OWNER, BKIN, CSCS
Yard Athlete Development was founded in 2015 by Ilan Cumberbirch. Ilan previously owned Factory Hockey Player Development, working with hockey players from the NHL to youth ranks, both on and off-ice. Coming from a sporting background playing professional hockey, and collegiate rugby, Ilan understands first hand the rigours and demands of sport, both from a physical and mental standpoint.
Ilan completed his Bachelors of Kinesiology from the University of British Columbia in 2014, then went on to play professional hockey in The Netherlands while obtaining his Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist designation. Ilan recognizes that no athletes, sports or training days are the same. Focusing on each athlete’s ability to perform to their highest ability, Ilan ensures that the specific needs and demands of each athlete are met; without sacrificing performance in the competitive arena.
Designing and implementing periodized training systems with focuses on mobility, strength, power, speed and/or endurance training utilizing a broad range of training methodologies; Ilan is able to exceed your training objectives.
ASSISTANT MANAGER, BKIN, CSCS
Sam has worked as a Strength and Conditioning coach with Yard Athlete Development since its inauguration in 2015. During this time Sam has had the opportunity to work with youth, junior, collegiate and professional athletes. Coming from an athletic background as a former national and varsity team volleyball player, Sam has a thorough understanding of how to maximize performance both from a programming and coaching
Sam completed his Bachelors of Kinesiology from the University of British Columbia in 2015 and was given the opportunity to work with the varsity strength and conditioning program during that time. Following graduation, Sam completed his CSCS through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and began working as a strength and conditioning coach with Factory Hockey Player Development. This exposure to professional and aspiring athletes allowed Sam to better understand the demands of sport and the extent to which effective programming can impact their performance.
In the present day, Sam continues to work with a diverse range of athletes and assists with programming at Yard Athlete Development. By focusing on your specific goals and
implementing individualized training protocols that work to develop mobility, strength, power, speed and/or endurance training; Sam is able to reach your training goals.
HEAD STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH, NCCP Level 1, IFA Fitness & Health Training
With a strong passion for strength training, Matt has always known he wanted to help others achieve their athletic endeavours. He understands the importance of being equipped with the proper tools to perform at one’s best, not only in their respective sport, but in their day to day life.
Matt ran track and field through grade school, until grade 9 where hockey became his main focus; playing at a AAA level until his senior year.
Matt began his post secondary studies at St. Clair College in Chatham, Ontario where he graduated with a Diploma in Health & Fitness Promotion. He most recently completed his NCCP Level 1 Weightlifting Coaching Certification, at the provincial and national levels. With several years of experience in the fitness industry, Matt has trained a variety of clients in one-on-one, group and at the elite level; including a national level silver medalist in the women’s 59kg class for Weightlifting.
Today, Matt’s own training focus is geared towards becoming as strong as possible, exceeding his own expectations every time he steps into the gym. He is eager to test methods and theories in his own training programs, in order to get a better understanding of their benefits and subsequent results, so that he can apply them to his clients’ sessions. Matt believes we, as humans, are all capable of much more than what we believe. He embraces discomfort and fear in order to continue growing as a person and athlete, in pursuit of becoming the best version of himself.
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH, BA, DPLM, CSCS, PN1
Jeff has been a personal trainer for over 8 years now, having trained a wide demographic of individuals from his time in Toronto, Ontario. Having previously earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2014, a Fitness and Health Promotion diploma in 2016, and in recent years, earned his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification. He has shifted more of his focus to training athletes, or those individuals with more athletic/performance pursuits in their training. Jeff has also worked with a wide variety of athletes ranging from youth, semi-pro to masters-level athletes, in sports ranging from ice hockey, football, basketball, tennis, basketball, football, etc. Jeff is currently an intern at Simon Fraser University as a Strength and Conditioning coach, where he assists with programming and coaching their varsity sports teams.
Jeff grew up an athlete, playing a multitude of different sports. He is able to take those experiences and apply them to his coaching, while combining those with the scientific principles of strength and conditioning. A big belief of Jeff’s is an athlete's best ability is their availability. Once a robust foundation is established, then further building an athlete's physical capabilities via strength, power, speed, agility, endurance, etc., can be maximized to best suit the athlete’s sport and needs. If you want to elevate yourself to the next level, Jeff will help you get there.
