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Acadia Performance Training

Staff News - James Young

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 9:42PM by Elliott under News

Last week marked the end of James Young’s time with Acadia Performance Training. He has been a part of Acadia Performance Training for over two years.  More importantly, James significantly impacted everyone involved in our service from athletes, to students and myself.  James was our first Assistant Strength Coach, which allowed us to help more athletes and set a high standard for what we expect from our staff going forward.  He will be leaving to continue his education as a Masters level student at Memorial University (MUN) in Newfoundland and we wish him nothing but the best!


There aren’t enough great things I can say to explain how much he has developed as a Coach but I will try in these next few paragraphs and hopefully capture what he means to APT.  I was first approached by James when he expressed interest in volunteering with me as a part of The Exercise and Training Practicum through our Kinesiology Department.  It was near the start of my career and it was great to have someone to spread a bit of the work around as our Varsity program took shape.  He was around that summer and first got involved with Acadia Performance Training and our local athletes.  He learned quickly and absorbed everything that I attempted to teach him.  He could execute exercises with high level of skill but it was ability to connect with every athlete that trained with us that really impressed me.  For those that don’t know James, he’s a bigger athlete, shaved head, with a beard. For some athletes this could be intimidating but James could make them all feel welcome – male/female, younger/older, extrovert/introvert.  He’s a nice guy and hard worker; he listened and absorbed but also questioned and added value to what we did.  Initially I had no measuring stick for what to expect from an intern but now I know what to look for.


After his first summer he spent the fall competing with our Football Axemen in his last season.  It was already decided that he was going to start a full internship with me that winter.  I didn’t know how committed he would be but I was blown away.  He spent nearly every morning, at least five days a week in the weight room with our athletes. By the end of it he probably put close to 300 hours with our athletes, and had a tremendous impact on their development and growth.  I know the Women’s Rugby Team and Women’s Soccer team benefited tremendously from his dedication.  Over the course of the semester he continued to gain confidence, bought into our system of training and really showed he could command the respect of a team or group. Following the semester I knew he was capable of being entrusted to run the private side of my agreement with Acadia – my business Acadia Performance Training.  He started full time in the evenings at a point where our demand was booming. My goal for APT is to provide high quality Strength and Conditioning services to as many athletes in the Valley.  Without the knowledge, dedication and expertise of James it couldn’t have been possible.  He allowed APT to run more sessions, grow with our more experienced athletes and continue to provide a great product. His involvement also allowed me to start mentoring more students to continue to expand and help more athletes. He taught courses and helped me mentor upcoming student S&C Coaches in Kinesiology.  His attention to detail helped improve our testing, streamline our warmups and allow our partnership with the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic to be a tremendous success in year one.  Without James there wouldn’t be the amount of athletes working with us and getting better at the rate they do because of his dedication, personality and skills.


Prior to James I had no expectations for Interns, Assistant Coaches or Lead Strength and Conditioning Coaches. Due to everything he’s done the bar has been set extremely high.  If someone is going to work for me and help our athlete’s they need to be the following:

  • Nice! James is one of the nicest, caring people I know.
  • Dedicated.  James has a 99.9% record for attendance. There are never any convenient excuses that pop up.
  • Prioritizes APT.  Works everything in his life around APT. Again, no petty excuses.
  • Cares.  He truly cares about each athlete that comes through the door and wants to see them succeed.  He knows every single person’s name!
  • Reliable.  Completes every task I’ve ever asked him and supersedes expectations.
  • Organized & attention to detail.  Has helped improve our training space.
  • Prepared.  Always ready for every session in terms of equipment and setup.
  • Personable. As I mentioned above, he connects with every athlete that comes through the door.
  • Coaches intensely.  Always coaches at a high level, demonstrates exercises, cues and corrects in a positive manner. Great posture when on the floor.
  • Positive.  Finds the best in people and situations and always high energy.
  • Coachable.  He listens and applies everything he is taught regardless of his previous experience.  He understands that we’re trying to run a system and knows that everything is done for a reason.
  • Smart.  For those that don’t know James had a near 4.0 GPA his last year.  More importantly that that he can hold a topic about training and life in general.  We always say that you truly don’t know a topic unless you can confidently hold a conversation about it; James can talk shop with the best of them.
  • Takes initiative.  Even though he would listen and apply everything I taught him he would still come up with suggestions and a plan for how change what we do to make our athletes better.  If he had an idea on how to improve something he would act on it.



If you have any notes you’d like me to pass on to James please send them to me and I will forward them to him. He’ll also be checking in to tomorrow night’s training sessions and maybe on Tuesday.  I don’t know how to thank James for what he’s added to my experiences thus far at Acadia.  He’s allowed me to grow my impact on the community while able to start spending a few more hours at home with my wife.  She’s probably as big a fan of James as I am.  He’s allowed me to let control go of the operation, which has been difficult as the person who has built up Strength and Conditioning at Acadia. Most importantly he’s leaving this place far better than how he left it.  His legacy will be that he enabled hundreds of athletes to get better beyond what I could do by myself. His contributions will be felt for years to come in this area.  Thanks James!