Why Undertake Strength and Conditioning?
Strength and Conditioning (S&C) at King’s follows a fully athlete-centred approach. We are based in the newly refurbished Strength and Conditioning Suite as part of the Sports Hall complex, with access to other facilities and equipment, depending on the needs of the pupils and session.
Our mission statement is to enhance all physiological and psychological aspects of the child, allowing for full realisation of athletic potential. We also aim to reduce the risk of injury and provide an active and healthy legacy.
A Closer Look
Ultimately, our role is to develop and improve the ‘physical literacy’ of every pupil at the school. In developing literacy, people are taught: what a letter is and what it sounds like, what order they go into to create words, how words can be put together to create sentences, and how sentences can be grouped to create prose.
The same principle is applied to learning how to move: learn how to perform a simple movement skill (e.g. squat), how to adapt that same skill (single leg squat), how to use it in an applied scenario (box jump), and when to use it in a dynamic environment in response to a stimulus (a line-out jump in rugby).
There are a number of elements that come under the umbrella of human or sporting movement. They include (but are not restricted to): fundamental movement patterns, locomotor movements, and decision-making.
- Fundamental movements (practised regularly): squat, push, pull, hinge, brace, lunge, jump etc.
- Locomotor movements: walk, skip, run, jump, throw, catch, strike etc.
- Non-locomotor movements: bend, twist, sway, flex, extend, raise, turn etc.
- Manipulative movements: catch, throw, strike, kick etc.
- Decision-making: Why, when and how to perform a skill, in reaction to a stimulus.
Improve Your Performance
Each of the elements listed above can, and are, broken down again so that they are appropriately challenging to the individual at an age, or developmental stage, appropriate level. Sessions to improve these may include: sprinting, gym work, pool conditioning, circuit training, on top of any activity undertaken within the games curriculum.
If we are able to challenge and improve the skill level of these elements, the performances that can be achieved in a competitive environment will have the basis from which to further develop.
We aim to provide opportunities to practise and improve all elements for all pupils, with guidance available on request, either in games sessions or outside of them.
Head of Strength and Conditioning
Our Head of Strength and Conditioning is Rhys Llewellyn-Eaton.
Alongside three other coaches, he works to enhance and deliver quality training support to those keen and budding sporting pupils. As well as this, you may well find him out on the athletics track, hockey pitch, rugby pitch, or anything that might involve getting a run around. He works within the PE department to shape and deliver the Third Form programme, in the hope that this will give those new to the school a good idea of what is on offer, and what they will need to do in order to make the most of their opportunities.
Rhys is also Deputy Housemaster in Bishop Fox House, and has a wealth of interests, many of which may come as a surprise to those within the school. A highlight of his time at King's is getting to accompany Mr Lang and the Upper Sixth physicists to CERN in Geneva – a recommended trip to all who have the opportunity. The same could be said for the senior rugby tour to South Africa, which Rhys feels is a country that everyone should visit at some point.
Rhys also coaches rugby at King's, having played through school and university (with some time in Rugby League!), and more recently for Wiveliscombe RFC.
Sports Performance Coach
Ben Thomas is a sports performance coach here at King's, with coaching qualifications in rugby, basketball, hockey, cricket and strength and conditioning.
During our Michaelmas Term, Ben coaches the 1st XV, as well as supporting a number of athletes across different sports.
In the Lent Term, he is involved in coaching hockey as well as the senior rugby 7s team. And during our Summer Term Ben coaches tennis.
Away from school, Ben currently coaches Academy players at Bristol Bears and is also the regional coach for the Scotland Exiles. A new role for this season will see Ben take up the head coach position at Chard Rugby Club.
Past roles have included coaching the Somerset Rugby U16s & U17s, the Somerset Women’s 1st team, and last season, he was the Bristol Bears Women’s backs coach.
When it comes to hockey, Ben has coached in the England Hockey Pathway, delivering training as part of the Development Centre and Academy Centre.
Ben has been exposed to some great opportunities to develop his skills as a coach, watching Bristol Bears head coach Pat Lam taking senior sessions at Bristol, and watching England U18 & U17s train.
His year ahead looks set to be a busy one, with house duties (Ben is Deputy Housemaster in Tuckwell House), and with his coaching at school and in the wider community.