Ask the Expert: Johnny Harris-Wright (Bristol Rugby)

  1. Give us a bit of background on yourself… (sporting career, qualifications, coaching experience)

I have played rugby most of my life and was lucky enough to play representative rugby in New Zealand and in Ireland at school boy and college level for my home province of Leinster. My most relevant qualifications would be my Undergraduate Degree in Strength and Conditioning and I am about to complete a Masters Degree in Sport Rehabilitation. I also have other qualifications such as diplomas in Sports Nutrition and Sports Therapy.
Continue reading “Ask the Expert: Johnny Harris-Wright (Bristol Rugby)”

Ditch the running Part 2! How to structure small sided games…

Part 2 of a very popular series on implementing small sided games (SSG) as a form of fitness training…

After an immediately overwhelming response to the most recent post on ditching the running and using small sided games, I decided to produce a follow up post providing examples of how to incorporate these into your sessions.
Continue reading “Ditch the running Part 2! How to structure small sided games…”

Ask the Expert – Matt Depledge (Southampton FC)

This week we interview Matt Depledge, Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach at Southampton Football Club…

  1.  Give us a bit of background on yourself… (sporting career, qualifications, coaching experience)

I was always a bit of an all-rounder in terms of sports at school. I attended Loughborough for my undergraduate degree in Sports Science & English. It was during this time that my passion for athletic development & S&C really took off. I started competing in Powerlifting & became fascinated in designing strength training programmes for both myself & others as a result. Upon graduation I was lucky enough to go straight into an S&C Internship at Bath Rugby working alongside & learning from a brilliant group of S&C’s. From here I worked freelance for a few years, before taking the plunge back into academia at Exeter University studying for an MSc in Paediatric Exercise & Health. Specialising in the development of young athletes had always been something I had wanted to do. The MSc gave me the knowledge base to do this & led to me working with Exeter City FC Academy as Lead Academy S&C. I am currently working at Southampton FC where I am Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach, a role I have been in for 2 years.

Continue reading “Ask the Expert – Matt Depledge (Southampton FC)”

Ditch the running! How to make your players fit without them realizing!

How to get your teamsport athletes fitter, without running!

This post is one of our most popular on the site, receiving over 1000 views in it’s first week of release…

It’s that time of the year in the UK when team sports like football, rugby, hockey and others will return to pre-season training. Often this means a lot of running to get players fit for the upcoming season… not something the players themselves are always engaged in. But could there be a better way? Is it possible to get your players engaged and fitter without them realizing? The answer is yes…
Continue reading “Ditch the running! How to make your players fit without them realizing!”

Ask the Expert – Aiden Oakley (Aspire Academy)

Aiden Oakley is a Strength and Conditioning Coach based at the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar…

  1. Give us a bit of background on yourself… (sporting career, qualifications, coaching experience) 

I played Rugby League for the Harlequins Rugby League academy for 2 years as well as representing Scotland Rugby League at U18, Student and A grade level. During this time I was undertaking a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Birmingham. During my final year at Birmingham I volunteered as a Strength and Conditioning Coach helping out with the Harlequins RL Scholarship and upon graduation I undertook a 3 month internship at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Boston. When I returned I was fortunate enough to gain a yearlong internship with the re branded London Broncos RL, interning with the 1st team in the day and running the U20 programme in the evening. During this time I also completed my MSc in Strength and Conditioning at Middlesex University.
Continue reading “Ask the Expert – Aiden Oakley (Aspire Academy)”

Warming Up and the Youth Athlete (Video)

Here’s the latest in our “Youth Athlete” video series aimed at informing coaches and parents of youth athletes.

As always, please like, share and comment as you see fit! You can like us on Facebook too.


Here is a great example of a RAMP style warm up, applied at Barcelona FC:

Ask the Expert – Tom Smale (Leaf Academy)

Would you mind giving us a bit of background about yourself?

I studied at University of Stirling getting a BA (Hons) in Sports Studies and MSc in Sports Coaching. Whilst doing my MSc got the opportunity to shadow S&C sessions run by the University and Sportscotland Institute of Sport and realised this would be a pretty cool way to make a living. Eventually I started getting paid to coach and things progressed from there. Went to the US to do a 3 month unpaid internship with the US Ski Team at the end of which was offered a role travelling with their Men’s Alpine Speed Team for a season. When this finished I returned to the UK and got my current role at LeAF Studio. I’m leaving here in July to take up a position with West Highlands College UHI in Fort William.
Continue reading “Ask the Expert – Tom Smale (Leaf Academy)”