Part 1 - Diary of an S&C coach with The Locker owner James McCall


Welcome to The Lockers blog page and my little section . So before I start here is some background info on me and how I ended up where I am today .... today being sat on a coach up to Glasgow on a Sunday with Manchester Storm Ice Hockey Team.

My journey officially started when I went to a college open day to sign up to be a plumber before I managed to get to the right place the sport department caught my eye and out of curiosity I headed over for a chat. Before I knew what had happened  I was signed up to a 2 year BTEC national diploma in sport performance and excellence. 

I have never been the academic type but I swore to myself i was going to pass this course and then figure out what to do later on . At the time I was playing rugby at a fairly good standard and just getting my head around the basics of lifting . After 2 years of working my nuts off I left college with a triple distinction and offers to join 3 top class universities. Despite that, I decided to bin off the idea of uni and make some cash! 

I somehow ended up working for MUFC (when we won games) working in the ticket office and within the Stretford End ensuring VIPs  were looked after correctly. It was here that I had my first meeting with a pro athlete that goes by the name of Paul Scholes (Google him he was possibly the best midfielder ever to play).  After getting to know him I got the understanding that athletes are just normal humans which with the correct training and guidance can do great things.

The flip side of the MUFC  coin was being sat in an office for 8 hours a day for 18 months dealing with fans and if you have met me you will know I struggle to sit still for 5 minutes let alone 8 hours so when the time came to work in a gym I jumped.

20 years old working in a gym in sales I was loving life then the recession hit so I decided it was time to get back to education and start chasing that goal of working with athletes. LJMU I went, 3 years of lectures getting my body fixed ( ankle reconstruction) and late nights of coursework  and I passed  with an honors degree in sports science specialising in physiology and nutrition.

Now what .... let's become a personal trainer and change the world or so I thought.

As I entered the fitness realm it struck me that it's not a lack of knowledge that has caused the obesity epidemic have today but it's a lack of will. Anybody can go on line and find the secret to getting in shape but because it's uncomfortable they don't do it. As humans we are hard wired to make everything as easy as possible for ourselves hence why the magic pill industry is thriving at the moment.

Fast forward 2 jobs and 3 years to November 2015 where my life got turned on its head when I decided to open a gym called The Locker with my business partner at the time George. We both had the same work ethic and same vision but it was when I got a new client 12 months later my transition to Strength and Conditioning Coach came to pass.

November ish 2016 I was  approached by Marie Hourihan who at the time was playing second string for Manchester City women's team, the goal get her picked for the Irish National Team and grtbher playing every week. It is safe to say we smashed both of those goals and she is now number 1 for both Ireland and Brighton and Hove Albion.

I'm still working with Marie to keep her match fit and dealing with any bad habits she picks up. In life you don't realise how much one decision can have a butterfly effect which evolves into something quite extraordinary.  Whilst running the gym and still working with clients we got ourselves a new member, this gentleman knew what to do he just didn't do it (heard it before somewhere). After getting to know this chap over several months it turns up  he works for Manchester storm ice hockey team. Fast forward 6 months and I'm now writing this on a coach somewhere on the m6 traveling to our first away game of the season at Glasgow.

Over the course of this blog I am going to give an on-site into what exactly a strength and conditioning coach does…

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