at her primary school.. She asked me to help plan her PE programme about 6 years ago
2) What has been your biggest influence in your practice in youth sport?
What? My kids. Who? Probably Kelvin Giles and a local coach we have, John Woodward. He used to head up coach development at UKSport. A unique filter of how kids see coaching. And of course my wife. The best teacher I know. When coaching kids, you need to have an understanding of how they perceive the world. How best to communicate with them. These aren’t small adults. So much harder than “pros’, their backgrounds, age, maturation, language comprehension and physical abilities can be so varied within even the same group. You need different “tools” to interact with each child. My wife is a true expert in this.
3) What is your particular area of interest?
General athleticism. Fundamental movement proficiency.
4) How do you think this particular area applies to youth athletes?
Hugely lacking in the basic skills of movement. Because of our culture, kids don’t play anymore. We have 4 Superheroes squads a week. Going through our programme with elements of dodgeball, handball, basketball and climbing. Our “superheroes” are in full force at all the county supports competitions. Particularly Athletics. Sadly, developing some kind of fundamental movement skills is enough to rise to the top of Primary aged sports these days
5) What advice would you give to coaches working with youth athletes?
“They need to know that you care before they’ll care what you know.”
6) What advice would you give to coaches working with youth athletes?
Have a plan. Lay out the plan. Put it in a visible public space. Let the kids engage with it. Show them where they can go, and how you’ll help them get there.
7) Can you recommend any particular resources for youth sport coaches?
Give me a shout and I’ll donate free access to our superheroes programme to any young coach yet to be affiliated to a club or NGB. Follow Howard Green on Instagram, pay your £5 a month for Proformance online. Some great content there from world class practitioners. Buy some gator skin dodgeballs and a few broom handles from Ebay for 50p. Buckets and cheap balls from Wilkos or the pound shop. Rob has done some great work on his site and Jeremy Frisch has some superb videos to offer ideas for your sessions
8) Where can people find out more about you and your work? (Social media links, websites etc.)
You can find out more about the StrengthLab Superheroes program here.
Or via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Simon for his time and expertise. I cannot endorse his Superheroes program enough. If you are involved in coaching primary aged children whether in Sport Teams of PE – I highly recommend you look into the Superheroes program!