Blog Search

Strength & Conditioning For Junior Athletes: The Essentials

By: 0

As a strength and conditioning coach working with youth athletes is arguably one of the important parts of the job. As a coach you can have an amazing impacts on a child’s development physically, emotionally and also cognitively.

This article is aimed towards both coaches and parents looking at how we should we specifically train youth athletes. If you still need to catch up on the benefits of strength and conditioning for youth athletes then check out my previous article here:

Junior Athletes Need Strength & Conditioning


As we have seen there are a number of benefits to strength and conditioning and it is essential for athletic development. But how are youth athletes different than training mature adults?

A youth athlete needs to be trained, progressed and treated differently to an older individual. Obviously the basic principles may be the same but how we adapt the exercises and sessions may be completely different. We are going to look at the essential parts of a session for a youth athlete:



Youth athletes need to have fun and enjoy their training session. At the end of the day they are kids. They have shorter attention spans and as they develop they may start to understand the more serious side to training. As a coach we need to ensure the programming is fun and engaging for the athlete. They will be able to handle short bursts of information but keeping the session fun will allow them to stay motivated and connected!


Play goes hand in hand with fun. Unlike adults tough and intense training may not work for youth athletes. During play, kids have the opportunity to learn while using their imagination, creativity and pushing their physical boundaries. The addition of games and other activities can further enhance their learning in a safe environment.


 Technique is important for individuals of all levels but is especially vital for younger athletes. Children are a blank slate and as a coach we are setting them up for their future. At this young age we are responsible for teaching them the correct movement patterns so poor technique can be detrimental to their development. Setting a high standard from the start will assist the athlete in the long term and most importantly reduce their risk of injury. Technique always comes first!


 Communication is key. As a coach we need to be concise, clear and easy to understand especially for kids. Providing the right information is essential whilst also understanding that every individual learns in different ways. For example one child may learn mainly through visual information where another may need to feel the movement. During the session it is also good to provide positive feedback and how they can improve their performance. We need to create an environment where it okay to make errors as it is form of learning and getting better.


 Training youth athletes is all about the long-term process. As coaches and parents it can be easy to only examine the short-term results without stepping back and seeing the bigger picture. We want youth athletes to progress and develop naturally with our main goal being to aid their long term development.

Training should focus on building the basic fundamentals and providing children with tools to continue on their health and fitness journey. Focus on long term athletic development and you will set them up for years to come!


Children are the future. Taking the time to teach them about S&C is essential during their early stages of development. While the principles and methodologies may be similar, youth athletes need to be trained differently to adults. As coaches we should focus on building a strong training base and natural progressing in a fun and safe environment. This combination will allow kids to thrive in S&C and enjoy their journey!

If you are looking for a safe environment with high-level coaches to further develop as an athlete then contact us to find out more. At GW Performance we have educated coaches who can cater to a range of athletes. Email us at

CrossFit at GW in 2017: Phase 1, Foundation

By: 0

Welcome to the new year. With the start of 2017 comes the beginning of a 6 week training phase that will establish a baseline to launch from. You will establish strength, power and various fitness standards that you can progress from all year.

We are also approaching the 2017 CrossFit Open. At this point in time we want to work on figuring out what is limiting you from maximising your power output. Be consistent in your attendance and there will be nothing to worry about 😉

If you haven’t already, set some SMART goals with your coach. It is time to dig in and enjoy the ride of another opportunity to get fitter!

Mobility Monday | Ep 3 | Thoracic Extension Mobilisation

By: 0

Today’s episode will be covering one of my favourite mobilisation drills for the upper back/thoracic region on the spine.


1. A good analogy of the spine is to think of it like a tree; at the base of the tree (Coccyx, Sacrum & Lumber spine) there’s little movement which is it’s stable foundation. But, further up the tree (Thoracic & Cervical spine) mobility increases to allow the trunk to move freely.

2. Shoulder mobility starts with the spine so if you’re lacking thoracic extension, forget about doing overhead work safely.

3. Thoracic spine, Scapular and Glenohumeral joint (shoulder) have an incredible synergistic relationship so adequate thoracic mobility must be maintained if want healthy shoulders.

1. Use a back ball, two tennis balls tapped together or a thin foam roller and start just below the inferior angle of the scapular. After a set of 5-8 repetitions slowly move the object towards the head an inch and repeat for 2-4 sets

2. Focus on wrapping your shoulders back while keeping your ribs down and make sure not to compensate with Lumber extension.

3. Complete each repetition through the tempo of your breathing. So as you exhale extend back over the object and flex forwards as you inhale.


I hope you have enjoyed the episode and stay tuned for next week!

