Stuart played for local amateur clubs and represented town, county and country up to and including U18 level. He had a short semi-professional career before completing his BSc in Sports Science and Physiology.
He was one of the youngest coaches to complete his Rugby League Senior Coaching Qualification at 20 years of age and has continually developed his rugby coaching experience through training, coaching and teaching adults, students and children over the last 12 years.
He qualified as a Physical Education teacher in 2002 and has taught thousands of pupils the skills of both Rugby League and Union. Shortly after becoming a teacher, Stuart started to deliver the concepts of Speed, Agility and Quickness (SAQ) initially to children that struggled with sport but quickly realised its potential for rugby players and became a qualified SAQ coach.
Stuart became a qualified Youth Conditioning Specialist from the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA) in 2008 and this year he became an IYCA Youth Speed and Agility Specialist. The IYCA are the only organisation in the world that specialise solely in youth fitness.
He has used his rugby coaching experience along with his knowledge of how to specifically improve the fitness of children to help hundreds of children achieve their sporting goals both inside and out of the school environment.
The improvement in my two sons’ all round fitness during the last year has been quite evident in their fitness test results. It has been a pleasure to observe as a parent their enthusiasm to attend all training sessions.
Stuart shows a great diversity in making training sessions vary from week to week always introducing new games into a training environment. Training has become a highlight of both my sons’ weekly plans and Wednesday evenings just don’t come round quickly enough.
Damien Lamb (Parent of children aged 10 and 11)
I have attended many of the sessions and watched my child put through their paces. The sessions are always interesting, varied and challenging with clear targets and objectives.
Stuart clearly has a great empathy for sports coaching and bringing out the best in young people.
The overall fitness level of my child has improved across many areas through the focus and attention on every type of fitness (strength, speed, stamina, suppleness and coordination) -these are important attributes for any athlete irrespective of the sport they participate in and this demonstrates to me that Stuart has an excellent grasp of modern techniques and thoughts on sports coaching and fitness training.
Colin Hammond (Parent of a 13 year old child)
My child loves the session’s carried out by Stuart and has attended every available one over the last ten months. The training has helped to increase fitness levels to an excellent standard and has led to a complete change in attitude towards fitness and health.
The training is well structured and very enjoyable due to Stuart’s vast experience in improving children’s fitness levels. I would encourage all children to attend any future training carried out by Stuart.
Tony Morgan (Parent of an 11 year old child)
What the coach says:
I have had a lifelong love of everything rugby and fitness related. As a junior player, I was always interested on how I could develop my speed and stamina to help me improve my game. This drive helped me to do quite well in the game but I could have done better. If I only knew then that the ‘sprint until you’re sick’ mentality of coaches was actually detrimental to my goal of increased speed.
I have been on a quest my whole coaching career to find answers to the question what is the best way to train children? I have to admit that I too was guilty of re-using the same fitness training principles that had been used on me as a child. Children’s physiology is not the same as an adults and shouldn’t be treated as such.
I have spent over 10 years looking for answers, studying every child related book, research paper and developmental specialist I could find. I discovered Dr Istvan Balyi, the author of the Long Term Athlete Development model (LTAD), in 2004. The outline that he presented concerning the way children should train at different ages made so much sense to me and a lot of its principles provide the backbone to Rugby Speed Camps. In fact the LTAD model states that:
“The Long Term Athlete Development Model addresses the critical or sensitive periods of physical and skill development. Athletes who miss each stage of training will never reach their full potential, regardless of remedial programs they may participate in.”
We are offering Rugby Speed Camps to 9 to 14 year olds only. As we want to ensure that this age group receive the appropriate training stimulus to take advantage of these sensitive periods.
However, the LTAD model did not offer any specifics about exactly what should be delivered and how. I eventually looked towards the USA for answers and found them from analysing the work of professional youth sport coaches such as Lee Taft, Brian Grasso, Kwame Brown and Mike Boyle.
In particular becoming a Youth Fitness and Youth Speed and Agility coach has given me the missing link to provide junior rugby specific training that will make a big difference to your son’s game in the shortest possible time.
I have seen amazing results from Speed and Agility training over the last five years with all participants showing vast improvements in a variety of speed and agility tests such as the 30m sprint, T-test and the Illinois agility run. The children have even shown an improvement of over a second in their sprint times after just 6 training sessions. This has a huge impact on their success on the field.
Sign your son up for a Rugby Speed Camp this summer and let’s see how fast and agile your son can get…… Rugby Speed Camps believe in the LTAD model so we will be offering a continued service for you all season long to ensure your son carries on improving.
I look forward to seeing you at a camp soon!
Ian progressed through the rugby academy system at Wigan Warriors,
playing super league for them before moving to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
He began coaching at saints in 2002 as assistant coach to Keiron Purtill
in the under 18’s side. Ian progressed through the coaching ranks at Saints
and has been Head Coach of the under 20’s for the last 4 years.
Ian is currently the head coach of Rochdale Hornets and also works as the Lead
Community Rugby League Coach for St.Helens RLFC, delivering rugby league skills coaching in high schools
across St Helens.