Yard Athlete Development offers a range of services including but not limited to:
- Customized Strength & Conditioning Sessions
- Speed & Power Development Training
- Semi Private Group Training
- Team Training Sessions
- Customized Training Program Design
For more information about our current offerings and how we can help you in attaining your athletic ambitions:
Thanks Ilan for all the training before the bubble. I Had a great experience working with you and your team before the bubble playoffs in 2020. I got stronger and felt great on the ice during the playoffs. Thanks again bro.
I had the opportunity and benefit to train with Ilan for a few summers during my playing career. I found incredible results and growth in my physical performance from the weight training sessions to SAQ and sprint workouts that He put me through. Ilan’s ability to change up and create new individualized daily workouts along with his energy and enthusiasm made coming to the gym fun. I would recommend Ilan to anyone from professional athlete to weekend warrior or anyone looking to get a good sweat.
I began training at The Yard during the off-season with Ilan, Nick and Matt. They created a great personal development program specifically to improve my power and speed.After a couple of weeks of training I felt huge differences on the pitch. There is a great atmosphere in the gym and each and every training is as enjoyable as it is beneficial to performance.Would highly recommend any athlete looking to take the next step to come visit The Yard!
I have worked with Ilan for over 9 years, both as a business partner and as an athlete. Ilan has done an outstanding job developing his training knowledge and building comprehensive programs to work with a range of athletes, from young amateurs to NHL professionals. His off-season programs are very detailed and are broken down into four major phases, each of which are of equal importance. He can adapt any of his programs to each athlete’s age, development level, and injury history. For the professional athletes, he builds a strong base of strength and functional movement first and then adds a strength and power phase. These elements allow them to build their athletic ability and also to handle the intense demands of their season.
Ilan has built a state of the art facility for Yard Athletics. Athletes have access to the best equipment available today and are surrounded by a passionate and knowledgeable staff of trainers. Yard has an energy level that is unmatched in Vancouver and I would recommend it to any current athlete.
The experience was refreshing, the exercises were functional and the program was suited to what we needed. The atmosphere was cool because people were there to work. Everyone was very welcoming and introduced themselves right away. Definitely, a place I wanna be back at.
Training at The Yard has been hugely beneficial during my rugby off-season in order to make gains to my strength/power and properly prepare for next year. The gym is super well-equipped for all types of training and there’s always great energy in there (+ sweet merch). Couldn’t recommend a better place to get a sweat on.
--Lucky to have found this high quality space to train with such friendly and professional staff. Has everything I need to push me forward in my international rugby career. Always look forward to getting a session in at the Yard!
Yard Athlete Development prepared me to compete at the highest level every season but has also added longevity. Athletes need to adapt to changes in their body over time as much as changes in the game. The Yard’s ability to recognize this has added years to my career.
I have been working with Yard Athlete Development for over 7 years and look forward to working with their coaching staff every off season.Their knowledge of exercise science, human movement, and individualized program design have allowed me to remain healthy and have prepared my mind and body for the upcoming season on a yearly basis. Their on ice component provides game-like skill development scenarios specific to my game. I would not continue to put my professional career in their hands if they weren't the best in the business!
Ilan has such a solid understanding of strength and conditioning training, whether it’s powerlifting for the competitive types, performance-based training for elite athletes (he is trusted by some pretty high-profile athletes), or running fun, accessible sessions for weekend warriors who just want to sweat it out. He has a great understanding of rehab too, which is what I mainly work with him for. He is intensely committed to his clients - I don't know anyone in the industry that works as hard as he does to get people moving towards their goals. His hilarious personality makes for a fun and low-key training style, yet he can be immensely motivating in the gym when pushing people to achieve their targets. Thanks to Ilan’s leadership the whole Yard community makes for a really positive and inclusive place, where it’s always fun to drop it. The other Yard staff are kind, approachable, non-judgmental and seem to also have a really good grasp on training.
I'd recommend anyone to train at the Yard. No matter what their personal goals are, or what their experience level is, there is lots to gain from working with this solid team.
For the past 8 offseasons, Yard Athlete Development has given me every opportunity to succeed at the next level. Starting off as an undersized Junior B player, the staff have provided me with the tools to develop my strength, power, speed, and on-ice skills in order to compete at the collegiate level today.
Thanks to Yard Athlete Development I've gotten faster and stronger in every aspect of the game. The trainers do a great job running the sessions while creating a competitive and positive atmosphere.
I started training with Sam Shaw at Yard Athletics in 2016, when I first got into the sport of bobsled. Sam was in charge of my programming from my strength training as well as energy system development. I was grateful for the well-rounded program that covered all aspects of my training including sport specific movements and attention to technical details with my Olympic lifting. I am thankful for the physical foundation that Sam helped develop as an athlete and something I could build upon as I progressed to compete on the Senior National Team.
