MSC Partnership aids lions’ bite

MSC Partnership aids lions’ bite

With a busy, and yet again, ambitious season planned for the Lions this coming year, a step-change in the team’s approach to strength and conditioning was identified as number one on their “to do” list when a review of the 2016/17 campaign came around.

“Last season we were nowhere near top physical capability” offered Head Coach Jamie Kilby, “some of the team were (and are) in excellent shape but we probably operated at about 50% as a collective so it was easy to see that there were some massive gains available for us to go after during the off-season.”

Enter stage right, MSC Performance, a specialist Strength and Conditioning facility, situated a stone’s throw from the city centre. Tasked with improving the team’s physical performance, a bespoke strength and conditioning programme is the order of the day, with big things expected from the partnership.

“We are absolutely delighted to have become the official Strength and Conditioning team behind the Birmingham Lions’ Women’s Team” offered MSC owner Mark Coulson “…it’s exciting to be working with such an ambitious club, and we thoroughly look forward to helping the squad improve their physical performance – they are a focused and determined group, and we can’t wait to see their improvements over the coming months.”

Having created a nuanced programme to take the team’s training to the next level courtesy of progressional group coaching MSC utilises only the most stringent scientific research and techniques, as part of its best practice, in ensuring the team’s training blends seamlessly into performance. Furthermore with monthly testing included – designed to measure and monitor improvement – the team is already seeing the benefits:

“The team’s partnership with MSC Performance has been a total game changer for me” commented Lions’ WR Jennifer Cooper. “I have always trained, both in the gym and on the track to try and gain a competitive advantage on the field, but with MSC’s help my training has become much more focussed and translatable to performance.

“As a team we have been training together on a progressive programme for a good few weeks now, and not only is this motivational in itself but during the last round of re-testing there were substantial gains across the team in both speed and strength. It’s great to see everyone’s hard work delivering results and for me, as someone who trains regularly, I still managed to make a significant percentage gain in strength training which I had not been able to achieve on my own previously.”

Quarterback Natalie Parker, concurs, albeit courtesy of a less established route: “…as a ‘gym rookie’ I was nervous about what to expect from our team S&C nights and whether I’d keep up, but the sessions are really well planned and MSC’s PT’s are fantastic, friendly and knowledgeable. Everyone gets a great (and appropriate) workout, whatever their level.

“Add to that the great environment to train in and being able to do so with your teammates, it pushes you to give 100% throughout the whole session, it also keeps me motivated for the rest of the week to train outside of our sessions, as such I am feeling the benefits even after just a few weeks and was both pleased and even a little surprised when we re-tested and I saw improvements both in numerical results and how it felt compared to 6 weeks prior. Now we’re back on the field training I can really feel the difference and if that’s just after a few weeks, I’m excited for what a few months worth of training might achieve.”

If previous seasons haven’t seen the Lions at their self-declared ‘fittest’ one could argue it doesn’t bode well for the competition this coming season – the Lions didn’t lose a game last year whilst averaging 41 offensive points per game and only conceding an average of 3.5pts per fixture in defense (across 8 games). That being said every year the capacity for challenge always exists afresh, so diligent preparation now is all to aid the Lions’ best laid plans.

For more information on the gang from MSC visit their Facebook page for further details.

Image with thanks © Céline Bisson. 

Ruth Matta