by Yard Athletics – Sept 10th, 2019
Yard Athletics is pleased to announce Sam Shaw as the new Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of Yard Athletics! Sam has been a fixture at the Yard since its inception, playing an integral role in the growth and success of the company. He’s also made a huge impact on each person who walks through the doors, helping to lift everyone to be the best they can be.
Since we know Sam is a huge wealth of knowledge in the field of Strength & Conditioning, we figured we would throw a few questions at him to learn a little more about his training philosophy and background.
What is your athletic / educational background?
Sport has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. In terms of high level athletics though, I ended up sticking with the one sport I was relatively good at – Volleyball. My high school growing up had quite the legendary volleyball program so it kind of fell in my lap that I was going to stick with that sport as soon as I got there. Ending up winning a few provincial titles (not a big deal…). Following High School/Provincial/National team ‘ball’ I ended up continuing my education and athletic endeavors at Douglas College then the University of British Columbia. I couldn’t have asked for a better set of coaches and professors throughout my time with those schools. They helped guide me to a career that I love and lead me to my true passion – Strength and Conditioning
When did you first get into weight training and sports conditioning?
I am pretty sure I lifted my first dumbbell in grade 10 (bit of a late bloomer, they were probably 10lbs dumbbells) but things were a little different back then in terms of youth athletes and weightlifting. I would say my first real interest came when I started at Douglas College and met their Strength and Conditioning coach, Jake Elder. He showed me the real benefits weightlifting can have in and out of the gym and is the main reason I took the career path that I did. Additionally, during my time with UBC I had the opportunity to work with Joe McCullum and the varsity program which expanded my knowledge base and experience. That program has taken their athletes to some seriously elite levels since Joe has taken over so it was a great opportunity to be around those coaches for a brief stint
Best part of coming to work every day? Challenges?
By far the best part of coming to work everyday is having the chance to be around such a great group of people. It doesn’t even seem like a job when you have the chance to shoot the shit and work hard with what I feel is a big group of friends, working toward the same goal. Our community is unlike any other. Also, having the chance to be alongside my good buddy and fearless ‘Director’ Ilan is a blessing in its own right. This guy is one of the hardest workers I know. Being able to bounce ideas and just be around such a like minded individual helps me strive to get better everyday
The challenge lies solely in the hours spent awake/asleep during a day; it’s about a 4:1 ratio for us. At this point I wouldn’t even call it a challenge though since we have been doing it for years and love what we do. Tough times ahead though in the winter – when you arrive and leave the gym in darkness it becomes a bit tougher to not hit the snooze button.
What are some of the goals for Yard Athletics?
I would say we have met and exceeded our initial goals of building a reputable brand and community within our first two years of existence. It is crazy to look back before Yard began and to see where we are today – still blows my mind but at the same time still have so much more room for growth. At the end of the day our main goal of opening up our own space still remains. It is something that Ilan has valued and dreamt about for years and has become a goal for myself as well so keep your eyes posted… still big things to come!
Personal goals in the next year; 5 years?
Oh wow, we getting personal! Ok… I would say in the short term my most valued goals are putting a down payment on my own place, increasing my participation in competitive weightlifting events and getting a dog. That being said there are many Yard related goals but I wanted to get a little more personal with you guys 😉 I am in desperate need of a furry companion so if you have any opportunities out there feel free to reach out!
In the long term, I am looking toward having our own space with a growing staff who exemplify what it is to be part of our team. Of course, there are stepping stones and goals to meet along the way but 5 years down the road that is how I hope to see our company. Along with that I would inevitably like to explore some sort of continuing education once our more immediate goals have been reached. It has always been a goal of mine to get a masters degree of some sort so hopefully down the road I will be able to pursue that in some capacity. Oh ya – forgot. I also would like to have 1,000,000 followers on my personal Instagram by 2024 so lets get that moving in the right direction 😉
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