World Championship Medalist 2019
2020 Crystal Globe (3rd overall)
World Cup Brakemen 2018-Present
I have been training with Yard Athlete Development for the past 6 offseason. Year after year, their coaching staff has worked with me to put on lean muscle mass, while maintaining my speed and explosiveness which are critical to my game. From the WHL to the NHL I have felt extremely confident allowing them to handle my off-ice training in order to get physically and mentally prepared for the upcoming season. For any athletes in the Greater Vancouver area, Yard is the place to train!
As a professional volleyball player and National Team athlete, it’s important for me to have somewhere I can go to get elite training while I am home. Yard has always provided me with access to professional training to prepare for the national team or my professional seasons.
5th at Olympics 2016
3rd in world league 2017
champions league final four 2017
2014 & 2018 World Championships
I would not be where I am today as a hockey player if I had not found Yard Athlete Development 3 years ago. They have helped me attain an elite level, and will help make you a well rounded athlete with their off-ice training plans and on-ice player development.
Ilan and Yard Athletics have made a tremendous impact on myself as a hockey player and have prepared me to succeed at the NCAA level. Prior to joining Yard Athletics five years ago I was inexperienced in the gym and did not properly prepare myself for my upcoming seasons. At the Yard, I learned proper lifting techniques that enabled me to maximize my offseason training and perform at my highest capacity.
Huge thank you to everyone involved at Yard Athlete Development. I have trained there for 3 seasons and it is an unbelievable summer training program both off and on the ice with an amazing group of athletes and coaches! The athletes push each other extremely hard and the coaches are up to date with every aspect of training. I always feel perfectly prepared for the season! Thanks boys!
Every rep is monitored and made sure it is done to the athlete’s full potential. The knowledge of the coaching staff makes you a better athlete and they provide insight and explanation on how to treat your body away from the training floor and ice rink. Not only does the staff put in effort while training me, they make sure I am doing everything possible to be the best athlete I can be. Thanks to Yard Athlete Development I won “Pound For Pound Strongest” on our team this year. I couldn't have done it alone!
I have been training with Yard Athlete Development for 6 seasons now and have seen progressions every single year. I started at age 14 with a year or two of low level experience in the gym. The Yard training program taught me the basics of weight training and incorporated a training schedule that pushed me to make gains but emphasized proper technique as well. Yard athletic development pushed me to make strength and speed gains that led to huge improvements on the ice. As I moved into midget and then junior hockey, the added strength from my training allowed me to make that transition easily. My consistent training with Yard gave me an advantage over others my age who had not spent as much time in the gym.
The whole Yard Athlete Development staff has always been welcoming every time I step in the gym. The experienced coaches Ilan Cumberbirch and Sam Shaw know what we need as athletes and are passionate about helping us reach our goals. They go above and beyond training and always create a great atmosphere where you can be pushed hard and have a few laughs at the same time.
Above all the Yard Athlete Development program gave me a routine in the offseason which helped my sleep habits, eating habits and overall health. To this day I try to stick to a similar routine that keeps me active and consistent each day.
Yard Athlete Development was a substantial factor in developing both my on and off ice abilities and helped me get into the best shape for the upcoming season.
Can't thank Yard Athlete Development enough for their help this spring and summer! It is such a fantastic environment. Loved the way they pushed me to train harder and smarter. So much stronger and ready for the season. Special thanks for the easy way the program was tapered for me in and out so I was in perfect shape for all the evaluation camps in my crazy schedule.
I have been training with Yard Athlete Development for ten years now. There is no better place to train and prepare your body for an upcoming season. The on and off ice programs are top end and run by knowledgeable, caring trainers who want the best out of each athlete. There is no question that the preparation accomplished at Yard has elevated my game and pushed me to the next level. It has almost become a summer family and I look forward to many more off seasons ahead.
Year after year, Yard Athlete Development has done a tremendous job of preparing me for my upcoming season and this year has been no different. Their trainers are knowledgeable, engaged, and friendly and tailor your workouts to your individual needs. The on-ice portion of the training is at an elite level and combines individual skill development with high speed, game-like situations. For any hockey player, Yard Athlete Development should be your first choice for training.
The training I have received from Yard Athlete Development, both on and off the ice, is without a doubt the best I have experienced in preparing myself for the upcoming season.