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.
HEAD STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH, 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 team volleyball player, Sam has a thorough understanding of how to maximize performance both from a programming and coaching standpoint.
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. Immediately following graduation, Sam began working as a strength and conditioning coach with Factory Hockey Player Development and Yard Athlete Development. With over 8 years of experience in the field, Sam understands the unique requirements each athlete has in relation to exercise prescription. 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
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH, DPT, CSCS, XPS
Nick has worked in gyms, fitness facilities and clinics in multiple countries over the past 10 years, including Canada, Australia, and the United States. During this time, his client population has been across the spectrum, ranging from professional and Olympic athletes to individuals dealing with chronic diseases and disabilities. Throughout his travels and experiences, he has met, worked under, and learned from some of the brightest and best minds in the business, allowing him to draw something from each experience to form his own style of training and programming. Being a sport enthusiast and athlete himself throughout his lifetime, he understands what it takes to maintain and grow within your sport(s) of choice.
Nick completed his bachelor's degree in Exercise Science in 2017 at the University of Winnipeg followed by his Doctor of Physiotherapy degree at Bond University, Australia in 2020. He spent 2+ years working as a strength coach at Focus Fitness, training facility of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose, where he programmed and trained hockey players from professional, college, junior, and bantam levels in the offseason, as well as in-season programming for local youth teams. He was fortunate to be chosen for a performance therapist internship at EXOS Arizona, allowing him to work with the physiotherapists, strength coaches, and dietitians during their renowned NFL Combine prep program, as well as NFL and MLB offseason training programs. Nick moved to Vancouver in fall of 2020 to start his career as a physiotherapist and continue working as a strength coach with the athletic and general populations. He is also a published researcher, having his work on deadlifting for treating chronic low back pain published in March 2021 in Sports Medicine - Open.
Nick's approach is unique as he utilizes clinical knowledge as a physiotherapist with his practice and programming as a strength coach to provide a more well-rounded, targeted approach to his clientele. In a profession where there seems to be a new approach or "fad" every month, he has found several things must be present in an individual's training to be successful: Consistency, Planning, Hard-work, Engagement. No matter your injury history, level of performance, or sport-specific goals/needs are, Nick will work with you to ensure you get where you need to in an environment you can look forward to coming to.
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
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 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.
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.