Helping athletes find their dreams, no matter what their level or their dream!
Originally from Toronto, Llew trained from 1988 to 2002 as an Olympic-caliber athlete alongside some of the fastest track and field and bobsled athletes such as Donovan Bailey, Glenroy Gilbert, Pierre Lueders and Christina Smith. Mastering the art of body awareness and positioning as an athlete, Llew then turned to coaching, becoming a certified trainer and conditioning coach with certifications in stretching and sports science. Llew has coached both professional and amateur sport athletes, including some in the CFL, NFL, NHL and CIS. Llew trained and coached under Bruce Frankie in Arizona while using the Future Athletic System Technology (F.A.S.T.) system. F.A.S.T. is a highly complex system utilizing angles, forces and concepts in preparing an elite athlete at a higher level. During the day Llew is a Coach at the Repsol Sport Centre here in Calgary.
Llew also has an MBA in business which he uses in his coaching practice to develop and implement strategies. Llew’s mantra as a coach is to “continually grow professionally, physically and spiritually to achieve the next level”.
In working with young athletes, Llew has the following goals:
- To increase balance, coordination, mobility and body awareness
- Help the body get stronger and develop power and endurance
- Develop and improve running technique and speed
- Increase body position awareness
- Develop and improve vertical and horizontal jump movements
- Develop motivation to have fun in physical fitness and workouts
To achieve these goals, Llew focuses on the Biomechanics associated with running – movement that is natural and efficient to achieve peak performance. (For further information, see article below on Biomechanics.)
On a personal level, Llew loves music, art, movies, sports, good conversation, and when not coaching, you may find him in the mountains.
Sprint Coach – Pinnacle Pioneers Track and Field, Scottsdale, Arizona
Los Angeles Rugby Club – Assisted with developing core muscle training techniques which directly helped the team qualify for the regional playoffs leading them to become national champions.
Hockey – As a sprinting specialist Llew has worked with such greats as Steve Yzerman, Brad Stuart and Jarome Iginla to become faster and add explosiveness in their stride. For off-season strength and conditioning, Llew has worked with Joel Andresen of the Spruce Grove Broncos and Jamie McLennan of the St. Louis Blues as well as numerous talented amateur sport players such as Emily Harrison, offensive player for the Mount Royal Cougars.
Please contact our Registrar from the Contact webpage.
Our Registrar will be pleased to welcome you to the Calgary Spartans, help you find the right coach and program, advise you on that to bring to the track and answer any questions you may have.
Any changes to the schedule will be communicated by Coach Llew to all group members.
Running Smarter—Why Biomechanics Helps Athletes Reach the Next Level
“Two inches shorter! Power position!” It’s one of the most common things you’ll hear at one of Coach Llew’s practices—as his runners work to perfect their techniques through the meticulous discipline of biomechanics. It’s been a part of the training regimens of elite athletes such as Donovan Bailey and Ben Johnson, and Calgary Spartans’ Coach Llew is an expert. He’s taught biomechanics to Steve Yzerman, Brad Stuart, Jarome Iginla, and many other athletes across Canada and the United States. At his Spartans practices, Llew’s group focuses on running smarter—in order to run faster.
“It’s pushed me to do things I didn’t think I could do. I wasn’t a 400 metre runner before,” says Keaton Kottick—who had three major injuries before training with Llew—and has now gone a full year without one. “I used to die after 200 metres. Now my endurance is way up and I’m not getting injured.”
So what is biomechanics—and how is it different from other training? To begin with, a biomechanical workout is structured around exercises that help the runner move at peak efficiency—generating the most amount of speed and force relative to the effort they put in.
“You do that by emphasizing natural movements—how your body is really supposed to move at a time when our daily lives force a lot of unnatural movements on us,” Coach Llew says. “When you run biomechanically, you run faster and get injured less. You win all around, really.”
A biomechanical workout’s main objective is to help athletes commit these movements to muscle memory—to unlearn bad habits and then eventually to incorporate efficient technique into the way they run naturally—automatically and without a second thought.
To usher this process along, Coach Llew’s practices start off with a warmup that typically lasts for a full hour—indeed almost as long as the main workout. The entire practice involves repeated exercises designed to methodically fine-tune the athlete’s running technique.
“When most of us think about ‘warming up,’ we think of stretching and getting the blood flowing. But a biomechanics warmup is about three things—blood flow, committing natural movement to muscle memory and mental preparation. By the time we start the main workout, you’re warmed up, you’re moving naturally, and you’re in the head space to get the most out of training that day.”
A biomechanics workout uses different benchmarks. Athletes focus on generating the most amount of force in the least amount of time, rather than how long or how fast their strides are. “Every movement you make in a race—from your shoulders to your feet—should be working for you, so no energy is wasted. That’s also why I explain the reasons behind all the movements we do in practice. If you understand why you’re doing it, you’re more mentally prepared to make it a part of competition.”
“You’re training your whole body,” says Charlotte Terek, who has been running with Llew for five years. “It takes time to get it right, but you’re going to get stronger, feel stronger, and last longer on the track.”