Athletic Development

Athletic Development


With the introduction of our state of the art Performance Centre (Wattbike Studio, Human Movement Studio and Performance Gym) and Head of Strength and Conditioning James Davies in January 2016, Marlborough College’s Athletic Development department is now an invaluable part of sporting success, injury reduction, academic P.E, school life, along with health and well-being.

We wouldn’t attempt to sit a Maths exam without all the learning, teaching and development before hand…

We throw children into sport to perform high levels of skill, however we don’t educate them on the movement patterns before hand…

Yet we don’t learn to move, stretch and perform self maintenance on our musculoskeletal system to prevent and cure injury/niggles. Therefore our role is to implement the learning of fundamental movement patterns at early ages to help our pupils better understand their body’s not only from a sports performance side, but also from health and well-being.

Every pupil at Marlborough College will undergo physical analysis screening to give them a physical profile to help them work on key areas:

  • To reduce injury risk
  • To improve performance
  • To highlight areas of strengths and weaknesses
  • To track progress and results of training

Our programme is implemented within the P.E curriculum and is compulsory for years Shell and Remove (Year 9 and 10), we then offer performance programmes to our sporting pupils who get specific Strength and Conditioning sessions within their games/sports afternoons as part of our an ongoing mission to reduce injury, improve wellness and optimise performance. We also run rehab/prehab sessions to help facilitate recovery, repair and avoid injury/re-injury to pupils who may be off-games, or who have had significant injury. These pupils not only benefit from being integrated with other pupils with similar injuries, but also allows them to return to sport/full fitness faster.

Athletic Development

In today’s society, many issues face young athletes/pupils. Sport participation can be a countermeasure to a sedentary lifestyle which is clearly prevalent and dangerous . Often, individuals experience failed attempts to participate in organised sports because too much emphasis is placed on competition, with little attention on developing proper athleticism (appropriate movement skills).

Individuals with limited sports and movement skills often stop participating. In turn, this neglect often leads to a decreased interest in any type of physical activity. The result is a failure to learn or develop physical literacy, or proper athletic movement in a sequential and progressive manner. A sedentary lifestyle then follows. Sedentary living causes such health problems as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases that evolve from a lifelong problem starting in childhood.

The aims of our programme:

  • Physical Testing/Analysis to track physical performance
  • Develop Athleticism to support technical skill
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Culture of Success
  • Support injured pupils with their rehabilitation
  • Bespoke Programming
  • High Performance Programming
  • Interdisciplinary Work
  • Mental Resilience
  • Nutrition

Our fully supported programme offers the best opportunity and support for pupils to develop themselves both mentally and physically, with our interdisciplinary approach offering a unique environment for learning, development and winning success on the field and in the classroom.

Increased urbanisation and the excessive availability of multimedia-related activities like video games, television and smart phones, makes the outdoor environment less attractive for young children to participate in physical activities. This lack of varied/playful movement experiences have resulted in a decreased ability to move effectively, thus having a negative effect on health status, wellbeing and performance.

Therefore the role of Athletic Development is to encompass the wellbeing, health and talent development of our pupils at Marlborough College.

To learn more about Strength and Conditoning at Marlborough College please visit our Blog.


Our Strength and Conditioning provision is divided between three facilities:

Wattbike Studio

A fantastic elite training tool, pioneered in collaboration with Great Britain Cycling. Versatile enough to test elite athletes and beginners alike. Powerful enough to deliver the most insightful data to coaches, pupils and teams from a wider variant of sports. We utilise Wattbikes within our Strength and Conditioning programme to aid Athletic Development, track fitness levels and offer cycling sessions for a number of pupils.

Human Movement Studio

A fantastic open space with sprung flooring used to facilitate, Rehab, Yoga, Pilates, Dance and Circuits.

Performance Gym

Our state of the art Strength and Conditioning suite is kitted out with some of the most reputable pieces of equipment on the market, from Eleiko Bars and Plates to Woodway Curve and Versa Climbers. The facility has been carefully designed to help facilitate our successful Strength and Conditioning programme to help nurture and develop the next generation of adults and athletes.



James Davies – BSc (Hons) CSCS – Head of Strength and Conditioning

James Davies is our Head of Strength and Conditioning Coach, with a Sport Science degree and internationally recognised qualifications and coaching experience. 

Young athletes with whom he has worked have achieved Senior and Commonwealth team selection, and medal winning positions at European and World Championships across a very wide range of sporting disciplines. His coaching experience includes work with international teams and Olympic athletes.

With an in-depth knowledge of long-term athlete development, he specialises in youth athlete physical development and his aim is to develop all Marlborough’s pupils to reach their sporting and athletic potential.

James Davies also provides Strength and Conditioning to Worcester Valkyries and is Founder of Exerformance. To contact James, please click here (can this link to the contact tab)

Richard Lalor – MSc – Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

Connor Porter – BSc (Hons) – Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach