Local children sample elite coaching methods at Pocklington School masterclass

Children exercising using gym equipment in Pocklington School sports hall as part of a strength and conditioning masterclass

Photo: Local school children enjoying the Pocklington School Strength and Conditioning Masterclass

Sixteen children from local primary schools gained an insight into the cutting edge sports science used by professional and international athletes when they joined a Strength and Conditioning Masterclass at Pocklington School recently.

Nine to 11-year-olds from the schools with an interest in sport were invited to the action-packed morning, hosted by the Pocklington School’s Head of Athletic and Coaching Development and Head of Rugby Jonny Wheeler.

Mr Wheeler and his coaching team introduced the youngsters to strength and conditioning exercises and games which taught them different movement patterns aimed at both enhancing performance and reducing the risk of injury whilst maintaining all round health.

They concentrated on speed testing and technique work, then used force plates, which measure how much force an athlete produces on the ground as they jump – used to measure their symmetry, balance and fatigue.

After some circuit work, the youngsters played games wearing GPS monitoring devices, which are used by Pocklington School’s Rugby and Hockey teams to help analyse their performance levels and fitness.

Mr Wheeler explained how the data produced by GPS devices helps coaches structure training and plan tactics, helps avoid injuries through fatigue, as well as incentivising students to improve performance levels.

Mr Wheeler, who has a degree in Sports and Exercise Science and is currently studying towards a PhD in talent development, said: “It was awesome to welcome children from a variety of local schools and sports to Pocklington. We provided an experience of speed and strength testing as well as some movement literacy circuits and feedback on game play from our GPS units.

“The aim was to give the children a sample of elite sport whilst also providing some meaningful take aways for their sport now. I was impressed by their dedication and hard work. We clearly have some very talented young sportsmen and women in our local schools, which is great to see."   

Pocklington School’s Strength and Conditioning Programme, which starts in the 3rd Year and runs through to the Sixth Form, is offered to students playing a variety of sports. It aims to help them develop their fitness levels, coordination, strength, power and energy systems appropriate to their age, so they can consistently improve their performance levels.