Dylan Jones

Snatch Skills With Coach Mitch

By: 0

Coach Mitch demonstrates a complex that can be used to warm up before completing a snatch session. This complex is designed to be completed with a barbell or at a low percentage of your snatch 1RM. A great way to engrain the skills of the snatch and get the body primed for your session. Have a go at this complex next time you are warming up for your snatch session.


How it is YOU that is limiting your success.

By: 0

If you’re looking for certain ways to hold yourself back from progressing, try doing this:

  • Dismiss your progress
  • Whinge
  • Complain
  • Give excuses / stories / false justifications

This article might be a bit clichéd for some of you. However, I want every reader to ask themselves “Am I prone to these behaviours? How are they in any way contributing to success?”.

Dismissing your progress

 Over the last week we have had testing and competitions for lots of members to get a measure of their fitness and progression. The results have been OUTSTANDING! However, here are some peculiar things I’ve heard:

  • I only PB’d “Isabel” by a measly 7 seconds
  • I only added 2.5kg to my Push Press 3RM, that sucks
  • I didn’t do well. I got further in the Death by 2km but I didn’t finish it

A personal best is a PERSONAL BEST! Every kg, second, round or rep matters. It is hard evidence that you are getting BETTER!

What if you didn’t get a PB? The first thing to address is the context:

  • Did you train enough?
  • Are you sleeping right?
  • How’s your nutrition?

There are many factors that should be taken into consideration to give your results perspective. Adjust your perception and realise that sometimes you should be celebrating the EFFORT you put in, not just the result.

Whinging and Complaining

When you approach a task negatively, like whinging and complaining about how hard, stressful or difficult it is, you are cutting yourself off mentally and severely limiting your ability to focus before you have even begun the task at hand. How are you able to do something 100% if you have already used your mental and physical energy on doubt? When a challenge arises, take the task for exactly what it is, an opportunity that can challenge you to be better.

Making Excuses.


Excuses, excuses, excuses. The more you use them, the more you hinder yourself from being your full potential. The saying goes, everything happens for a reason, this is because life is a process, and your success in whatever you approach goes hand in hand with your ability to confront whatever comes your way with a positive mentality, the road to success doesn’t have room for negative energy or complaining.

The next time you find yourself stepping into the slippery slope of excuses, take a moment to take a step back and analyse your approach; is your energy positive or negative? If it’s negative, take the opportunity to turn it around and use it to power you to your full potential.

Coach Leigh

Laren: Return to Sport from Hip Surgery

By: 0

Athlete Name: Laren G.

Sport: Cricket.

Goal: Return to sport from hip surgery and cricket specific performance.

One of the best parts of my job is seeing the progress of an athlete who has gone through an injury and is dedicated to returning to their sport. I have been involved in the rehab and return to sport process of ACL reconstructions, shoulder reconstructions and tendinopathy and fractured wrists. Most notably however is a cricket athlete of mine, Laren, who after years of repetitive loading through his hip from fast bowling developed a CAM lesion and labarum tear in his hip. After managing the injury during his last season of cricket he went in for surgery during the off season. I’d like to give you all a little insight into the process of getting him back playing.

Stage 1: Restore proprioception and muscle activation.

In the very early stages his rehab the main goal was to restore activation of the smaller glute muscles with some range of motion improvements. Due to the nature of his surgery we had to tread carefully with how much we mobilised and loaded the joint to not aggravate a surgical fracture created to aid recovery. Therefore, majority of the exercises were body weight and were proprioceptive based, ie: supported SL balancing progressing to unsupported SL balancing with eyes closed.


Stage 2: Restore range of motion and neuromuscular firing patterns.

The aim for this phase was to improve firing patterns and mobility of compound movements. I began to add in body weight squats to a high marker with the progression to first increase the range before adding excessive load. Along with this we also included kettlebell Romanian deadlifts (RDL), mini-band hip thrusts and low box step ups as accessory movements to further improve strength and to start loading the hip. The assault bike became his best friend during this time as it is a great way to put the hip through motion in a low load and not impact setting.

Due to compensatory movement patterns and tight muscles Laren developed a mild patellar tendinopathy which was managed through isometric and tempo loading and soft tissue treatments.


Stage 3: Improve muscle mass and strength and return to running.

Laren then completed a good 8 – 10 weeks of hypertrophy / strength biased programming to improve muscle size and strength to ensure the muscles and tendons were strong enough to handle higher loads prior to a strength bias phase. During this phase we also worked on basic jumping and landing mechanics drills to start providing impact loading. We saw further mobility improvements during this phase where Laren can now squat lower than pre – surgery! Laren had been given the clear by his physio for any movement restrictions and he began the return to running phase.


Stage 4: Return to sport.

Now the foundation had been laid, it was time to reintroduce some higher level movements such as weightlifting, higher level jumping/plyometrics and other power exercises (loaded and unloaded) in combination with continuing to improve strength in the fundamental movements.

