When it comes to developing home-grown sporting talent, strength and conditioning coach Gil Stevenson is one of the area’s leading experts. He is currently working with over twenty young athletes from across Perth and Kinross, all of whom have achieved a much coveted spot on the Live Active Leisure Performance Squad.
Based in Bell’s Sport Centre’s new strength and conditioning gym, Gil brings 50 years of experience in teaching and coaching physical education to those athletes who have the potential to compete at the higher levels of sport.
“I always say that great athletes are born, not made. Natural talent will always be at the fore in any high achieving athlete’s career. The difference though, comes as these young people mature and they start to come up against other athletes who are just as talented."
It is about getting strong, but it is more specialised than simply loading up on weight.
"It is here that strength, technique and a solid work ethic begin to distinguish those who will go on to do great things."
Gil, who is an accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association, started his career as a physical education teacher in 1968 and since then he has witnessed many changes in the way that athletes train. Most notably, the realisation that physical preparation for performance would promote the development of key skills and build strength where it is most needed.
“Today, we look at how we can use strength and conditioning to enhance an athlete’s overall performance. It is about getting strong, but it is more specialised than simply loading up on weight."
“All athletes start with a general programme, tailored to their strength. From here, I use a lot of gymnastic and Olympic lifting movements and as they progress we will tailor movements to their specific sporting needs."
“So for instance, a snatch in weight lifting will build strength behind a backhand clear in badminton much more effectively than technique alone. The idea is that you can transfer your gym training and strength straight into your sport.”
Gil has worked with some of the area’s most accomplished athletes including Eve Muirhead, Stephen Milne and Bradley Neil but is quick to point out that he is simply one of many people involved in helping young athletes make it to the top of their chosen field.
“It is of course very satisfying to watch a young person achieve a World Championship win, or a place on the Olympic team but even more rewarding is the knowledge that every young athlete we work with is building skills for life.”
The Live Active Leisure Performance Squad is currently recruiting new members for the 2020/2021 period. Athletes must be resident in Perth & Kinross and be a member of the Talented Athlete Scheme or have their application supported by their chosen sport's National Governing Body. For more information contact Stevie Baxter at email@example.com.
Together with Sportscotland and the Tayside & Fife Institute of Sport, Live Active Leisure works in developing the additional needs of high achieving athletes in the area.
These are the young athletes who demonstrate the skill and commitment required to represent Scotland and Great Britain on an international stage. Live Active Leisure’s Talented Athletes’ Scheme supports these young people by providing assistance and free access to their venues.
These are the young athletes who demonstrate the skill and commitment required to represent Scotland and Great Britain on an international stage.This enables them to reach their full potential and to achieve world class performance levels. This is about nurturing and developing our local talent by helping these young athletes train and grow in the support network of their home towns and city.
By doing this, they hope to inspire other youngsters in Perth and Kinross and to bring that real sense of achievement a city embraces when celebrating the success of one of their own.
Members of the Talented Athlete Scheme can also apply to be part of the Perfromance Squad. These opportunities have been made possible with financial support from both The Gannochy Trust and sportscotland.
Chrystal Matthan is the 24 year old netball player from Perth who was recently selected for the Scottish Thistles Long Squad!
February 27th Thursday 2020
Foundation trustee Charlie Gallagher recently handed over a £2000 cheque to Academy head of youth development Alistair Stevenson.
January 31st Friday 2020
Perthshire’s Team Great Britain triathlete Jayne Emery conquered a lifetime’s fear of water by learning to swim.
January 27th Monday 2020