Laren is able to now bowl during training and has now played his first match, although not ready for match bowling he is able to field and bat with no issues. He has been very consistent with his rehab which has shown in his recovery. Although initially the process is monotonous, it is essential to lay foundations for later training to allow for return to sport safely and effectively.

If you would like any further information on returning to sport after an injury, feel free to contact me at


By: 0

GW Performance – CrossFit


Open 16.2 Warm Up (No Measure)


Trigger: Posterior Shoulder + Psoas

Mobility: Banded Extended Front Rack + Banded Hamstring

2 Rounds

Dislocates x 10

Leg Swings x 10 EW

Caveman sit x 30 sec

SL Calf stretch x 30 sec alternating

1 Round

Calf raises x 10-20

Kip swing x 10-20

Clean grip RDL x 5-10

Standing Samson Floss x 10 ES

Squat jump x 5-10


ALL: Back Squat (12:00 / Build to heavy 3 / 20X0)



ALL: Metcon (Time)


3 Rounds For Time:

Run 400m

15 DB Snatch E.S. (25kg / 15kg)

6 Back Squat

Score: Subtract 1 sec off total time for every kilogram used in each set of Back Squats (e.g. 100kg used = subtract 300 seconds from finish time)


By: 0

GW Performance – CrossFit


FYF OG (No Measure)


Trigger – Shoulders & Hips

2 x Banded Hip Stretches

2 x Banded Shoulder Stretches


1 Round x 30s

Spiderman Lunge + Rotation (Alternate)

Couch Stretch ES

Frog Stretch

Shoulder Dislocates

2 Rounds

Wall Squats x 5

SL Hip Thrust x 5 ES

Cross-Over Reverse Fly x 10

Scap Pull-ups x 5

Banded Good Morning x 10

3-5mins Practice

Double Unders, Row Technique, Handstand Skills, Kipping, Muscle-ups, Pull-ups or Oly Skills

Core / Trunk Circuit (10:00) (No Measure)

EMOM (2 Rounds)

1. Feet raised plank hold 30-45sec

2. Support hold (box or rings) 30sec

3. Medball Sit-ups x10-20reps

4. L-hang/Tuck hang from bar 30sec

5. Rest


ALL: Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

16:00 AMRAP

12 Goblet Lunges (16kg / 12kg)

8 Burpees to target

12 Goblet Lunges (16kg / 12kg)

8 Toes To Bar

12 Goblet Lunges (16kg / 12kg)

8 H/R Push Ups


By: 0

GW Performance – CrossFit


Overhead 7 (No Measure)

Pre Class

Roll – Thoracic, Lats and Biceps

Trigger – Pecs and Shoulder Ext. Rot.

Mobility – Lats on Bench and Pecs on Floor


2 Rounds

V-T-W-A x 10

Wall Angles x 10

Scap Pull Up x 5

FLR x 20 seconds

1 Round

Band Y Press x 10

Wall Climb x 5

Band Donkey Kicks x 5 E.S

Bear Crawl With Ball x 20m


FIT: 12:00 Pull Up Progressions A. (No Measure)

Complete for QUALITY

10 x T – W

10 x Crossover Pull Down

3 – 5 Eccentric Pull Ups

2 – 4 x 10 Banded Pull Ups

PERF: Strict Chest to Bar Pull Ups (5 Set Ladder)

Set 1: near max

2 to 5: less one rep per set


FIT: Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10:00 AMRAP

5 Hang Power Snatch (42.5kg / 30kg)

10 Pull Ups

30 Double Unders

Scaling –

HPS: weight

PU: Ring Rows

DU: 2 x attempts

PERF: Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10:00 AMRAP

5 Hang Power Snatch (62.5kg / 42.5kg)

5 Muscle Ups

30 Double Unders

Scaling –

HPS: weight

MU: 5 x (2 C2B + 2 Ring Dips)

DU: no.


By: 0

GW Performance – CrossFit


General Warm Up 1 (No Measure)

2 Rounds of 30 sec each:

Roll to Straddle

Fire Hydrants

Couch Quad

2 Rounds of 10 reps each:

Front Rack Step Up

Crossover 90/90

Crossover A-T-Y

Partner Dynamax Ball Fun (No Measure)

With a partner, complete:

SL Horizontal Pass x 10 ES

SL Rotational Pass x 10 ES


SL Around the World x 5 ES


A.: Metcon (Distance)

5 x (1:00 / 1:00)

5 Burpees +

AMRAP Row in remaining time

3:00 intermission

B.: Metcon (Distance)

Every 2:00 x 12 (24:00 / 4 rounds)

i) 60 sec AMRAP Row

ii) 10 KB Swing (24kg / 16kg) + 10 Box Jumps

iii) 10 Ring Dips + 20 Mt Climbers

Scaling –

KBS: weight

BJ: height / step ups

Ring Dips: band assistance